Kelly Crow spoke to Marc Porter today and got a little more color on his move to Sotheby’s:
Mr. Porter said he grew restless at privately held Christie’s after the company chose to retool the international private-sales group he helped organize there. Since January, private sales at Christie’s have been handled largely by auction specialists already ensconced in each of the company’s various departments, like contemporary art.
A Christie’s spokeswoman confirmed that this overall effort to integrate private sales “required much less of Marc’s involvement.”
Christie’s effort also coincided with an overall plateau in the art market. During the first half of the year, Christie’s privately sold $515 million in art, a 38% drop from the same period a year earlier. Sotheby’s privately sold $370.2 million worth of art during the first six months, up 26% from the same period the year before.
Mr. Porter said he spent months casting about for a new international role within Christie’s before Sotheby’s Mr. Smith approached him in early November about potentially making a move. “We really clicked,” he said of Mr. Smith. Because of a noncompete clause, Mr. Porter will start his new job in 2017.