The big interview: Dan Jago

Having joined Berry Bros & Rudd after successfully heading Tesco’s wine business, Dan Jago has had to make sweeping changes to bring the company back into the black. But now, he tells Patrick Schmitt MW, the merchant has a bright future.

Brand Dan is strong – strong enough to survive an accounting scandal at Tesco

Everything is of course harder when you’re tired, but I don’t recommend meeting Dan Jago after a bad night’s sleep. Now at the helm of two great British institutions, Berry Bros & Rudd (BBR) and the WSTA, he’s a force that requires the full attention of anyone in his company. And having spent more than an hour interviewing him, and keeping up with his repartee, as well as laughing at his jokes, it dawns on me that fewer than five hours’ sleep just isn’t enough for this intense personality (I had been up early for a radio interview before meeting Dan later at the BBR offices in London’s St James’s).

Mixing puppy-like enthusiasm for drinks with serious pronouncements on a range of issues, along with an openness and warmth rarely present in industry leaders, there’s a lot to admire and like about Dan, although his quick humour can be acerbic, and he certainly has no shortage of self-confidence.

Breaking with the drinks business house style, which refers to people by surnames, it seems only right to also reflect Dan’s informal manner by using his first name in this article.

Dan, too, is one of those industry figures who regularly gets ‘profiled’. That’s partly because of the illustrious nature of the positions he has held, particularly as group wine director at Tesco, which made him Britain’s biggest wine buyer, until he left in September 2015. But it’s also because, one suspects, he relishes the exposure from courting the press, and he’s adept at managing it.

Brand Dan is strong – strong enough to survive an accounting scandal at Tesco, which saw him suspended, reinstated, and, it should be stressed, completely cleared of any wrongdoing. Physically too, he is robust, looking younger than 56.

Although Dan is the new chairman of the WSTA, and will help steer the wine and spirits trade through the uncertain waters of drinks importing and exporting after Brexit, our main interest in him concerns his role as head of BBR, a wine merchant everyone in the trade knows by name, but, one suspects, not by nature.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

We encourage debate in the comments section and always welcome feedback, but if you spot something you don't think is right, we ask that you leave an accurate email address so we can get back to you if we need to.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Supply Chain Assistant

Speciality Drinks
London NW10 7SF, UK

On-Trade Regional Sales Manager

Anthony Byrne Fine Wines
West Midlands & Northants

Supply Chain Co-ordinator

Speciality Drinks
London NW10 7SF, UK

Logistics Team Leader

Speciality Drinks
London, UK

Assistant Operations Manager

Speciality Drinks
London, UK

Technical Manager

North South Wines
West Drayton, UK

Key Account Manager

MMI Maldives
Maldives

Business Manager - Impulse

Australian Vintage
Croydon, UK

Decanter Awards Marketing Manager

Decanter
London, UK

Customer Development Manager - South London

Love Drinks Ltd
London, UK

Exclusive Masterclass: Chablis on Tour

London,United Kingdom
29th Apr 2019

Vinexpo Bordeaux

Bordeaux,France
13th May 2019

London Wine Fair 2019

London,United Kingdom
20th May 2019
Click to view more

The Global Grenache Masters 2019

Deadline : 26th April 2019

The Tuscan Masters 2019

Deadline : 26th April 2019

Click to view more

The Global Riesling Masters 2018

View Results

Rioja Masters 2018

View Results

Click to view more