Passionate people with exemplary backgrounds in their relevant fields.
Founding Investor & Strategic Consultant
Alexander Johnson is an international investor, businessman and visiting lecturer at the University of Oxford. Alexander currently serves as CEO and Chairman of Annandale Group, an investment company with interests in finance, real estate, media and food and beverages.
Born in the UK, Alexander grew up in both London, England and Kitzbühel, Austria. After an education that spanned England and Switzerland, he completed his undergraduate studies at business school and began his career in corporate finance. Serving as a board director of waste-to-energy company Worldwide Natural Resources PLC, Alexander was the youngest CEO of a company listed on the London Stock Exchange. It represented the first step into one of Alexander’s passions: progressive world-changing technologies.
Alexander has served as an IPO, acquisitions and Venture Capital consultant. Working with private companies and those listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and many US markets has given him in-depth knowledge of early to mid-stage project development.
For several years, Alexander has been a visiting lecturer on Leadership and Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford. The course offers a new angle on leadership using proprietary new training techniques. This unique perspective also forms the central pillar of Alexander’s regular work as a keynote speaker at conferences across the world. Additionally, Alexander also teaches a business growth strategies programme at the University of Oxford for MBA students as part of an international business initiative.
Alexander is a supporter of several humanitarian causes. He has worked with the Royal Marines Charity to help with re-socialisation programmes for Marines looking to find new careers after seeing combat. He is also a Patron of the Serpentine Galleries.
Head of Operations
Ross Archer is Head of Operations for the Annandale Group and its subsidiary Invest Clear. As part of the Annandale Group of companies, Mr Archer has additionally fully commercialised Viderium Limited, as CEO and Founder, into a multinational data centre management and media agency with data facilities in Latvia, Holland, The UK and Iceland. As a media agency, Viderium has clients in the UK, Austria and Spain.
Mr Archer has expertise in blockchain solutions having completed specialist studies at the London School of Economics. This expertise has been instrumental in the development of data solutions at Viderium. As part of his passion for environmental causes, Mr Archer established a sustainability management company called Proudly Carbon Neutral.
David started his career in wine and spirits at Harvey’s of Bristol in 1993. Courvoisier Cognac was a stablemate brand, but it was siblings Chateau Latour and Cockburn's Port that were tasted and discussed in detail, back to the early 20th Century. His first pre-bottling samples were the components of Cockburn’s 1991 Vintage Port, down in Denmark Street.
He learned to taste spirits in the 1990s with Charles Braasted-Delamain of Cognac, Jim McEwen (then of Bowmore) and Jamie Walker of Adelphi. Richard Paterson of Whyte & Mackay taught his WSET Diploma module.
However, his principal teachers were Claudio and son Carlo Gobetti of the Veneto, Europe’s most celebrated white spirits distillery. A place David first visited in 1998 and returns to almost every year.
In 1998-1999 he tasted cask samples with Jamie Walker, founder of Adelphi, one of the finest independent single cask bottlers in the business. Adelphi wanted a wine taster’s version of descriptors, to accompany notes by Jamie and Charles MacLean (author, and head nose of the SMWS.) From late 1998 until the present he has tasted samples of most casks released by The Bottlers, another leading independent single cask bottler. He also had the privilege of tasting with John Lamond (Blackadder), and Andrew Symington (The Signatory).
From 2002-2004 he judged at the IWC (International Wine Challenge,) in both spirits and wine categories.
He is familiar with the output of distilleries such as:
He has witnessed the launch of several new extraordinary spirits categories. One was Cadenhead’s bottling of Springbank SSS, pure new-make straight off the still, not yet legally whisky. Another was a range of Eaux de vie made from single origin honey, which almost immediately disappeared due to inflation of honey prices, and the overly watering down of the spirit. Latterly, the launch of hyper-peated Islay Malts, such as Octomore.
Consequently, David can tell you who consistently makes the most exceptional spirits in the world, plus, the one category which does not currently have a master.
By day, David is a wine importer, heading up the London office of Edinburgh-London firm Raeburn Fine Wines, with 25 years of working with elite wineries. He is used to their methodology, and more importantly, their mindset, which when combined with excellent raw materials, lies behind every great beverage where it ultimately counts, in the glass.
Stuart is a successful business leader who has recently taken a new start distillery business to profit in 3 years and successfully sold it on behalf of the shareholders within five years.
He has worked in the Scotch whisky industry for over 30 years working for the likes of Diageo, Erdington and Bells. Starting as a project engineer in Speyside before managing several high profile distilleries and moving on to Distilleries Director for Girvan one of the largest Scotch producers. He then started his consultancy where he negotiated the purchase of Glenglassaugh Distillery in Scotland on behalf of a group of overseas investors and then managed the refurbishment of the distillery before restarting production after a 22-year gap.
Stuart created and built the Glenglassaugh brand, winning several international awards for the quality of the whisky, while creating a distribution network stretching to over 25 markets across five continents.
Following the sale of Glenglassaugh Distillery Company, Stuart is once again devoting all his efforts to The Malt Whisky Company, assisting entrepreneurs who are entering the industry or those seeking technical or commercial advice.
A graduate of both Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh (BSc Chemical Engineering) and Strathclyde University, Glasgow (MBA) he brings a refreshing blend of theory, practicality and innovation to all of his roles.
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