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New body to protect fine wine investors launches

Published:  28 November, 2012

The Wine Investment Association was officially launched today promising to set up regulations and processes that protect wine investments of private individuals.

The new self-regulatory body has been set up in response to a series of high profile wine fraud cases relating to investments in fine wine.

The WIA's initial members hope to attract some of the biggest names in fine wine investment so that it carries the authority of the entire fine wine market. It today published its first code of practice for consultation, outlining the standards and procedures to which its members must comply.

Any investment company joining WIA must agree to operate robust systems and controls all geared to protect investors and prevent fraud, and be open to independent audit from Mazars, a leading auditng and accountancy company.

Its founder members include fine wine investors, Culver Street, Vin-X, Provenance Fine Wines and Albany Portfolio Management. With its founder directors being Hugo Rose MW ( Culver Street), Peter Shakeshaft (Vin-X), Adrian Lenagan (Provenance Fine Wines) and David Jackson (Albany Portfolio Management).

Hugo Rose, chairman of WIA, said: "Today's launch is a culmination of a real need in the industry to protect investor interests and is the result of a lot of hard work to date by our founding members - this is an important step towards eradicating fraud and inadequate management.

'We have received some very positive feedback from potential members about the aims of the WIA. We know that there is a demand for this association and it is long overdue, we now need everybody pulling in the same direction to implement the WIA recommendations that our industry needs."

WIA member, Peter Shakeshaft, and founder of Vin-X, added: "I called for robust self-regulation to address issues around fraud in the wine investment sector, as I believe the market is being held back by unscrupulous practitioners and the consequent impact on the industry's reputation.

"This is a turning point for the industry and a chance for fine wine to become a more mainstream and recognised investment class. The private investor can see a kitemark they can rely upon when investing in fine wine and ultimately that is what they have been asking for. Now it's up to the industry to take steps to allow the market to truly realise its potential."

Once a member, a company will be able to use the WIA logo which it hopes will be seen as a stamp of approval within the fine wine investment market. The WIA also promises to use independent financial compliance professionals and lawyers to adjudicate on complaints and other potential breaches of the WIA's code of practice.

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