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WSTA appoints three new Board members

Created: 06 July, 2021

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association welcomes three new Board members to the executive team this month.

As the wine and spirit trade looks to recover the from major disruption to sales and trade brought about by Covid-19 and Brexit upheaval, the WSTA top team welcomes three of the industry’s big hitters.

Caroline Thompson-Hill, European Managing Director at Accolade, Alexei Rosin, Managing Director for UK and Ireland at Moët Hennessy UK Ltd and James Miles, Chairman and Managing Director (Co-Founder) at Liv-ex Ltd, all attended their first WSTA Board meeting last week.

Caroline brings, to the WSTA board table, a range of leadership, innovation and commercial skills as the MD at the UK’s biggest wine company. Accolade’s Head Quarters are in Australia and the company have played a key role in helping the WSTA influence the UK/Australia Free Trade Agreement.

With 18 years’ experience in the drinks industry – mainly in wine – Caroline leads Accolade Wines European commercial business with a focus on customers and consumers.

Before joining Accolade Wines, Caroline worked at Treasury Wine Estates and Diageo across the Europe and Americas regions.

Alexei Rosin was recently appointed as MD for UK and Ireland for Moët Hennessy UK Ltd, leading the third largest market in the world for premium wines and spirits.

Alexei and Moët Hennessy bring ballast, balance and well-known luxury brands to the board table. With over 25 years of experience within the industry, Alexei manages the Moët Hennessy portfolio in charge of iconic brands including Dom Pérignon, Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot and Hennessy.

Since joining Moët Hennessy in 1999, Alexei has worked in operational and strategic roles across the US and key European markets, most recently as Managing Director of Central & Eastern Europe. Prior to this Alexei worked as Commercial Director for Europe, Senior Vice President National On-Premise USA and Sales Director On-Premise in the UK.

James Miles brings a different perspective to the WSTA table with his expertise of fine wine and global trading. He also has excellent contact with SMEs in the fine wine and indie sector.

James was born in Hong Kong and attended school and university in the UK. He started his career with Jardine Fleming Investment Management in Hong Kong in 1991, before becoming an equities analyst and strategist with Asia Equity (which later became Banque Paribas and then BNP Paribas).

He moved to London in 1997 and left banking in March 2000 to set up Liv-ex. Liv-ex is the global marketplace for the wine trade. They help 530 wine merchants in 43 countries to price, buy and sell wine.

The new board members take up their posts following the departure of Michelle Brampton, European MD of Treasury Wine Estates, who is leaving the company and Troy Christensen, CEO at Enotria & Coe, who has served two terms on the WSTA board.

Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, Miles Beale, said:

“The WSTA continues to build its board team and I am delighted to welcome Caroline, Alexei and James.  The board will work with WSTA team to strengthen the UK wine trade’s global reach and enhance the UK as a hub for wine trading.

The UK wine industry faces a tough trading landscape as it makes up for losses brought about by the pandemic and Brexit disruption. By working together, we can continue to campaign and secure victories for the wine and spirit trade, as well as highlighting its importance to the UK economy and bring about changes which will benefit both businesses and consumers.”

Michael Saunders, Chairman of the WSTA, comments:

“I extremely pleased to welcome Caroline, Alexei and James to the WSTA board. Their wealth of experience across the wine and spirit sector will help strengthen the WSTA executive team. Their extensive knowledge of the global wine and spirit industry and SMEs will help steer the WSTA as they help members through these extremely testing times.”

Caroline Thompson-Hill European Managing Director at Accolade said:

“I am delighted to join the WSTA board at what is a crucial time for the industry.

We are faced with challenges over Brexit and pandemic disruption however, the Australia Trade Agreement has been a piece of positive news for the industry in recent weeks. This deal shows that Government recognises the importance of the UK wine industry and will benefit consumers. I look forward to working with the WSTA to support on key issues faced by the UK wine trade.”

Alexei Rosin, Managing Director for UK and Ireland at Moët Hennessy UK Ltd said:

I am looking forward to working with the WSTA board to seek greater support from the Government to weather the Covid pandemic. The UK’s wine and spirit businesses need time to recover, grow and explore new opportunities as the UK forges new trading relationships across the globe.

It is key that we work together with Government to simplify the alcohol taxation system and prevent punishingly high duty rates on products like sparkling wine and spirits.”

James Miles, James Miles, Chairman and Managing Director (Co-Founder) at Liv-ex Ltd said:

“I am pleased to be joining the WSTA board at this crucial time when we are campaigning hard to stop UK officials from imposing unnecessary import regulations on the wine trade.

Rather than looking to cripple our industry, particularly SMEs, with costly red tape the government should be using this once in a lifetime opportunity to re-set our trading arrangements with the rest of the world in a way that enhances the UK’s leading position in the global wine trade.”

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