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Sotheby’s appoints new head of UK wine amid wider shuffle

Sotheby’s has appointed former Berry Bros & Rudd executive Gary Owen as its new head of UK wine sales following the relocation of George Lacey to Hong Kong to head up its Asian wine sales.  

Owen joined the auction house this month after fifteen years at Berry Bros & Rudd, where his most recent role was leading the team in the private client, fine wine division. He started in merchant’s Fine Wine Dept with the 2010 Burgundy release and the auspicious 2011 Bordeaux En Primeur, having previously worked as a wine advisor in the company’s Basingstoke sales and service department.

The auction house commented on “his knowledge of the fine wine ecosystem, his combination of experience, market insight and established network – paired with his focused, detailed and nuanced approach to the complexities of the market” that would help him to drive Sotheby’s wine business in the UK over the coming years.

Owens has been recruited to replace former UK head George Lacey, who relocated from London to the Hong Kong office, where he has become Head of Wine, Asia. Lacey had headed up the London sales since February 2021, overseeing the first consecutive ‘white glove’ (100% sold) wine sales in London for more than five years and “spearheaded a six-fold increase in the number of single-owner sale offerings”, the company said. Prior to joining Sotheby’s, Lacey was at Berry Bros & Rudd,  based in Singapore for a year as regional private client sales manager, South East Asia and before than in London, after a stint at fine wine marketplace Fine+Rare.

George Lacey has relocated to become Head of Wine, Asia

Meanwhile Paul Wong, who joined Sotheby’s Hong Kong wine department in 2012 as a wine specialist, and has “powered the Asia wine and spirits market and developed a strong network in Greater China for more than a decade” has assumed a new role as head of wine & spirits, China. His role is to further develop local clientele but also to establish local wine and spirits auctions as part of Sotheby’s cross-channel China strategy in the  longer-term in line with Sotheby’s plans to expand its footprint across Asia.


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