Meet The Team

Working alongside our Managing Director Tom Gearing and Chairman Philip Gearing is a dedicated team of experienced industry professionals working across portfolio management, market analysis, accounting and logistics to ensure our clients reap the full rewards of involvement in the fine wine investment market.


PLEASE NOTE We have now completed our move into our New Office. Direct dial numbers to Cult Wines staff have now changed. See below for the new numbers.


Senior Management


Patrick Thornton-Smith

Patrick Thornton-Smith

Commercial Director

Email: | Direct Phone: +44 (0) 207 1000 941

Patrick Thornton-Smith joined Cult Wines in May 2017 as Non-Executive Director having spent the previous 30 years in the financial markets specialising in derivatives-a broad and user-friendly platform to enjoy fine wines!

Patrick worked for Barclays Capital, ICAP and a range of fintech firms from start-ups, including his own for five years, to established vendors and spent a number of years living in the USA, the rest in London or, as it felt, constantly on an aeroplane. His range of roles was wide and covered strategy, marketing, sales, operations and management positions.

A family friend to the Gearings for over 20 years, his role as NED is to support the business in new areas of opportunity and is a member of the Global Management Team. Happy to have left the City for the wide open spaces of Hammersmith, Patrick maintains close relationships with the Square Mile and beyond and is a Trustee of Futures For Kids Charity.

A self-professed ‘consumer not expert’ in fine wine his tastes are broad but err towards white burgundy, with Domaine Leflavie a particular favourite and Pinot Noir, both old world and new world.

Outside fine wine Patrick, inevitably, has a great love of food, both cooking for friends and finding new eclectic restaurants in London and overseas. Unlike most of the Cult Wines staff, he does not support any football team but is an avid fan of the oval ball game and is a Harlequins fan.



Aarash GhatinehLinkedIn

Aarash Ghatineh

Global Sales Director

Email: | Direct Phone: +44 (0) 207 1000 930

Aarash joined the team towards the end of 2009 at a junior level, having previously worked at the chartered accountants Landon Seamer. Aarash graduated from the University of Nottingham with a first class honours degree in Politics and his analytical skills were well received from day one. Aarash’s meticulous knowledge of the market has made him an invaluable component to our Market Analysis team, and he also plays a major role in securing stock alongside our Purchasing Team. As Global Sales Director his day-to-day role involves liaising with all new and existing clients as well as overseeing our entire sales team. His multi-lingual skills have helped develop our burgeoning overseas client base. Outside of work, Aarash is a keen football fan- an Arsenal season ticket holder and enthusiastic player himself. He is also fond of horse racing and partial to a cheeky flutter now and then. When it comes to wine, Aarash’s preferences are ever-changing, with a commitment to seeking out different and exciting producers and labels. Put a glass of something new in front of him and you have a happy man.



Marcus AllenLinkedIn

Marcus Allen

Director of Business Development

Email: | Direct Phone: +44 (0) 207 1000 933

Having read Business at the University of Nottingham Marcus entered the City of London in 2008 working at Goldman Sachs and formerly the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. During his time within Investment Banking he built up a vast knowledge base across the board within the financial sector and an acute understanding of the economy. In January 2015 Marcus brought those skills to Cult Wines in order to build out the Agency side of the business, working with IFAs, Wealth Managers and Private Banks and their clients across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, helping them to achieve exposure to the Alternative Investment market and diversification from the financial sector. Outside of work Marcus is, similar to the rest of the office, an avid sports fan, playing rugby and golf whilst spending a lot of time at the weekend with a paint brush in hand as a beginner property developer. On the wine front Marcus naturally gravitates to Italian wines from Piedmont (Angelo Gaja a particular favourite) but is equally partial to the Pinots and Chablis of Burgundy.



Tom TurnerLinkedIn

Tom Turner

Trading & Purchasing Director

Email: | Direct Phone: +44 (0) 207 1000 940

Tom joined Cult Wines in the Summer of 2010. Having previously attained a RICS accredited surveying degree, Tom was drawn to the wine industry and joined Cult Wines to further develop this interest. With a detailed knowledge of fine wine through his family’s award winning winery Felton Road (Cornish Point), Tom has quickly established himself as a key member of the Cult team. In Spring 2012, Tom took the helm as Head of Buying, also heading up the burgeoning Retail and Trade Sales side of the business. Since handing over buying responsibilities to our Purchasing Team in late 2015, Tom exclusively looks after our global trade sales customers. In his spare time, Tom enjoys watching and playing football, and indulges a strong passion for cars – easily his most expensive hobby. With an eclectic palate, Tom is just as happy with a new world Pinot (preferably Felton Road Block) as he is with a mature Claret, whilst remaining partial to something a little sweeter occasionally.



