Cult Wines, a specialist in the acquisition and investment management of fine wines, has today announced the appointment of Patrick Thornton-Smith as a Non-Executive Director and member of the firm's Global Management Team. Patrick's appointment will support the firm's record-breaking growth levels which have been driven by rising global demand, particularly in the UK and Asia.
Prior to joining Cult Wines, Patrick was Managing Director at Duco Technologies, the global fintech provider of data control services. He has over 30 years of experience in the global derivatives post-trade and OTC cleared swap markets. Patrick's career has also included positions at Barclays Capital, ICAP and a range of technology firms including SunGard, FFastFill, MarginClick and Rolfe & Nolan. He has spent a number of years living in the US.
Cult Wines' record sales are expected to be around £30 million this year which represents a 47% increase on last year. The fall in sterling since the Brexit vote and the fact that fine wine is increasingly seen as a safe haven, has led to a huge surge in Asian buyers. This is particularly the case in Hong Kong where the currency is dollar-linked.
Last month Cult Wine's record growth was recognised with the Queen's Award for Enterprise (International Trade). The firm has become one of the UK's largest wine investment companies managing private and trade client portfolios on behalf of 2,000 clients across 66 countries.
Philip Gearing, Chairman at Cult Wines, said: "We are delighted to welcome Patrick to Cult Wines as we look to expand our global brand and take the firm to the next stage of growth. Cult Wines is a dynamic, family business and having known Patrick for many years, and as a client, the timing of this is ideal for the company especially on the back of the recent Queen's Award for Enterprise in International Trade."
Commenting on his appointment, Patrick Thornton-Smith, said: "This opportunity for growth is very exciting as the mixture of the firm's investment model, investor returns, global potential and industry recognition are all great signs for the next stage of expansion. I am looking forward to joining the team."
Since the UK decided to leave the EU in June 2016, the industry benchmark index – the Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 index – has gained around 17% to close on 304.30 at the end March. The index is at its highest level for five years and a recent survey of Liv-ex members showed they expect the fine wine market to rise a further 8% this year.