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Conviviality reshapes leadership team

Conviviality Plc, the UK's leading independent wholesaler and distributor of alcohol and impulse, serving consumers through its franchised retail outlets and through hospitality and food service, has today announced organisational changes and a Directorate change, following the completion of the key elements of the integration of recent acquisitions.

Conviviality is reshaping the leadership team to deliver against its core business competencies of: franchising and wholesaling and the buying, selling and distribution of alcohol to customers meeting the needs of consumers wishing to either purchase drinks for consumption in the home or out of the home.

The organisational structure in place and effective from today is as follows:
Group Buying & Insights
The firm has brought together all of its drinks buying teams under the leadership of Steve Jebson who joined the business in November 2015 and has successfully delivered the buying synergies from the Matthew Clark and Bibendum integration. Jebsons' new role is Buying and Insights Director.

The benefit of this change is to ensure that the group truly leverages the scale of Conviviality with its suppliers, as well as giving all of its supplier partners a clear route to maximise their business across the entire group, linking insight, buying, category and activation.

Commercial
The firm has brought together all of the selling and marketing functions within Conviviality Direct and Conviviality Trading under James Lousada, who joined the business in June 2016. Lousada has successfully integrated both the agency businesses and festival businesses that existed within Matthew Clark, Bibendum and Peppermint Events.

Lousada, in his new role as Commercial Director, will now also lead the Bibendum and Matthew Clark sales and marketing teams who support all customer relationships in the on-trade. The benefit of this change is that the group can simplify the processes involved in supporting its customers, ensuring they receive the best support possible to meet their needs. The group will also drive greater efficiencies through more effective pipeline and retention management.

Customer & Operations
Mark Riley joined Bibendum in 2012 and joined the Group when we acquired Bibendum PLB in May 2016 where he was Managing Director of Bibendum, during which time he successfully supported the integration of Bibendum into Conviviality. Riley, in his new role of Operations Director will ensure the delivery of the most efficient supply chain with an outstanding service to customers. Riley's responsibilities cover the Bristol customer contact centre, Bristol supply chain teams and the entire Conviviality logistics operation including the relationship with Trade Team, our third party provider.

With the group's integration nearing completion and specifically the implementation of JDE into Bibendum, the firm is now able to move closer to creating a single approach to its supply chain. This substantially changes the role Nigel Basey, the logistics and distribution director has been undertaking and after a period of handover, Basey will be leaving the business to pursue other opportunities at the end of the financial year.

Conviviality Retail
This is currently headed by David Robinson who specialises in drinks led convenience retailing and focuses on the wholesaling and franchising of alcohol and convenience foods, predominantly through the fascia of Bargain Booze, Select Convenience and Wine Rack. Robinson's organisational structure remains unchanged, with the exception of the drink's buying capability which will now be handled by Steve Jebson's new team.

Directorate change
Mark Aylwin has fulfilled his objective of integrating Matthew Clark and Bibendum into Conviviality Direct, enabling us to bring all of our sales and marketing channels together under Commercial and Marketing. As such, Alwin will step down from the Board and role as MD of Conviviality Direct on 31 January 2018.

CEO Diana Hunter (pictured) said, 'I am delighted to announce this revised operational change to Conviviality which does not only mirror our operating model but also enable us to lower the centre of gravity of the organisation, bringing decision making closer to the customer. As the market continues to be full of opportunities and challenges, we now have the best platform from which to gain benefit.

'We are very grateful for Mark Aylwin's contribution to the business over the past two years, delivering strong growth during a period of major change and successfully integrating Matthew Clark and Bibendum into Conviviality Direct. He leaves with the Board's sincere thanks and best wishes.'