Hatch Mansfield appoints new MD after McGrath becomes chairman

Hatch Mansfield managing director Patrick McGrath MW is stepping up to the newly created role of chairman.

McGrath is one of the founding shareholders of the company, which distributes brands including Louis Jadot, Champagne Taittinger, Villa Maria, Gaja, Errazuriz, Kleine Zalze and M. Chapoutier into the UK market.

Ben Knollys, who has been with the company since 2002, will replace McGrath as managing director. “I am thrilled to be passed the baton from Patrick and look forward to his continued guidance,” said Knollys, who worked for Berkmann, Lea & Sandeman and Fullers before joining Hatch Mansfield. “We have an exceptionally strong, hard-working team in place in all parts of the business and I am deeply proud to work with them to enable delivery of an excellent level of service to our valued customers and to our first-rate suppliers who ensure we have a portfolio of phenomenal wines to keep growing in the UK.”

McGrath added: “The senior management team has always been mindful about the long-term development of Hatch, constantly looking ahead to ensure sustainable business growth and stability. Starting as a team of five in a little office in Frimley with our original partners, Louis Jadot, Errazuriz and Villa Maria, we are now a team of nearly 60 working with 17 prestigious brands.

“I believe that succession planning is hugely important, but often forgotten about. It is crucial in any company’s evolution and I am blessed with a team who share this view and have worked together to ensure continuity and evolution for the future. 

“Ben brings a wealth of experience, working his way from the grass roots of our business. He fully understands the complexities of the UK wine trade. With an in-depth understanding of how Hatch operates and ticks he has played a key role in our success to date.

“I will still head up the business as a primary contact for all our unparalleled suppliers and will continue to manage my customers. I believe it is important to retain that presence at the coal face to fully understand the opportunities and challenges that we all face - as everyone knows I am not one for sitting still. This is an exciting and carefully considered new chapter for Hatch Mansfield. It will further strengthen our position as we grow and develop.”