Self-regulating charter proposed for fine wine investment

6th September, 2012 by Rupert Millar

A self-regulating charter designed to cover wine investment is due to launch this autumn.

Speaking to the drinks business, one of the founding members of the Wine Investment Association, Peter Shakeshaft, founder of Vin-X, urged the trade to get behind the proposal to ensure its success.

He said that the charter was in the process of being approved by lawyers and was designed to cover the basic principals of fine wine investment to, “ensure that investors own the wine and that agreements are sacrosanct.

“Then, if something does go under it doesn’t affect the ownership of the wine in the hands of the private investor.”

He added that this safety net would give potential investors more confidence in investing in fine wine and could lead to further growth in the market.

“The trade needs to get behind it and be part of it. You will see market share grow if investors have confidence,” headed.

He continued that at present, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association’s advice was for investors themselves to do their own homework.

The WSTA’s site advises: “Choose a reputable wine merchant, checking their trading history, track record and address.

“Verify your order by comparing prices, checking provenance, condition of storage, packaging and delivery. Remember, reliable en primeur traders don’t sell before producers have announced their prices.

“Look after your investment, ensuring wine is securely stored in the right conditions and fully covered by insurance.

“Understand the small print, including tax on investment, commission and handling fees and the paperwork you’ll receive covering your purchase.”

However, while investors should be more diligent, as Shakeshaft noted, “that doesn’t happen” and remained convinced that unless the trade did something about it no one would.

He ended: “When the charter is launched it will not be the finished product but it will be a start.”

Shakeshaft was particularly vocal on the mistaken impression in the press, including here at db, that the recent Financial Services Authority crackdown on Unregulated Collected Investment Schemes would help end cases such as the £10 million loss incurred by Bordeaux UK’s recent collapse.

In response to the story he wrote: “Most of the figures banded around by parties in regard to wine fraud is NOT because of inappropriate advice through UCIS funds, but badly run business’s which are selling wine as stand alone products.
“That is why I am along with others are attempting to create self regulation through the Wine Investment Association which we hope to launch in late autumn.”

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