Top Shelf International (TSI) has announced Drew Fairchild has stepped down as Managing Director and CEO, with Trent Fraser moving into the top role.

TSI Chairman, Adem Karafili, recognised the significant contribution that Fairchild has made to the business.

“TSI would not exist if not for Drew’s ambition and relentless determination to realise his vision to build a successful Australian spirits company. He should be extremely proud of what he has achieved,” Karafili said.

“Today is the time to recognise Drew’s incredible contribution to TSI and Australian spirits more broadly. This leadership change has been in the planning for a number of months and I commend the way in which both Drew and Trent have worked through this process.”

Fairchild co-founded TSI in 2014 and has led the company through almost a decade of change and growth. In his tenure, TSI constructed its distillery and production facility, established its Australian agave spirit farm, listed no the ASX in December 2020 and navigated the challenges of the global pandemic, while also creating, launching and growing its first two brands – NED Whisky and Grainshaker Vodka.

Reflecting on his time, Fairchild said: “I have always been of the view there would come a time where new leadership is required to take the company into its next phase. The time is now right for that change to occur. I leave content in what has been achieved and what the future holds in store for the company.”

“It’s easy to get lost in the detail of the day to day, but when I step back and reflect on the last nine years, what we have all achieved to build TSI is extraordinary. I am more passionate and confident now about the opportunity as I was in 2014 when we sat around a table at the Emerald Hotel in South Melbourne and decided to embark on this challenge to create accessible premium spirit brands that all Australian can enjoy.”

Fraser takes the reins with over two decades of experience in wine and spirits. He spent nearly a decade with Penfolds and Treasury Wine Estates, following which he spent 13 years with LVMH. In 2008, Fraser began working in Moët Hennessy’s luxury spirits portfolio in New York, spending nine years as vice president for Dom Perignon. He was then tasked with building Moët Hennessy’s tequila brand, Volcan De Mi Tierra, before joining TSI in September 2021 as President Agave and International.

“As I said when Trent first joined TSI, we could not have found a more well-credentialled, internationally recognised Australian in the spirits world to help the company realise its ambition to become Australia’s first globally relevant multi-branded spirits company. He has my full backing to drive the company to even greater heights, including the long-anticipated launch of our Act of Treason Australian Agave later this year. I can’t wait to see that come to life,” Fairchild said.

Fraser expressed his pride at being appointed to the role.

“I am humbled to be entrusted to lead a company with the potential of TSI. Building an Australian spirits company from the ground up is a monumental task,” he said.

“I could not be more energised to help TSI realise its ambition, and look forward to developing productive relationships with shareholders, customers and other stakeholders.”

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