The Conversion Fund, a global portfolio of 28 companies within the luxury, lifestyle and creative space, is delighted to announce the appointment of Christelle Guibert as Wine Director. She will join the company at the end of June.
The Conversion Fund is a private investment vehicle with presence across the Americas, Asia and Europe; its portfolio includes the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC), and Fine+Rare, the online trading platform.
Guibert has worked in the wine trade all her professional life. Brought up in the Loire Valley, she gained experience in the region’s vineyards and wineries before moving to London 20 years ago. Following time in the wine department at Harrods, she joined Decanter in 2001 and, except for a short period with the Waitrose wine buying team, she has been running the Decanter tastings department as Tastings Director ever since, overseeing both the Decanter World Wine Awards and the Asia Wine Awards. In addition to her day job, she tends one hectare of Melon de Bourgogne in Muscadet where, with winemaker Vincent Caillé, she produces 2000 bottles a year of Terre de Gneiss.
At The Conversion Fund, Guibert’s role will encompass working across the fund’s portfolio to define strategic acquisition targets in the premium wine space as well as developing wine opportunities and activities in the group’s food, drink and lifestyle companies. She will also play a major role in increasing the IWSC’s global position as a premier wine competition, as it celebrates its 50th year; in this she will work closely with Adam Lechmere, General Manager Marketing, Sales and Editorial, and Head of Operations Bev Steer.
Guibert said, “The Conversion Fund has such a diverse and dynamic portfolio and I’m thrilled to be joining the group. I’m looking forward to bringing my experience to the IWSC and developing the wine offerings across the businesses. I also can’t wait to get stuck into their exciting new wine projects… and work with my favourite wine editor!”
Allen Gibbons, CEO of The Conversion Fund said, “With her experience and expertise, Christelle is the perfect person to take up this exciting new role. Developing our business opportunities in wine, and especially fine wine, is a key strategic objective of the business.”
Adam Lechmere said, “I’m absolutely delighted to welcome Christelle to the company at an incredibly exciting time for the IWSC and the group. The IWSC celebrates its 50th anniversary next year and we have some great new projects on the launch pad – not least the Club Oenologique, our consumer club. Christelle and I were colleagues at Decanter for more than a decade, and I look forward very much to working with her again.”
ABOUT THE CONVERSION FUND
The Conversion Fund is a private investment vehicle that partners with entrepreneurs and management teams, offering growth capital, strategic direction and planning, sponsorship and operational support and access to a network of like-minded people. It invests in businesses within the creative and lifestyle sectors, where consolidation leads to competitive advantage, seeking out opportunities where potential is untapped due to limited capital or limited resources. The Conversion Fund seeks out investment opportunities with characteristics including enterprise value of $1m- $25m, control or growth capital investment, unique and defensible positions, potential to change a market, and opportunities for geographic expansion.
The Conversion Fund owns and collaborates with a number of market-leading businesses across key sectors, including:
- Food: Cochon555, Heritage Fire, Agency21, The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, the Sugar Land (Texas) Food and Wine Affair, Laylow, Ibiza Food Studio.
- Beverage: IWSC (The International Wine & Spirit Competition), Fine+Rare, the Hong Kong IWSC (HKIWSC), Spirits of Mexico, Whiskies of the World, Whisky Extravaganza, Whisky Lounge, Spirits Lounge, Wine Riot, New York Craft Beer.
- Performance & the Arts: Moniker Art Fair, the Art Conference, Art Market Productions, Sueños de Libertad.
- Creative & Media: LeBook, Columbus Travel Media, BE.AT-TV, The Queen’s Award for Enterprise Magazine, Optical Connections
- Exhibitions & Networking: Connections, ECOC.