Announcing the launch of MFWA (Madison Fine Wine Auction) today, Chairman of Madison Wine Raymond Ting said it will be the first fine wine auction house established by a local Hong Kong company providing buyers with low commission at 16.5%.
Online auctions are scheduled to be held four times a year. The inaugural auction will be held on 15 December 2018 at the French Window restaurant in Hong Kong, though investors can bid online from around the globe.
Madison wine is one of Hong Kong's biggest fine wine merchants, distributing famous brands like Vega Sicilia, Amuse Bouche and Bass Phillip. The company also has close partnerships with high-end hotels, Michelin-stared restaurants and premium members clubs.
Madison Wine has appointed industry veteran Gabriel Suk as MFWA CEO. The 38-year-old Suk has been working in the Asian wine industry since 2004. He knows that he is up against global auction houses like Sotheby’s, Christie's and Zachys in his new role.
“There will be competition, but we believe we can use technology to allow us to offer a better and cheaper service to our customers. We will offer lower commissions to compete,” Suk said.
MFWA will focus on bringing clients access to world-class collections of Domaine de la Romanée Conti, Domaine Leroy, Château Lafite as well as other Grand Cru Burgundies, First Growth Bordeaux and collectible rare wines from around the world.
They will provide a low buyer’s commission of 16.5%, 0% seller’s commission that guarantees sellers 100% sell through rate. Comparatively, most other auction houses charge a typical 23.5% buyer's commission, most do not charge sellers, however some do charge about 10% seller's fee.
Madison’s Chairman Ting said: “As a long-time wine collector as well as owner of one of Hong Kong’s largest fine wine merchants, I have long dreamed of opening a wine auction house offering collectors access to world-class fine and rare wines along with excellent customer service that includes full transparency, lower costs and equal treatment of all clients,”
“With industry-wide buyer’s premiums verging near 25% and a generally opaque consignment deal structure, I feel strongly that collectors like myself would be drawn to a simple industry low buyer’s premium and 0% commission for sellers.”
(the writer can be contacted at: SLawMathews@thewinechronicle.com)