Sales Team


Lukasz KolodziejczykLinkedIn

Lukasz Kolodziejczyk

Head of Fine Wine

Email: | Direct Phone: +44 (0) 207 1000 953

Lukasz joined Cult Wines following a career spanning more than a decade in the hospitality industry. Whilst studying wine in Poland, Lukasz took the decision to pursue his career in one of the world's best restaurants, The Fat Duck in Bray, England. Following 7 successful years at The Fat Duck, where Lukasz honed his skills as a sommelier he joined Michelin starred restaurant Pollen Street Social as Head Sommelier, where he oversaw a wine list of 800 bins and a team of 7 sommeliers. This gave Lukasz the opportunity to cement his reputation as one of the finest sommeliers in the UK, his success in national competition coupled with earning his Court of Master Sommeliers Advanced certificate is testament to this. Lukasz’s role will see him oversee a number of key activities, including working closely with producers, arranging tastings, events, dinners and hosting masterclass events. He will also be using his contacts and knowledge base to further develop our on-trade sales, sourcing unique parcels of wines to develop and expand our retail sales offering. Lukasz will also be on hand to provide expert consultancy services to our growing worldwide client base. He will work with customers to help advise and build home wine cellars, evaluate and appraise existing collections. During his time in the restaurant industry, Lukasz has had the opportunity to taste an enviable back catalogue of the world’s greatest wines and will be sharing his personal tasting notes, reviews and recommendations on our blog throughout the course of the year.



Jonathan StevensonLinkedIn

Jonathan Stevenson

Senior Portfolio Manager

Email: | Direct Phone: +44 (0) 207 1000 935

Jonathan joined Cult Wines at the end of 2010 after graduating from Newcastle University with a degree in Marketing and Management. In the early part of his career at Cult Wines, Jonathan put his creative skillset to good use by implementing a number of new marketing strategies both internally and externally. Whilst still contributing to the upkeep and provision of market literature for the website, Jonathan began to show a desire for client contact of his own. He very quickly learnt his trade as a Portfolio Manager allowing him to liaise with new and existing clients in the development and maintenance of client portfolios. With a growing knowledge of the market and a natural rapport with his clients, Jonathan is now excelling in his current role of Senior Portfolio Manager. Driving new business through both personal sales as well as continuing to create new strategies and ideas, Jonathan is a valuable asset to Cult Wines. Outside the office, Jonathan follows almost any sport going with his particular favourites being football, cricket and golf. On the wine front, Jonathan has a penchant for the sweet stuff and so Sauternes is ever present in the wine fridge and when it comes to reds, something big and fruity fits the bill. He is, however, always the first to call for a cool lager after a hard days tasting in Bordeaux.



Sam MudieLinkedIn

Sam Mudie

Portfolio Manager

Email: | Direct Phone: +44 (0) 207 1000 944

Sam joined the Cult Wines team in the Summer of 2013, having previously been working as a Portfolio Manager at another wine investment company in London. He holds a BSc in Property Agency and Marketing and achieved a Distinction in an additional wine industry module. In October 2013, he was awarded the title of Ecuyer in the Confrerie des Compagnons Goustevin de Normandie and has more recently been asked to reform the London chapter that has been dormant for almost two decades. His role within the company extends beyond that of a straightforward Portfolio Manager, with notable contributions to market analysis, producing investment reports, sourcing of stock and hosting events as well as private sales and client relations. Sam takes pride in being the only chap in the office with little interest in Football; he instead focuses his attention on “proper sports” like Rugby, Shooting, and Skiing. When it comes to wine, Sam’s personal collection is very obviously weighted in Bordeaux and Burgundy but spends much of his spare time in London’s top restaurants and wine bars taking guidance from Sommeliers on their recent discoveries.



Daniel WardLinkedIn

Daniel Ward

Portfolio Manager

Email: | Direct Phone: +44 (0) 207 1000 952

Daniel joined Cult Wines in August 2013, having previously worked in a similar portfolio management position since 2010. The path into Fine Wine Investment was slightly different for Daniel, with very little previous interest in wine as a consumable product. The sole focus and interest of Daniels career choice was the endless range of financial benefits Alternative Asset classes offer investors. This sole focus on the underlying investment merits of Fine Wines, has led to Daniel playing a key role in identifying and analysing investment strategies and stock positions for clients. With over 5 year’s direct experience within the Fine Wine Investment market, Daniel has a real understanding of how to manage client’s financial goals and expectations. Currently looking after 210 private clients, diversification and regular dialogue with clients has been the key to Daniels success across his accounts over the past 2 years. Being married, outside the office Daniel is a family man and spends most of his time with his two-year old son Alfie. Naturally the past 5 years has led to a growing interest in wine as a consumable product, with Daniel now having a keen thirst for new world wines.



