Growing up in Kamo and Tutukaka as one of three boys, Derek spent his youth out on the water; fishing and diving, and on his parents farm before heading to Auckland University to study.
He originally dreamed of becoming an engineer but after his brother followed the engineering path he just "had to do something different". So, settling on his other interest, finance, Derek completed a Bachelor of Commerce and then went onto get his CA.
Following his studies, Derek worked in various roles and industries, even venturing to the United Kingdom several times before he landed as CFO of Glengarry Hancocks.
Derek enjoyed parallels he'd experienced previously in the FMCG industry and the fun, quick pace made him fall in love with the wine industry while also creating a desire to make a difference.
After 6 years, Derek travelled back to the UK where he joined Enotria & Coe as CFO, the second largest liquor distributor in the UK.