The "Institute of Masters of Wine" (IMW) was founded in 1955 in London (Great Britain) by a group of wine merchants in cooperation with the Vintners Company. Its forerunner is the Wine Trade Club, founded in 1908 by the famous wine merchant and author André Simon (1877-1970). However, the first examination for the prestigious title of "Master of Wine" had already taken place in 1953, when six out of 21 candidates were chosen. The aim in the founding year was to create a special training a demanding qualification in the British wine trade and thus help it to achieve better quality and reputation. Initially, only candidates who could demonstrate many years of practice in a corresponding position in a relevant company or institution could take the examinations.