'It's an exciting challenge with a broad remit'

Huw Pennell is relishing his new role as managing director of Maxxium UK, the wines and spirits distributor.

Pennell, who has been MD since January after acting as interim MD from last August, says that the role is an exciting challenge with a broad remit.

"I'm involved in areas such as marketing, sales and logistics. It really is a much broader role and a great challenge," he adds.

Pennell is no stranger to Maxxium UK or the drinks industry. Before becoming interim MD, he was marketing director at Maxxium UK for three and a half years. He has also worked as general marketing manager for Cognac and Champagne at Rémy Cointreau and was international brand manager for Allied Domecq.

The industry, says Pennell, is an exciting and fast-moving one to be involved in. "It is a great industry to work in and quite compelling," he enthuses. "It instils passion and focus."

Because of this, Pennell says that it is quite difficult to switch off and he'll often find himself creeping off to the spirits aisle in his local supermarket when he is meant to be shopping for groceries. He always makes sure that his working week is structured. Every Monday morning he holds a meeting with his functional directors to discuss key priorities.

He also has a weekly catch-up with the group's global office in Amsterdam and its four shareholders - The Edrington Group, Beam Global Spirits & Wine, the V&S Group and Rémy Cointreau.

Pennell is currently working on future plans for the company. "We have a number of strategies for growth on key brands," he says. "We are making progress on various initiatives and implementing a number of plans.

"This year we are focusing on how to drive our premium portfolio and unlocking the potential of our brands."