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2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Elite Advisers' Nobles Crus wine fund suspended by CSSF – Luxembourg's financial authority

from Elite Advisers' website

The Belgian daily – – is reporting that Elite Advisers' Nobles Crus wine fund has been 'temporaily suspended' by the Luxembourg CSSF (Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier) because of liquidity problems.   
'Nobles Crus en panne de cash
I. de L. 
Mis en ligne le 06/06/2013

Le fonds spécialisé en grands crus fait face à une situation délicate.'
‘Il en résulte que la CSSF (Autorité de Surveillance du secteur Financier au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg) a suspendu, à titre temporaire, les rachats et les souscriptions dans ce fonds. "Il s’agit d’une mesure de sauvegarde que prend la CSSF. L’impact de cette mesure sur les investisseurs privés est qu’ils doivent, dans ces circonstances, attendre la liquidation pour sortir du fonds ou du moins attendre la prochaine étape", relève-t-on à la FSMA (autorité de contrôle belge).’

Lalibre reports that because of a recent directive by l'ESMA a number of large institutional investors in the Nobles Crus wine fund are needing to exit the fund before the end of this year. Nobles Crus currently does not have sufficient cash to meet these redemption demands and is apprently trying to sell some of the wines in the fund to raise the necessary capital.

Read the rest here.   

Update: 12.00 
The CSSF decided to suspend the Nobles Crus wine fund on 27th May 2013 because it coud not meet the requested redemptions. On 31st May Miriam Wilson and Michel Tamisier, general partners in Elite Advisers/Elite Partners, informed their investors of the suspension. It may be significant that it would appear that it was the CSSF who stepped in rather than at the request of Elite Advisers/Elite Partners.   

Wilson and Tamisier report that in February 2013 they managed to sell 8,782,000€ of stock at ‘valuation price of Nobles Crus portfolio’. It will be interesting to see if the valuation of the stock they now need to sell will continue to be at their 'valuation price'. 

Unlike other wine funds Nobles Crus has significant holdings of old wines, mainly from Bordeaux and Burgundy. It will be interesting to see if their various provenances are sufficiently robust to stand up to the scrutiny now expected in the current climate.

Le Vif/L'Express is also reporting on the Nobles Crus suspension here.They report that the fund's valuation for the month of April has yet to be published. Normally this is available some three weeks after the end of the month. Furthermore the assets under the fund's managment have declined by 23% between October 2012 and March 2013. 

Back in January 2010 the Vinum Fine Wine Fund was suspended by the Guernsey financial authorities. It was unable to resolve its valuation problems and closed in April 2010.

In their letter to investors Wilson and Tamisier claim to have demonstrated 'exceptional responsiveness to criticism'. I assume this refers to the hiring last year of the services Mischon de Reya, the very distinguished and, I assume, expensive firm of lawyers to assist Elite Partners/Elite Advisers in its dealing with the press and their critics. See here: Elite Advisers: 'general concerns as to the nature and tone of your articles'. In the light of their current liquidity problems Nobles Crus investors may wish to reflect whether this was money well spent...  

8.6.2013: Now a detailed article here from the FT, another of the recipients of missives from Mischon de Reya.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

VINDEMIA TC - so many over priced values on Wine-Searcher - are they also over valuing to allow for higher AMCs and performance fees?