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, marketing, accounting and logistics to ensure our clients reap the full rewards of involvement in the fine wine investment market.
Patrick Thornton-Smith joined Cult Wines in May 2017 having spent the previous 30 years in the financial markets specialising in listed and OTC derivatives. 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 both Chicago and New York. His range of roles was wide and covered strategy, marketing, sales, operations and senior management positions. Prior to joining Cult Wines Patrick was Managing Director at Duco, a fintech vendor.
A family friend to the Gearings for over 20 years, his role as Executive Director 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, 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 and new world varieties. He holds the WSET Level 2 award.
Outside fine wine Patrick, inevitably, has a great love of food and 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 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 Executive 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.
Gemma joined Cult Wines in January 2018 as Finance Director having spent the previous 10 years in the Leisure & Hospitality Industry. Gemma has held the position of Director of Finance for the AIM listed UK & Canadian travel group Travelzest plc before moving to the global hotel group Yotel Limited as Finance Director. She joins from The Light Cinemas Holdings Limited having been CFO. She brings extensive experience of the delivery of financial strategy in the fast growth SME sector. Gemma trained as a chartered accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England & Wales.
Outside work if not in the gym or running, she can be found in the kitchen trying out recipes from her ever growing library of cookbooks. In addition she is an avid sports fan, with particular interest in cricket, football, rugby, F1 and tennis. She is an enthusiastic amateur in terms of her interest in wine, she holds WSET level 1 and her particular favourite is Pinot Noir but likes to be introduced to new wines especially when pairing wines with food.
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 day to day buying responsibilities to our Purchasing Team in late 2015, Tom spent two years looking after our global trade sales customers before being formally appointed as Trading ∓ Purchasing Director in August 2017. Day to day, Tom continues to look after CW’s trade clients, while overseeing the Purchasing and Operations team. 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.
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.
Olivier joined Cult Wines in March 2019 after a long career in the City, where he held various senior positions at financial institutions such as JP Morgan, Barclays Capital, BBVA and London Clearing House. As well as London, he has worked in the USA, Japan and Spain. Olivier is also one of the original founding investors of 67 Pall Mall, the London private members club dedicated to fine wine where he served as a Board Director. Olivier’s financial markets expertise and wine knowledge naturally led him to the world of fine wine investing. A keen wine collector, Olivier developed his lifelong passion with wine during his student days in Burgundy where, as well as frequent visits to vineyards and playing rugby, he studied Economics and Finance at the Burgundy School of Business (formally Ecole supérieure de Commerce de Dijon). He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) accreditation.
In his spare time, Olivier loves sports, fine food and music. He is the Head Coach of the youth section at his local rugby club. He is also a Chinese kickboxing (wu shu kwan) black belt and has climbed into the ring as a white-collar boxer on quite a few occasions to raise money for good causes. When it comes to wine, he is always happy to discover something new (and good!), although he remains in love with Burgundy.
Kaz joined Cult Wines in October 2019 as Commercial Director, APAC, having gained over 20 years of experience in various in-depth and broad-based functional, professional and managerial appointments within the Financial and Financial IT sectors, working for firms such as Yamaichi International and Industrial Bank of Japan-based in London before moving to Singapore in 2000 to set up Asian operations for a UK based ISV (Independent Software Vendor). He has been in Singapore for nearly 20 years and spent the last few years running major online FX firms such as Saxo and OANDA prior to joining Cult Wines.
Major categories of work experience and responsibilities ranging from Trading & Sales, Strategic Business Planning and Development, Financial Analysis, Planning / Budgeting and Reporting, and Regional Management.
Kaz holds the WSET Level 3 Award, an advanced level qualification for professionals working in the wine industry. In his spare time, he is an avid cyclist and can often be found competing in mass participation events in Singapore and other parts of Asia.
Rheanne joined Cult Wines in August 2018, having previously worked in the Finance/Pension’s industry for 10 years. She was looking for the next step in her career and decided that the Fine Wine investment industry was a step in the right direction being able to combine her interest in wine with her skills picked up from the finance industry.
Outside of work Rheanne is a keen runner and has completed the London Marathon. Since joining Cult Wines she has found a new love of Bordeaux wines.
