What inspired you to move abroad?
I grew up in a small city near Paris, and I always spent my holidays in western France not far from Cognac. As a child, I had a giant map of the world, which I dreamt of discovering as an adult.
You’ve been with Rémy Cointreau over seven years. How did you find us, and why did you stay?
I was headhunted to join the LOUIS XIII global marketing team, and I have been happy since day one. Rémy Cointreau cares about people. At Rémy Cointreau, “people” is not just a word in a P&L, but the essence of who we are as a Group. We have been a family business for three centuries, and this is quite exceptional. The people at Rémy Cointreau are also quite exceptional: They are passionate about what they do.
You’ve worked with LOUIS XIII, Rémy Martin, Mount Gay Rum, Bruichladdich … What makes Rémy Cointreau spirits special?
Their exceptional terroir, their commitment to people at all levels of the organization, and our patience: Our relationship to time is unique. With LOUIS XIII, for example, we think a century ahead. The Group has an uncompromising approach to quality when it comes to creating spirits. For example, Rémy Martin is the only major House focusing on the prestigious area of Fine Champagne, and we are aging our cognac longer than most competitors (e.g., 70% of the US market is VS grade, and our cognac range starts at the VSOP Grade).
What motivates you in your job?
We’re a Group of people who try new things and want to innovate. The decision-making process is very fast and efficient; it is perfectly adapted to people like me with an entrepreneurial mindset. For example, I was given the green light to create a members’-club pop-up bar, La Maison Rémy Martin, from scratch, when I was in London only six months. I also opened a boutique for LOUIS XIII at Harrods.
Your goals now as Vice President of Rémy Martin for the Americas region?
My mission is to reassert our ambition to be the leader of super-premium spirits. We will build a strong, luxury business for XO and solidify Rémy Martin’s brand equity among cognac and spirits drinkers … This is ambitious, but we are working for the most prestigious cognac in the world.
Biggest challenges and opportunities for Rémy Martin in the Americas market?
As cognac is still quite niche, there are lots of distribution opportunities, particularly in on-premise. The cognac category has been one of the most dynamic over the last few years. The market is becoming more premium, and the battlefield has shifted from VS to the VSOP / XO market in the Americas.
The best part about working in exceptional spirits?
The relationship to time: The business was established in 1724, and we are guardians of a legacy that will last long after us. What we do today will always have an impact on tomorrow, and we want to be proud of what we did yesterday.
Unique aspects about working for a brand like Rémy Martin?
- We are a family business.
- We are committed to people: The Group is owned by a family; the products are created by generations of Cellar Masters; and we source exclusively from a small alliance of winegrowers called Alliance Fine Champagne.
- We are truly international, but at the same time, each country has its very unique specificities: The world “glocal” is quite often used when it comes to Rémy Martin (global brand with strong local particularities).