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Up for the challenge

Published:  23 July, 2008

Berry Bros & Rudd's new non-executive director Philip Bowman is not afraid of change in the drinks industry - he embraces it, as Ron Emler discovers

On the broader stage, he says Pernod Ricard has done a good job in integrating Allied Domecq and its brands. If you asked Diageo after a bottle of good wine (which they won't buy), they'd probably admit that the enlarged Pernod Ricard has made life more challenging,' he says. And he expects the emergence of a strong number three player in the global wines and spirits market.

We are likely to see one further consolidation,' he says. It is becoming more difficult because of anti-trust laws,

but it is just a matter of time. It will probably be based on the US because of the importance of distribution there.

For instance, is Maxxium sustainable

in its present form?' he asks [quite prophetically as it turns out, ahead of Rmy Cointreau's decision last week to withdraw from the Maxxium sales and distribution consortium that brings together it, the Famous Grouse, Jim Beam and Absolut]. The partners could move closer together, but would the Edrington trusts want to do that? But you could base it [a new global company] on Fortune Brands and co-ordinate the management.'

Man management is one of Bowman's fortes. I like a challenge,' he says. It's all about getting the right people and motivating them.' Exactly the role he has been asked to play by one of the most illustrious names in wines and spirits.