Daniel joined Cult Wines during the summer of 2013, having previously worked in a similar portfolio management position since 2010. Daniel’s career choice & route into the Fine Wine market was driven by his burgeoning interest in the alternative investment sector. The analytical & de-romanticized approach that Daniel brings to the team has proven to be immensely important when identifying trends and strategic positions within the market.
With over 10 years’ experience within the Fine Wine Investment market, Daniel has a real passion for managing clients financial objectives and expectations. Outside of the office, Daniel retreats to the green surroundings of his family home in Crowborough, East Sussex. With two young boys, weekends are largely dictated by outdoor activities in the forest with the odd round of golf, weather permitting.
Martin joined Cult Wines in the spring of 2017 having previously worked at a UK wine merchant for the past 6 years. With over 10 years’ experience in the industry he has a wealth of knowledge and his strength lies in building long term relationships with his clients. With a WSET advanced level 3 qualification he is happy to engage in a conversation on most of the world’s wine regions and whilst he has a particular fondness for Bordeaux, he does enjoy wines from all four corners of the world.
Bertie joined Cult Wines from another London based trade merchant having spent the first eight years of his career in financial services as an FX Sales Manager, looking after High-net-worth Clients and Institutions, spending time in London, New York and Mexico. Wanting a change in direction – Bertie followed his passion for wine. Coupling his passion for investment and entrepreneurship – a young, successful company like Cult Wines, focusing on generating returns for their clients, was an obvious next move.
Outside of work, Bert has amassed an prodigious following on social media, posting as @the_english_wine_guy on Instagram, as well as enjoying any sport going, with a particular interest in Cricket, Boxing and Rugby. He enjoys the finer things in life whether that be wine, dining, travelling, or investing in an exciting new startup. Outside of London, he will often retreat to the family home in East Sussex, always clutching a bottle or two of something a little bit different, of particular interest currently is USA Pinot Noir.
Olivia joined Cult Wines in June 2018 as a portfolio manager, having previously worked for Treasury Wine Estates in Melbourne. Looking to further her knowledge, Olivia is currently studying for her WSET level 3.
Olivia has a degree from Cardiff University where she read Criminology, despite enjoying her studies she was far more excited by the prospect of a career in wine than the criminal sector! Given her Spanish heritage she believes her love for food and passion of wine to be inherent and inevitable.
Another crucial part of Olivia’s role at Cult Wines is hosting events throughout the calendar, always guaranteed to be an evening full of laughs, interesting conversation and of course delicious wine.
Outside of work, when Olivia isn’t dining out and most likely sipping a Super Tuscan, she is a keen horse rider and enjoys competing her beautiful but temperamental German Warmblood.
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.
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.
Stella graduated from The University of Hong Kong, majoring in Food and Nutritional Science. She has since spent the past 8 years working in the wine industry in HK and has also successfully completed WSET level III. Before joining Cult Wines in 2017, Stella was the Director of Client Services at Acker Merrall & Condit and accumulated invaluable wine knowledge. Her range of roles was wide and covered operations, marketing, business development, sales and senior management positions. Stella also represented Acker Merrall in 2013 at the Penfolds "Re-corking Clinic" event in Shanghai and Singapore where she provided auction and investment advice to Penfold's clients – an estate she is particularly fond of!
Outside of work, Stella loves travelling, particularly to wineries, and has been to France, Italy, Switzerland, Australia and Thailand to study the wine making method in each region. In 2009, before she joined the wine industry, she pursued her dream and took part in Working Holiday scheme and spent a year in Australia touring around. When It comes to wine, Burgundy is never far from her thoughts, however being able to try wines from all over the world is a hugely enjoyable part of the job.
Katrina holds a MPhil RICS accredited degree in University of Cambridge, as well as a BSc degree in London School of Economics (LSE). Prior joining Cult Wines in the summer of 2018, Katrina was a Global Macro Strategist in J.P. Morgan Asset Management in London where she had also attained her CFA level III. Katrina’s passion in wine stemmed from her time in UK, she seized every opportunity to travel to different wine regions in Europe to expand her wine knowledge, she is currently embarking on the journey of the WSET level 4 Diploma.
Outside of work, Katrina is especially fond of wakeboarding and snowboarding throughout her summers and winters. When it comes to wines, she finds her passion in visiting small wineries all over the world especially those with great qualities, passions and stories that can be felt in the glass. Katrina is also a strong believer in food and wine pairing, as she previously invested some time at Le Cordon Bleu London. Katrina’s love of wine lies mainly between Italian wines from Piedmont and Tuscany, as well as Vosne Romanee from Burgundy.
