Gazin 2005 + 105% | Screaming Eagle 2010 + 28.4% | Lafleur 1999 + 30% | Laville Haut Brion 2003 + 44% | Pavillon Rouge 2008 + 17.5% | Dominus 1997 + 24.5% | Dominus 1998 + 24.5% | Angelus 2012 + 25% | Lafleur 2006 + 20% | Fleur Petrus 2008 + 20% | Beychevelle 2010 + 96% | Clinet 1998 + 25% | Latour 1988 + 17.5% | Cheval Blanc 2000 + 17.5% | Angelus 2005 + 20.83% |

Wine Investment Regulation

At Aston Lovell we feel strongly that some form of regulation is needed for companies working in the sector.

We feel that this should not be self-regulation, but independent regulation, as self-regulation relies on the companies involved sticking to what they promise with no independent censure should the rules of the association be broken. However, if self-regulation is the only option available to companies working in the sector, then the code of practice should include the subject of cold calling.

We were approached in the Spring of 2012 by Peter Shakeshaft (Vin-X) & David Jackson (Albany Portflio Management or APM) of the then-budding Wine Investment Association (WIA) to be one of the founding members of this self-regulation scheme (which was launched in the Autumn of 2012). While we agreed that regulation was needed, we made it clear to both Mr Shakeshaft and Mr Jackson that unless cold-calling was banned by the Wine Investment Association we could not consider becoming members, as cold calling is, in our view, bad business practice and the root of most of the difficulties faced by the industry.

In February 2013 the code of practice for the Wine Investment Association was published, and unfortunately this code of practice indeed allows members of the Wine Investment Association to cold call. Therefore we will not be joining the association as we feel that unfortunately this organisation will lack credibility.

Last spring we published our own ideas of what self-regulation of the fine wine market should entail, and these are laid out below.

1/ All companies should have at least five years' trading history.

This proposal is included as we feel it is important that all companies can prove that they have a good track record of selling wines for clients as well as buying wines for clients. It is perfectly possible in the wine investment market to trade for two or three years without having to sell wines for a client and so the 5 year minimum is a proposal that would aim to ensure that investors can be satisfied that both ends of the transaction will be executed.

2/ All companies should agree to a blanket ban on cold calling. All companies should agree to regular random spot checks by members to ensure that no cold calling is taking place and all companies should state clearly on their website, either on the Homepage or Contact page, that they do not cold call.

3/ No directors involved in the organisation should have any adverse history in any market of a nature that would damage the credibility of the organisation.

4/ Every company should have Liv-ex pricing data available on their website.

5/ We propose a central platform/email available to all clients of all companies involved, which is visible to all members. This platform is for the use of clients who wish to comment or complain about any part of the service they are being given by any member company. Clients may remain anonymous if they wish to do so.

6/ All companies should agree to no "pre-selling" of en-primeur. That is, selling of en-primeur before prices are released.

7/ Yearly stock-checking by members. Wines ordered by clients to be checked against wines stored in bond and purchased en primeur.

8/ A strict regulation of maximum fee-percentage allowed to be charged by companies in the sector (we suggest a maximum limit of 15% total commission to be charged, whether on the buy, sell or split between the buy and sell). All wine-prices quoted to clients must be that day's live market price found on the London International Vintners Exchange (Liv-ex) and not the price quoted by any wine merchant - as the merchant price is normally considerably higher than the market price. No declared or undeclared margin may be added to the market price when selling to a client. Random spot checks by organisation members on prices and fees being quoted by fellow members.

9/ The provision of a track record of timely sales for clients. All companies must demonstrate a credible exit route for clients who wish to sell.

Should you wish to discuss this proposal, please contact Bruce Aston or Ben Lovell on 020 8858 9990 or Click here

(Click here to visit, a website which gives advice on companies in the market and what to do if you are unsure if your investment is secure.)