Robinson Hambro
Robinson Hambro: Board Search and Chairman Advisory

Karina's Column

An insider’s view on the City of London and beyond

Posts tagged brexit
Vintage heaven; vintage hell

The transformation of Fine Wines

As you raise a glass of Chêne Bleu Rosé on a sizzling hot summer’s day, spare a thought for the wine industry, which is facing a perfect storm.

Global warming, increasing regulatory pressures, and disinvestment, are set to dent if not destroy what had seemed a simple story of emerging markets growth and increasing quality which would lead global wine consumption to reach $207bn in 2022.  

But the overall global wine and spirits market has slipped by -1.4% in the last five years, according to industry body IWSR, and disruption of the status quo is set to accelerate.  In the US, 54 per cent of the population chose to abstain from alcohol, driven largely by 21-34 year olds, according to a 2018 Nielsen Survey.

Parallels with the tobacco industry are not an exaggeration. Imagine a photograph of a liver riven by cirrhosis on a plainly packaged bottle of wine, along with a warning that alcohol can abet breast cancer. Inside, the magnum of Château Kirwan lies, un-drunk and unloved.

Read More
How can the City recover its political capital?

The good news? The financial sector is no longer enemy number one. Its place has been taken by our fumbling politicians. The bad news? The City has not regained its political capital.

Post the financial crisis the City, meaning financial and professional services in the UK, lost the trust of the nation. A perfectly understandable and justifiable result, but one that must change because of the harm that is being done to our economy when the City has no advocates beyond its own members.

As the country grapples with Brexit, assembly lines of MPs appear on television defending the UK’s manufacturing base. Not one talks about the need to defend the City, despite it being responsible for over 13.5% of tax revenues – that’s a lot of hospitals, infrastructure and schools. It is also responsible for around 2.3m jobs – jobs that aren’t just in the Square Mile, or London and the South East, but also in Liverpool, Glasgow and Bournemouth.

Read More
A Lament for Britain

Broken-hearted, I write this column a couple of weeks after Brexit. We seem to have decided to imprison 16 million bright, mostly young people into an old people’s home led by a myopic political class that is too intent on back-stabbing to notice the flames engulfing the nation.

Read More