World’s first regulated whisky fund taps UK investors

The world’s first public whisky fund, which launched in Sweden six months ago, is hoping to raise capital from family offices and wealth managers in the UK.

The Single Malt Fund, which is headquartered in Dublin, is regulated by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority, and listed on Stockholm’s Nordic Growth Market exchange.

It is seeking a minimum of €100,000 from UK investors, with a maximum target set at €25 million.

The offer to invest in the fund is only marketed towards professional investors in the UK, Ireland, Cyprus and Luxembourg, according to its website.

Its purpose is to “tie close commercial bonds with the producers in the whisky industry.”

The business model means that investors are given the opportunity to own a small part of a large collection of rare and limited-edition whiskies.

Its whiskies are selected by five portfolio managers and, in addition to investing in the fund, whisky fans will also have the opportunity to buy single bottles from an online inventory.

The fund has hired Ed Forrest to run its operations, including responsibility for buying and selling whisky. Forrest has more than 25 years’ experience at LVMH and Diageo, having worked as regional sales manager of United Distillers between 1993 and 1996.

The value of collectable single malt Scotch whisky bottles sold in the UK hit a record high of £25.8 million (US$32.1m) in the first half of 2019 – an increase of 58%, according to analysts at Rare Whisky 101.

Sotheby’s first single-owner whisky collection sale made £7.6 million (US$9.8m) when it was offered in London last week, including a new world record for a bottle of single malt, which the auctioneer hailed as, “an historic moment for the spirits market”.

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