Movers and Shakers: Greene King head wine buyer James Davis becomes Master of Wine
- Credit: Contributed
Bury St Edmunds-based Greene King’s head wine buyer, James Davis, has been made a Master of Wine by the Institute of Masters of Wine.
James joins an elite group of just 312 Masters of Wine across the world, having successfully completed more than five years of study.
Greene King has already benefitted from James’ experience as it aims to become the best wine retailer in the UK pub industry. Wine sales at the UK-wide pub retailer and brewer grew 16% in the past year and are up 62% in the last five years. The company’s wines also won 25 International Wine Challenge awards this year, including 19 sourced directly by James and his team.
James, who joined Greene King in 2007, underwent a stringent examination process, as well as a series of theoretical and practical exams before being awarded his Master of Wine qualification. His studies included seasonal stints at vineyards in Germany and knowledge gathering trips around the world culminating in a dissertation on consumer attitudes to large wine-brands.
Chief executive Rooney Anand said: “Greene King is proud to have a Master of Wine in the team. This is one of the toughest professional qualifications to gain, which makes this achievement even more impressive. It is pleasing to see James join this elite club; it is rare for a pub company to have a Master of Wine and we are excited by the commercial opportunities and competitive edge that this appointment will offer us in the future.
“Wine has become an integral ingredient of pub culture in recent years and this achievement shows just how far we have come as an industry. Wine will be very firmly on the menu in Greene King pubs and restaurants in the coming years.”
James said: “The journey to achieve the status of Master of Wine was the most challenging, but ultimately satisfying, of my life. As an MW student you begin to think about the world of wine, business and study very differently, and are fortunate to meet great people from around the world.
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He added: “I am extremely grateful to Greene King for supporting me and encouraging me throughout the process and cannot wait to put my knowledge of sourcing and blending the finest wines to the test.”
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Stephanie Gordon has joined the employee reward and benefit team at the Newmarket-based firm as employee benefits associate, helping with Atkinson Bolton’s corporate clients.
Maria Spencer, a chartered financial planner, joins the existing team of eight consultants and provides wealth management and retirement advice to new and existing clients. The investment team has welcomed Richard Smith as a second investment manager alongside Ian Goodchild.
The firm has also welcomed Amy Farrington, Cath Keates, Frankie Murray, Karen Lindsay and Nuala Evans to its growing support teams.
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Having attended the University of Southampton to study law, Chloe completed the Legal Practice Course at The College of Law, Bloomsbury. She then joined Ellisons in 2010 as a paralegal before beginning her training contract in 2011. During this period, Chloe spent time with different departments before finishing her training contract in private client.
Chloe will join the private client team as an assistant solicitor, dealing with wills, powers of attorney, probate and trusts. Managing partner and head of private client, Tim Logan, said: “I am delighted to welcome Chloe Baldwin to the department. Chloe is an asset to our firm and has already made a significant contribution as a trainee.”
Chloe said: “I am very pleased to have been offered a permanent position at Ellisons since completing my training contract. The firm is an excellent place to work, with a great ethos and a broad range of clients that I look forward to working with.”
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Richard Harvey and Muhaimin Sofique, who have both qualified with a BA (Hons) in business, will each be working on specific research, business development and communication projects that will benefit clients of AMS.
Muhaimin said: “This is a great opportunity for me to put into practice some of the knowledge and skills I’ve learnt at UCS. The training I will receive at AMS and the work I’ll be doing for them are of commercial value, so I hope this experience will be a good addition to my CV and will help me to find the right job.”
Managing director Leslie-Ann Giovnilli said: “Among the business support services we provide for our clients, we organise educational services such as training courses and conferences. We have to keep ahead of all sector developments in marketing, so involving Richard and Muhaimin in the research and planning of future services will benefit our clients by enabling them to remain efficient and competitive.”