Sam joined the Cult Wines team in the Summer of 2013, having previously been working as a Portfolio Manager for a competitor. 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. With over five years under his belt as Senior Portfolio Manager in the London HQ, the offer to move to Singapore in 2018 to set up and manage the new office was hard to pass on. Taking pride in being the only chap in the office with little interest in Football; he instead focuses his attention on “proper sports” such as Rugby, Shooting, and Skiing; and takes general well-being and fitness seriously. When it comes to wine, Sam’s finds it hard to pass on a good Brunello but as he spends much of his spare time in London and Singapore’s top restaurants and wine bars, he’s equally happy taking guidance from Sommeliers on their recent discoveries.
Nicolas joined Cult Wines in October of 2019, having spent the previous six years at J.P. Morgan Private Bank, advising ultra-high net worth clients and family offices in Silicon Valley and Latin America. During his time at JPM, ‘Nico’ worked in both the New York and San Francisco offices, and it was during his time in the Bay Area where he truly fell in love with California wine country. While wine is a relatively recent passion, finance has been a long-time interest of Nico’s - he has his B.A. in Finance and International Relations, and an M.B.A from Duke University. In recent years, he’s deepened his expertise in portfolio management and impact investing; and studied blockchain technology and potential business applications.
Outside of work, Nico is lives for cycling, coffee and football - he proudly wore face paint and his Colombian jersey to the last two World Cup’s in Brazil and Russia, and is counting down to Qatar. When it comes to wine, Nico has had lifelong love affair with pinot noir but admits that sangioveses are rapidly gaining more and more space in his home cellar.
Kenny joined the Cult Wines team in November 2019, coming from Morgan Stanley as an Assistant Private Banker, catering to the UHNW segment in Private Wealth Management. Well-known to have one of the strongest research teams and highest AUM requirements in the private banking space, Kenny tapped on these resources to expand his investment knowledge. Having been part of the highest-grossing team in Morgan Stanley Singapore also helped increase his exposure to the UHNW client segment, particularly in the Indonesia region. His previous employers were UBS Private Wealth Management and OCBC Bank.
Kenny holds a Bachelor degree in Accounting and Finance from Leeds Business School in the UK. He is a passionate badminton player and would whip up Thai and Cantonese cuisines during his free time. He hopes that through Cult Wines, he can cultivate and deepen his recent passion in wine and discover the best wine pairings for various exotic Asian cuisine.
A Swiss national, Julie studied in the most prestigious hospitality business school, Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, where she discovered her passion for both Finance and relationship management. Having spent 5 years at a Swiss Private Bank managing UHNW clients, prior to joining a large Family Office and completing her Masters in Wealth Management, Julie brings her global expertise and experience to Cult Wines, expanding the company’s network of partnerships with financial institutions in South East Asia.
Growing up in a Swiss wine-loving family, her passion, ambition and curious personality lead her to Cult Wines Singapore, where she was able to combine her interests in finance, alternative investments and relationship management. Personally, Julie is a successful sportswoman, as a double European champion showjumper and a past member of the Elite Swiss National Team.
Julie counterbalances her epicurean side with her love of the outdoors – not surprisingly for a Swiss, ski touring, hiking and climbing are her favourites. In her spare time, Julie enjoys travelling and loves to discover the local wines wherever her travels may take her. That being said Burgundy remains her number one choice, and natural wines are taking more and more space in her heart.
Jacqueline joined Cult Wines in April 2018, having previously worked at a UK wine merchant for the past 4.5 years. Jacqueline has over 7 years’ experience in industry specialising in the Asia Trade market, is WSET Level 2 qualified and speaks fluent Cantonese. Outside of work she enjoys venturing to new restaurants trying out different cuisines.
Lena joined Cult Wines in early 2018 having previously completed several internships in the finance industry, including in a venture capital fund and the Investment Banking arm of China Securities, as well as passing her CFA level II qualifications. The experience in the investment industry combined with her passion for fine wine enables her to view this market with a fresh and unique perspective. In turn, this positions her unequivocally capable of identifying opportunities and risks in this complex market, using quantitative and scientific economic methods.
