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Monday, 29 April 2013

Sanderson Forbes Ltd – another vanished wine investment company?

A google search on Sanderson Forbes Fine Wines leads to the domain for sale 

Wine investment company Sanderson Forbes Ltd looks to have disappeared. It is not known whether the company bought the wines that clients ordered or, if they did, where they were stored.

Sanderson Forbes was set up on 27.4.2010 and filed accounts as a dormant company to 28.2.2011. The next set of accounts is overdue and should have been filed on 30.11.2012.  The company's registered office is Kemp House, 152-160 City Road, London EC1V 2NX, which is a virtual office. Its trading address is Sanderson Forbes House, East Lodge Lane, East Lodge Village, London EN2 8AS.  

However, the company's domain name is now up for sale and the phone number is no longer recognised. The last tweets from the company posted on 13th February 2013 announced that they were 'experiencing some issues with our telecommunications and website'. 

Currently the sole director is 23 year-old David Linus Hornsey-Pennell who was born on 28.7.1989. He was appointed as a director on 28th June 2012. His linked-in CV describes him as Head of Operations for Sanderson Forbes with previous experience as a broker for six months at Boltons Investments Ltd. 

David Linus Hornsey-Pennell's entry on Linked-in   

Hornsey-Pennell describes himself as an entrepreneur and is a director of a number of other companies: Integral Alternative Medicines Ltd, Beryll Farthing Ltd, Street Limo Ltd, Shp Carbon Trading Ltd, Hpst Ltd, Kunst Haus Ltd. Shp Carbon Trading Ltd, Hpst Ltd and Kunst Haus Ltd have all be founded this year. David Linus Hornsey-Pennell has addresses at Gunterstone Road, London W14 and Streathbourne Road, SW17.

I would be very grateful if David Linus Hornsey-Pennell would get in touch to give an update on the company and hopefully provide some reassurance for investors who have bought wine through Sanderson Forbes Ltd.   

Last tweets from Sanderson Forbes (13th February 2013) – 'We are experiencing some issues with our telecommunications and website. We are working to solve these issues.'

Update: 30th April 2013
Statement from Linus Hornsey-Pennell, sole director of Sanderson Forbes Ltd:
'thank you for preparing the floor. Yes Sanderson Forbes is being prepared for liquidation but over the term of operation the company was successful and clients are not at risk of losing any allocations that were purchased. All clients of Sanderson Forbes have been aware of the situation and can contact myself at any time on 0203 195 3858 should there be any concerns.

Clients will be aware that we store with EHD London who are a trustworthy company and above all operate with clients interests at heart. The strategy is such that all clients have an account within their own name further mitigating any risk of fraud or collapse. My role since taking over as director has been to assure clients that they may continue operating within the market as a client of mine or optionally seek representation elsewhere with an experienced company, either way the client has been given full control at every stage of my directorship and a clearer understanding of the parameters of, what can be a great investment market.

The address and number of the facility is:

EHD London No.1 Bond Limited
Unit A, Vickers Drive North off Avro Way
Brooklands Industrial Park
KT13 0YU

Telephone: 01932 334300


Linus Hornsey-Pennell'

I welcome the statement from Linus Hornsey-Pennell and trust that everything is in order as stated. It would be useful to know when he expects the company to enter liquidation.  

Monday, 15 April 2013 – a useful resource eg giving insight into Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd etc.

Compare and contrast: article in the BFW's Bordeaux Magazine (above) 

The original on Chris Kissack's winedoctor is a useful resource providing information on companies through filed documents with Companies House, which it complements.

Take, for instance, the information from duedil on Bromley based Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd:

'Bordeaux Fine Wines Limited was incorporated on 18 Sep 2008 and is located in Kent. The company's status is '', with one director. Kenneth Gundlach is Bordeaux Fine Wines Limited's sole shareholder. They have no known group companies. Bordeaux Fine Wines Limited have total assets of £0* plus total liabilities of £2,024,913. Last year, they paid £-1,700,208 in tax and had £238,563 in cash reserves. According to their last financial report, the business made a gross profit of £7,108,125. Bordeaux Fine Wines Limited paid £5,500 in salaries and £4,255,875 in dividends last year. Their book value is £389,258, and the value of their shareholders' fund is £389,258.'

The sole director is Kenneth Gundlach, who as the sole shareholder, is presumably the grateful recipient of the £4.25 million paid in dividends. I trust that this largesse is not at the expense of Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd' investors and that they get an equally good deal.

A recent message suggests that investors with Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd get a rather less good deal than does Mr Gundlach:

'After some aggressive cold calling my father has invested with Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd.' 

This client was persuaded to spend around £50,000 on wine that can now be bought for £14615 – (source wine-searcher).Helps, I think, to explain the company's gross profit of over £7 million. 

Kenneth Gundlach and Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd has also been highlighted recently here on  

* The company's assets have now been amended on to £2,414,171.  


Testing out I looked at the the book value ('Also known as net asset value, book value can give a rough indication of a company's net worth' of the four founding members – Albany Portfolio Management, Culver Street Trading, Provenance Fine Wines and Vin-X  – of the WIA (Wine Investment Association) and compared this with the value of three leading fine wine companies – Farr Vintners, Bordeaux Index and Wilkinson Vintners. 

The combined value of the four WIA companies is - £1,260,222. This negative value is caused by a substantial minus value for Culver Street Trading. The other three have a combined net value of £281,363. In comparison the three leading fine wine companies have a combined value of £35,936,288.       

Friday, 5 April 2013

What would make a phone call about wine investment to a non-client acceptable?

Following a meeting before Easter with some members of the WIA and two members of the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, here is in draft form (comments and suggestions are greatly welcomed) the conditions that I think would make a call to a non-client call acceptable.

A cold call is one to a stranger who does not anticipate a call and has not expressed an interest in wine investment. Such calls are not acceptable for the purposes of investment and are a high-pressure sales technique.

Calls can be made to non-clients who have expressed an interest in wine investment and who are aware that having expressed such an interest they can reasonably expect a follow up call. Increasingly this interest is likely to be expressed through a website. Companies should keep records of these leads to show that they were properly established leads and be able to produce them if challenged. If adopted by the WIA, these records should form part of the annual monitoring process.   

Obviously there have to be the necessary safeguards in place to ensure that potential client is not subject to inappropriate and high-pressure sales. At the start of the call the potential client must be given the opportunity to end the call. If calls are monitored then those called must be made aware that the calls are monitored. The threshold of high-pressure sales should be lower for the elderly and vulnerable.  

When a client places an order over the phone they must be made aware of their right to cancel as in line with the Distance Selling Regulations’ legislation.

This draft of acceptable conditions will have to take cognisance of any proposals and changes that are made by the new The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which has now taken over from the Financial Services Authority.  


Hugo Rose MW, chairman of the WIA, has called on the fine wine trade to support self-regulation and the WIA here in Harpers. A prerequisite of getting such support should be ruling out cold calls – ie those to strangers who have no reason to expect a call about wine wine investment.