The chief operating officer at Coterie Holdings has also taken on the role of managing director at the company’s Lay & Wheeler division.

James Kowszun has been named MD of the fine wine merchant, and the company confirmed he would also remain Coterie COO.

Kowszun will be responsible for overseeing and driving forward the implementation of the company’s strategy. He previously worked alongside Coterie CEO Michael Saunders at Bibendum.  

In addition to Kowszun’s new role, the company announced a number of senior appointments as it bolsters its management and buying team.

Lay & Wheeler announced the appointment of Alice Cave as sales director, alongside Catherine Jaën MW as buying director. It has also bolstered its buying team with the appointment of Robert Mathias MW as senior wine buyer.

Cave joined Lay & Wheeler in September 2020 after six years at Berry Bros & Rudd. In May 2022 she was promoted to head of private client sales, focusing on the company’s high-net-worth clients. In her new role as sales director she will be responsible for driving sales globally, the company said.

Jaën, who has been a wine buyer at Lay & Wheeler since January 2020, will be responsible for an expanded geographic portfolio, including Spain & Portugal, North & South America, Australia & New Zealand, and spirits.  

Mathias joins from Bordeaux Index and was previously fine wine buyer at Bibendum. He became the world’s youngest MW in February 2024.

In addition, the company has promoted Jemma Grant to wine buyer.

The buying team will be overseen by Andrew Shaw, who came from Marks & Spencer to become wine director at Coterie Holdings, having also previously worked with Saunders at Bibendum.

Saunders said of the changes: “I’m delighted to welcome the new appointments to our management team. Their knowledge and expertise in premium fine wines will reinforce Lay & Wheeler’s leading credentials in delivering exceptional experiences to our customers around the globe.”