The Interview Series #8
Alex Camatta chats with CFO Grant Lovelock, who joined the team at Shaw + Smith in 2009, and is one of our longest standing employees. He is a Chartered Accountant and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors with over 25 years of experience in the wine industry.
Grant, can you tell us a little about your career and how you become involved in the wine industry?
My initial involvement in the wine industry was at the retail level, working at Baily & Baily, whilst at University. To show you how small Adelaide is, I worked with David LeMire at the same store. Following the completion of my degree, I was employed as an auditor at Ernst & Young and then Beston Pacific Corporation. These two roles allowed me to gain valuable experience working with Tarac Industries, Suntory, Wolf Blass Wines and Andrew Garrett Wines. Prior to my employment at Shaw + Smith, I worked for 12 years at Pernod Ricard (“Orlando Wines”) in a number of finance and commercial roles, both in the Adelaide Head Office and in the Barossa Valley. My first role at Pernod Ricard in the late 1990’s was a financial accounting position at their recently acquired ready to drink business - Two Dogs, based out of the Astor Hotel.
This year you will celebrate 13 years with the company. What is the biggest change you’ve seen during your tenure at Shaw + Smith?
Many things have changed, however the ongoing focus on our customer experiences and direct to consumer businesses, brand growth, increased capital investment in our vineyards, winery and cloud based operating IT systems, staff development and effective practices and protocols to minimise the impact on the environment, across all areas of the business.
And the most exciting development to come?
The continued focus on quality and the development of the Piccadilly Vineyard with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
When you’re not creating excel spreadsheets, how do you spend your time?
Lazy weekends at Middleton, spending fun times with my wife Sally, two adult children and friends, watching AFL, cricket and the share market. I am trying to understand the cryptocurrency market and have recently acquired an interest in charcoal cooking – a member of the Cyprus Grill Club! I play the occasional game of golf with my mates, that provides plenty of laughs and I am always on the lookout for cricket memorabilia from the 1920’s and 1930’s, when my wife’s grandfather played for Australia and South Australia.
Lastly, you are known in the office for your love of Pinot Noir. Is there a particular vintage which stands out for you?
The 2018 Shaw + Smith Lenswood Pinot Noir is a favourite which pairs best with Duck, that I haven’t had to cook myself!