Lindsay Pollock reports on Bloomberg that Christie’s has quietly exited dismantled its financial services department, despite the fact that Sotheby’s made $6m in the first half of this year on financial services. Financial services at an auction house covers a broad range of activities. Sotheby’s offers consignors loans against future sales. Christie’s was exploring creating a relationship with a major financial institution to provide similar services. But Christie’s had also been gearing up to launch an art investment fund. No longer:
Christie’s interviewed investment managers and bankers to gauge interest in an art-investment fund and took steps to establish a separate asset-management company aimed at raising $250 million to $350 million.
As the world economy continued to falter, Christie’s scrapped its plan and fired several executives in New York and London who were going to run the operation, according to the two employees involved in the project. Among those dismissed were Chief Operating Officer Michael Plummer, Senior Vice President Ed McGorry and Vice President Jeff Rabin, the employees said.