Yunbo WeiLinkedIn

Yunbo Wei

Portfolio Manager

Email: | WeChat ID: jdd272476268 | Direct Phone: +44 (0) 207 1000 954

Yunbo joined Cult Wines in the summer of 2016 having completed two Master’s degrees in the UK, at the University of Sheffield and the University of Surrey respectively, studying management in the former and international hotel management at the latter. With great passion for wine, Yunbo further enhanced her wine knowledge by undertaking and completing levels 1-3 of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), with the aim to finish her level 4 in the next two years. Before Yunbo moved to the UK, she worked for two and half years for a diverse range of organizations, including the ‘Industrial Bank’ (兴业银行) and a well-known fashion magazine in China ‘ViVi’(昕薇).During her time at the Industrial bank, Yunbo was responsible for international clients as a Sales Manager, and latterly worked as a fashion model for ViVi and other brands for commercial advertisements. Yunbo’s varied background in wine, finance and hospitality has provided the perfect foundation for her Portfolio Manager role at Cult Wines. With a positive personality, Chinese and English speaking, as well as a diversified background in different cultures, Yunbo provides professional advisory services to her customers helping both investors and wine lovers to choose the right wines, either for investing, collecting or drinking. Apart from being a fan of fine wine, with a strong preference for Burgundy, Yunbo is a big collector of Hermes handbags and designer shoes.




Hong Kong Sales Team


Joe AlimLinkedIn

Joe Alim

HK General Manager

Email: | Direct Phone: +852 2818 0089

Joe joined Cult Wines after 4 years working in sales for GlaxoSmithKline and more recently Suntory food and beverages. He graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in Biology, but felt that pursuit of a career in the world of business would prove more rewarding. A good school friend of Tom’s, Joe has always had a keen interest in the development of Cult Wines. Having spent 3 years as one of the senior portfolio managers in London, he seized the opportunity to relocate to Hong Kong in order to oversee operations there. Outside the office, Joe sees himself as somewhat of a dab hand in the kitchen and South West London’s answer to Michel Roux. Joe’s bank manager isn’t too happy about it, but on the wine side of things he finds it difficult to ignore the overtures of white Burgundy. As is the case with most of the team, he also has a keen interest in Football and has an unwavering loyalty towards Arsene Wenger and his long standing tenure at Arsenal FC.



Carissa YipLinkedIn

Carissa Yip

Senior Portfolio Manager

Email: | Direct Phone: +852 2818 2800

Carissa began her career in wine in 2008 at Enoteca as a fine wine sales manager for the HK & China market, opening 3 retail shops in HK and first shop in the IFC Shanghai. She then assume the role of Sales Director for Pillariwine. Her duties ranged from selling Bordeaux fine wines to managing agency wine brands; in the meantime she successfully completed WSET level ll and certificate for Wine Storage Management. During her 9 years in the wine industry Carissa has gained valuable fine wine investment experience working together with Asia's leading wine collectors as well as the opportunities to explore biodynamic and fine wines. She has also been on the judging panel for the China Wine and Spirits Board from 2013-2017.



Todd CheungLinkedIn

Todd Cheung

Senior Portfolio Manager

Email: | Direct Phone: +852 2818 0398

Todd started his wine career in 2009 at one of the biggest Hong Kong wine retailers. After learning the basic of fine wine and successfully completed his WSET Level III, he joined Zachys Wine Auction and later Sothebys Wine Department. During his 6 years working at some of the world’s leading auction houses, he has gained valuable fine wine investment experience, and built up a network of some of Asia’s biggest collectors. He is a keen fine wine enthusiast, enjoying a wide range of wines from all over the world, however his personal favorite is Pinot Noir, especially the wines from Vosne Romanee.



Issac HoLinkedIn

Issac Ho

Senior Portfolio Manager

Email: | Direct Phone: +852 2818 6338

Issac joined the Cult Wines HK team in the summer of 2016, with previous experience working in wealth management and as a protection manager in a market leading insurance company listed in Hong Kong. He graduated from The Open University of Hong Kong with an honours degree in accounting. Issac’s passion for wine began at university, and he has since developed a detailed understanding of the subject through plenty of reading, as well as attending many tasting sessions! Issac is very keen to continue being an integral part of the development of Cult Wines throughout Asia, and is a firm believer that fine wine should be enjoyed by all, not just the rich and famous. Outside of work, Issac enjoys watching NBA and spending time with his family and two dogs (aptly named Krug and Palmer). On the wine front, Issac is a big fan of Barolo and French wine especially those handpicked from Burgundy, Bordeaux and Champagne.