She graduated from the University of Toronto with bachelor degree specializing in finance and economics, and she has successfully passed the CFA level II exam. She is also pursuing the WSET level 3 designation. Outside of work, she loves exploring new gastronomical experience. On the wine front, Yijun has a passion for the wines of Germany, Bordeaux and especially Champagne.
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.
Andrea Marino joined the company in October 2019. Andrea has a financial background having previously worked In Fixed Income/FX Institutional Sales for different banks in Milan and Munich.
While enjoying being a white collar during the day, at night he was ready to wear a tastevin and pour wines around tables, a passion that lead him and his young family to move to Switzerland where, with a couple of partners, he founded and ran a Bistro a Vin that became the window shop of a more structured merchant wine business, selecting, importing and distributing wines from the Mediterranean areas in Central Switzerland.
Combining his financial markets expertise and tasting experience, Andrea is perfectly suited for his role as a Senior Wine Buyer Manager in Cult Wines, currently covering Burgundy, Rhone and Italy.
With a young family, much of his weekends are dedicated to London parks and city adventures. Fond of Fine Art and collectibles, when it comes to wine he always drinks something new to him, but Champagne is what he unconditionally loves.
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.
Helene is MSc qualified in Logistics and Supply Chain Management, she originally utilised these skills working for an independent wine importer/distributor in her native Estonia. After moving to London to further her career opportunities Helene joined Cult wines and is currently working as Logistics Manager for the organisation. Helene has a keen interest in wine and is qualified as a junior sommelier by the Estonian Sommelier Association. Côtes du Rhône reds are particular favourites of hers
Jody has worked with Cult Wines since 2008. Involved in design and marketing projects at first, he officially became part of the team as Digital Marketing Manager in 2015. In 2017 he became the Head of Marketing at Cult Wines, overseeing all offices in London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and New York. In 2020 Jody was named Director of Digital Innovation. While he maintains some marketing management capacity, his new focus is on the use of new technologies and their implementation into everyday company processes in order to improve Cult Wines’ customer-facing platforms and services. Outside of work, Jody enjoys listening to but also making music, as well as visits to comedy clubs or the theatre. Wine-wise, since joining Cult Wines, Jody has expanded his knowledge and appetite, building up quite the collection over recent years. His favourite is Bordeaux staple, Pontet Canet.
Kelly joined Cult Wines in June 2018 to manage the company’s online presence and marketing initiatives in Asia. After studying international relations in the London School of Economics and Peking University, Kelly worked in academia and politics for four years. Wanting to reach a broader audience, she then moved on to social media marketing and worked in an artificial intelligence startup that focused on giving global brands bespoke localised content strategies and audience insights. Outside of work Kelly likes traveling, hiking, drawing using her Wacom tablet and learning new things.
Clare joined Cult Wines in late 2018 after over three years of experience in the world of wine, working for Berry Bros. & Rudd in London. She holds a degree in European Politics & French from Aberystwyth University which included a year of study at the Institut d'études politiques in Strasbourg, France. She is also currently working on her WSET Level 3, having previously gained WSET Level 2.
Outside of work Clare is an avid theatregoer and ballet enthusiast, as well as a big fan of her local ice hockey team.
Marina joined the Cult Wines in 2018. she has 10 years of extensive experience in the travel industry in the UK and Italy. Marina speaks fluent English, Italian and conversational Japanese. outside of work, she is an enthusiastic swimmer and a capable archer.
Agnieszka joined Cult Wines in March 2019 and Is very excited to learn more about wine investment sector. Agnieszka previously worked in the construction industry in an accounts payable department. Agnieszka is planning to gain a solid knowledge in an accountancy by completing an ACCA diploma.
In her free time, Agnieszka enjoys travelling around the world, going to the movies or having a quiet time with one of the favourite Dan Brown’s novels and is a big fan of German Rieslings and Australian Chardonnays.
Maya joined Cult Wines in December 2019 after working for Jenny Packham for over three years. She graduated from University of Greenwich with first class honours in Business Management and has successfully completed AAT Diploma in Accounting. She now plans to work towards ACCA qualification.
Outside of work, she loves cooking for her family, hand-lettering and card making. She also enjoys hiking, travelling and would love to have a dog named Minion one day.