Public sale Home Phillips Names Former Christie’s Government as New CEO

A former Christie’s government recognized for arranging advanced artwork offers and navigating the public sale home by way of a recession has been employed to run Phillips, a smaller rival.

London-based public sale home Phillips stated it plans to call

Stephen Brooks,

56 years outdated, as its new chief government on Wednesday, enlisting him to increase the home’s attain globally, notably throughout Asia. Mr. Brooks will even search to bolster Phillips’s top-selling classes akin to up to date artwork, design, watches and jewellery.

His arrival in September comes as Phillips and the broader artwork market search to construct momentum after the pandemic compelled the trade to pivot on-line. Final 12 months, Phillips’s gross sales fell 16%, to $760 million. Its efficiency in Asia proved a vibrant spot, with gross sales in its Hong Kong hub surging to $152 million final 12 months, up 24% from a 12 months earlier. To this point this spring, on-line and phone bidding competitors for up to date artwork seems to be perking up in live-streamed gross sales carried out from New York, London and Geneva—indicators that the market may rebound quickly as auctions can as soon as once more be carried out with bidders within the room.

Stephen Brooks spent 11 years working in administration at Christie’s.



“After moments of trauma, historical past typically sees an explosion of cultural and financial exercise,” Mr. Brooks stated in an interview earlier than the announcement. “We’ve obtained an enormous alternative for development right here.”

Mr. Brooks, an Oxford native, beforehand labored as chief monetary officer of Schroders, the asset supervisor. He then spent 11 years working in a number of administration roles at Christie’s, becoming a member of as chief monetary officer in 2009 in the course of the worst of a recession that compelled him to winnow budgets and employees. He was deputy chief government when he left Christie’s final August.

At Phillips, he’ll assume a job held for the previous seven years by Edward Dolman, one other former Christie’s government. Mr. Dolman is commonly credited with engineering a turnaround at Phillips. When the home’s Russian homeowners, Mercury Group, employed Mr. Dolman to turn out to be Phillips’s president and chief government in 2014, the home’s edgy, rising artwork choices have been largely ignored by the trade’s duopoly, Sotheby’s and Christie’s, sellers stated. Mr. Dolman set about hiring dozens of high-profile specialists—together with Arnold Lehman, former director of the Brooklyn Museum—and over time, the home gained a repute for providing new and fashionable masters for attention-grabbing costs. Final December, the home held an public sale that included a David Hockney paintings, “Nichols Canyon,” which offered for $41 million.

Edward Dolman is commonly credited with engineering a turnaround at Phillips.



Gross sales have been $399 million in 2014, the 12 months Mr. Dolman joined Phillips, and in 2020 that they had almost doubled. Beneath his tenure, the home stated it additionally roughly doubled its head depend, to 445 folks, and almost tripled its ranks of energetic clientele, to over 11,000 folks. 5 years in the past, it opened a salesroom in Hong Kong and not too long ago teamed up with a Beijing auctioneer, Poly Public sale, to conduct joint gross sales, with Phillips’s mandate to supply and funnel extra rising artwork from the West to mainland Chinese language collectors. Highlights for its largest sale of the season in New York in late June will make preview stops in a number of Chinese language cities together with Shenzhen, in addition to cities in Taiwan.

Mr. Dolman will shift to a newly created place of government chairman, overseeing Phillips’s namesake holding firm. He stated he plans to focus extra on profitable prime consignments and creating nearer ties to collectors in Asia. He’ll proceed to work carefully with Cheyenne Westphal, Phillips’ international chairwoman, who will stay in her present position.

Mr. Brooks will take over the corporate’s financials and handle day-to-day operations on the public sale home, which maintains 4 salesrooms world wide—together with a New York hub on Park Avenue that’s set to reopen June 15 with a bigger subterranean salesroom. The job will even require Mr. Brooks to handle a far-flung employees which final 12 months helped public sale off almost 7,000 objects in 69 gross sales, together with 29 auctions held completely on-line. That compares with gross sales of round 4,000 objects throughout 38 gross sales in 2014, the 12 months Mr. Dolman took over.

Mr. Brooks is finest recognized in artwork circles for serving to steer Christie’s by way of the 2009 recession and its subsequent restructuring. He additionally helped that home shut the deal on advanced consignments just like the $835 million property of David and Peggy Rockefeller in 2018. Now, Mr. Brooks stated he’s desperate to step right into a extra public-facing position as chief government and work once more with Mr. Dolman. “We get alongside like a home on hearth,” he stated.

“I need to develop a enterprise and never all the time be the man who has to ship the dangerous information,” stated Mr. Brooks, who collects up to date artists and swirling ceramic items by British potter Mitch Pilkington.

Write to Kelly Crow at [email protected]

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