Buying Team


Christopher JaubertLinkedIn

Christopher Jaubert

Head of Operations

Email: | Direct Phone: +44 (0) 207 1000 936

Born and raised on a vineyard in Bordeaux, Christopher begun his career in the wine industry at a very young age. With a degree in Viticulture and Oenology from Blanquefort (near Bordeaux), he decided to expand his knowledge of the wine world by moving to London in 2005. Christopher has held numerous roles in the wine industry. Starting his career at Oddbins as a wine advisor, he quickly moved to Bordeaux Index one of the leading UK fine wine merchants to broaden his knowledge of the supply chain. First coordinating logistics, he then became a buyer and he held this position for the next 6 years. With over 10 years’ experiences, Christopher has now joined Cult Wines since June 2015. Happy take Cult Wines to its next growing phase by increasing its data base of suppliers, helping to implement a robust logistical platform and continuing to build strong relationship with Bordeaux. Christopher is an epicurean and an eco-warrior he is always looking for the next good meal and have introduced some recycling initiatives in the office. Outside work he likes to cook and discover new restaurants.



Hermione Egerton-SmithLinkedIn

Hermione Egerton-Smith

Fine Wine Buyer

Email: | Direct Phone: +44 (0) 207 1000 937

Hermione joined Cult Wines in October 2014 and took on the role of buyer in January 2015. She is now in charge of discovering new European Suppliers and finding new investment style wines. After leaving Nottingham University with a degree in Philosophy, Hermione worked for 3 years as a PA during which time she studied for the WSET exams. With an appetite for learning, Hermione is embarking on the WSET Diploma which she will start in January 2016. In her free time, Hermione enjoys keeping up with culture and can regularly be found at new exhibitions. Depending on her mood, Hermione is partial to a good Burgundy.



Maud PalaviouxLinkedIn

Maud Palavioux

Supply Chain Coordinator

Email: | Direct Phone: +44 (0) 207 1000 939

Maud joined the wine industry in 2007 after she graduated with a Master’s degree in Wine Trade. Maud has over 8 years combined experience in logistics and procurement both in France and Australia. Maud joined Cult Wines in September 2015 having moved from Paris and is in charge of looking after the Logistical Operations. Outside of work Maud enjoys spending time with her family and whenever she has a free moment she will be reading a book whether it is a novel or a cook book. Maud has an extensive wine fridge full of French treasures with her favourite being Burgundy.




Finance, Accounts and Marketing Team


Harmit HeerLinkedIn

Harmit Heer

Finance & Accounts Manager

Email: | Direct Phone: +44 (0) 207 1000 946

Harmit joined Cult Wines in May 2014 as a Management Accountant. After graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Mathematical Business Analysis, she went on to gain her professional qualification (ACCA) whilst being employed with Kingston Smith Chartered Accountants. Harmit has a wealth of finance and accounting experience having spent 20 years in accountancy; for the last 10 years she has successfully run her own business whilst also being a finance director of a FCA regulated Financial Advisory Business. Her knowledge of wines has increased hugely since joining CW and not all through drinking it. Having now attended numerous tasting events her favourite wine remains the Duhart-Milon. In the little spare time she has Harmit enjoys spending time with her young family, playing squash and regularly practicing yoga.



Sara AliLinkedIn

Sara Ali

Assistant Accountant

Email: | Direct Phone: +44 (0) 207 1000 947

Sara joined Cult Wines in June 2015 to lead the expansion of our finance support team having previously worked as a finance assistant for a French retailer. Sara graduated from Kingston University with a first class honours degree in Business Management & Finance, she is currently continuing her studies and working towards her CIMA qualification. As Assistant Accountant, Sara is directly responsible for client liaison and managing the accounts payable and receivable functions. Outside of work, Sara has a growing interest in fitness and is currently studying for her Advanced Diploma in Nutrition. She also enjoys practising Yoga and Pilates. Sara’s wine knowledge is improving rapidly as she joins in the weekly company wine tastings!





Jody RichardsonLinkedIn

Jody Richardson

Head of Marketing

Email: | Direct Phone: +44 (0) 207 1000 942

Jody has been involved with Cult Wines, undertaking design and marketing projects since the birth of the company’s first website back in 2008, although until recently only as a freelance position. In July 2015 Jody was offered a permanent position as Digital Marketing Manager at Cult Wines’ Richmond offices, where he oversees their web and graphic design projects, website marketing operations and social networks. Outside of the working day, Jody enjoys both listening and putting his hand to making various styles of modern music. He is also partial to the occasional visit to the theatre or a good comedy club. Jody has learned a great deal about fine wine during his time working with the company, his wine of choice, at least for the moment, is Pontet Canet.