Success Story: Hugo LUCAS, Wine Broker at Bureau Lévêque & Associés, Alumni (Class of 2015)

 

MBA graduate in International Hotel Management (specialization International Wine & Spirits Management) Hugo Lucas works as a wine broker at Levêque et Associés, a company founded in 1998.

Can you share with us your professional background?

I was always a wine lover and particularly a Bordeaux Grand Cru enthusiast. I left my hometown Britany in 2012 to follow the International Hotel Management MBA at Vatel Bordeaux. I chose the Wine & Spirits major in the last year. This area of expertise made me realize I chose the right career path, especially when studying under the guidance of Vatel Bordeaux teachers. I managed to carry out my end-of-year internship in wine valuation at Crus et Domaines de France where I worked with wine merchants and wine brokers. At the end of my internship, I started looking for a job as a wine broker.

Different factors made me want to become a wine broker:

  • the people I encountered during my internship,
  • the proximity we had with the Châteaux,
  • the diverse tasks a wine broker get to handle.

What is your job?

The wine broker is the middle man between the Château that produces wine and the negociant who purchases it and distributes it in France or abroad. We provide advice to both parties:

  • For the domains: establishing price estimates, setting appropriate timings for market releases, giving advice regarding finding efficient merchants.
  • For the buyers: determining the right timings for purchasing and the transaction prices of their counterparts, but also negotiating with them the costs, the payment timelines and the free offerings.
    Once both parties are satisfied, we send to both a cash offer as an agreement, to seal the deal.

The broker is commissioned 2% on the amount of each transaction, paid by the buyer.

According to you, what are the skills required to succeed in a wine broker’s career?

I think the most essential skills are having interpersonal skills, being a wine lover, and having a good memory.

  • Having interpersonal skills because we need to gain our clients’ confidence in order to keep their business running successfully.
  • Being a wine lover because passion for wine is important as it is very hard to sell a product, taste it and have an in-depth conversation about it if we’re not passionate.
  • Having a good memory because negotiating a transaction cost of a vintage wine from the eighties is not the easiest!

 

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