Date of Award


Document Type

MA Project - Restricted Access (SIA Only)

Project Type

MA Project - Business Plan

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Art Business

First Advisor

Betsy Thomas

Second Advisor

Judith Prowda


This Business Plan outlines detailed plans for auctioning a collection of rare and
valuable whiskies, including a small percentage of bottles with significant value. It details logistical considerations such as vendor selection, inventory review, packaging, insurance, and transportation, and engaging prestigious distillers to enhance the auction's appeal and potentially increase bidder participation. I have done a detailed market analysis of the various forces affecting the current luxury market. This marketing strategy is based upon my research of the history of the whisky market over the last ten years and my current discussions with the industry’s leading experts and auction house representatives. The luxury whisky market remains resilient despite global tensions and economic uncertainties. Price declines are influenced by factors like currency fluctuations, exchange rates, interest rates, and geopolitical instability, especially in Asia. Despite corrections, rare whiskies are still in strong demand. Auctions by firms like Bonhams and Sotheby's drive sales, with themed events and global outreach enhancing engagement. Personal connections are crucial for high-value transactions. Overall, the whisky market offers opportunities amidst changing conditions, reflecting the enduring appeal for fine whiskies. The consulting process for the sale of the dispersed whisky collection will involve engaging with industry experts globally. Key figures include Jonny Fowle of Sotheby's, Adam Bilbey of Christie's, and Amayès Aouli of Bonhams, all with extensive experience in luxury spirits auctions. Insights have also been gathered from Ian Millar, a seasoned master distiller, and Jonathan Driver, a luxury private sales expert. Eliza Cuddy and Jamie Ritchie bring additional perspectives from Sotheby’s Financial Services and BlockBar, respectively. After analyzing auction sales data from Sotheby’s, it's evident that New York and Hong Kong stand out as prime locations for potential auctions due to their high average sales values and diverse buyer demographics. Furthermore, Singapore as an additional location is under consideration. Sotheby’s has initiated a thorough price comparison analysis to assess the collection's value, leveraging historical sales data and current market trends. Responses from the expert panel provide valuable insights into market conditions, pricing strategies, and potential approaches for marketing the collection effectively. This comprehensive approach aims to optimize the sales process and achieve favorable outcomes for the collection.