Getting To Know You: Scott Sciberras, co-founder, Whiskey & Wealth Club
Scott Sciberras, An investment and business aficionado with over 17 years’ experience working in Telecommunications, Event Management and Wholesale Beverage & Financial Services sectors tells us why he co-founded wholesale cask investment company Whiskey & Wealth Club
What do you currently do?
I am currently the CEO and co-founder of the world’s leading cask whiskey wholesale investment company Whiskey & Wealth Club. We bring together private investors and distilleries to allow clients access to premium whisk(e)y at ultra-wholesale prices.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
I co-founded Whiskey & Wealth Club in 2018 with Jay Bradley and William Fielding. We noticed a gap in the market for private individuals wishing to access the rarefied world of wholesale premium cask whiskey ownership. So, we decided to bring together our backgrounds in business, investing and trading to bridge the gap between distilleries and investors. Globally, whisk(e)y is a booming. The Irish market alone is set to increase by 300% by 2030. Demand for mature stock currently far outweighs supply. This is set to continue for the next 20 to 30 years and the global whisk(e)y market as a whole, is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.51%.
Aditionally, New Make Spirit in Ireland and Scotland can only be legally called whisk(e)y once it has undergone maturation in wooden casks for a minimum of three years in those respective countries. With many world-renowned whiskies/eys being matured for upwards of 10 years, meaning distilleries have a lot of overhead and running costs before they start generating any revenue. That’s where we come in.
Whiskey & Wealth Club buys a large percentage of a distillery’s new-make production which provides them with a seven-figure income per year and essentially “keeps their lights on”. We then act as a bridge between distilleries and investors who are looking for a much safer asset-backed investment, with much greater returns. Our buying power means we can offer casks to investors at ultra-wholesale rates. Investors can later sell back to distilleries or brands seeking the highly in-demand mature stock, or to independent bottlers. Collectors or alternative investors also provide an attractive exit opportunity to our clients, as they will pay a premium to bunny-hop time and years of maturation.
What defines your way of doing business?
Our success at Whiskey & Wealth Club is built on our top tier team of colleagues. Motivation is always important, and we drive and encourage employees with a transparent career progression system that is 100 per cent determined by their performance. So, once they’ve hit the metrics needed to be promoted, they come to us and they get it. The final stage of the promotion structure is to become a business partner. We want our staff to progress to that level and have the same experiences as we have, driving, growing and owning a business.
Additionally, I always make myself available to the team should they need anything. I’ve learned that leaders need to be approachable so that everyone feels part of the family. Hence why I have my desk on the main office floor instead of having a personal office space.
What do you admire?
I have always been inspired by other business leaders and innovators and I enjoy learning from their successes. There is always a chance of failure but the persistence in believing in an idea and pushing to make it work is admirable.
Looking back is there anything you would have done differently?
As many entrepreneurs will tell you, the road to creating a successful business comes with a lot of challenges and tough lessons. In the early days, we struggled to meet demand and experienced supply issues as we worked to bring on more distillery partners. But each setback became an opportunity to learn and become stronger as a group. Enabling us to open up bigger and better doors.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Do your due diligence and research. My investment journey started when I was just 10 years old. Every Monday, my dad would ask me to pick ten shares in the newspaper. Come Friday, my pocket money for the following week would then go up or down depending on how well the shares did. It taught me about the importance of research and making educated, well researched investment decisions. Although I didn’t always increase my pocket money, it got me itching to get into the world of business and investing at a very young age.