23 August 2023, London: The Portman Group today bids a fond farewell to Nicola Bates, who after five years as Director of Strategy and External Affairs has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of WineGB – the trade association for English and Welsh Wine and will leave the Portman Group in October.

Commenting, Portman Group Chief Executive Matt Lambert said: “Nicola has been a pivotal part of the team over the last five years, shaping the Portman Group’s voice as the UK alcohol marketing regulator and torchbearer of the industry’s ongoing commitment to social responsibility.

Her hard work alongside the team has also enhanced our support to members, helping the Portman Group grow to its highest number of members ever.  She has made major contributions to the Portman Group’s strategy and external affairs including during the most challenging time during the pandemic.  Whilst we are sad to say goodbye to Nicola, we are pleased to see that WineGB has gained an outstanding new Chief Executive who will be a strong advocate for English and Welsh wine producers.”

The Portman Group is also pleased to announce that David Saer, the current Head of Policy and Public Affairs, will become the group’s new Director of External Affairs in October 2023.

Joining in 2019, David has led the Portman Group’s thought leadership on alcohol policy and engagement with policymakers across the UK. This includes commissioning the group’s annual survey of consumer attitudes to alcohol alternatives with YouGov and representing the group at the Scottish Alcohol Industry Partnership, Retail of Alcohol Standards Group and International Alliance for Responsible Drinking. Prior to joining the Portman Group, he spent seven years in political and regulatory affairs consultancy, working for clients from a diverse range of sectors including food and consumer goods, aerospace and biopharmaceuticals.

Commenting, Matt Lambert said: “For the past four and a half years, David has been instrumental in leading the Portman Group’s policy, research and public affairs – bolstering our standing with policymakers and industry across the UK. I look forward to seeing David bring this extensive experience to leading the external affairs team, as the Portman Group continues to champion and challenge the alcohol industry to uphold the highest standards of responsibility.”


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