Stifel’s Peter Schick wasn’t happy to learn Friday’s news that CFO Patrick McClymont is leaving the company. McClymont was singled out by activist Mick McGuire some time ago as an executive the activist felt was hindering change. But Schick didn’t see it that way. McClymont’s departure caused him to lower his price target for the auction house’s stock:
Schick writes that he was surprised by the resignation, as he believed that McClymont was a key figure in the company’s modernization of its business practices, and having the CFO position in transition will “limit the chance for more meaningful strategic updates around real estate, the loan portfolio, or any sale to a trophy buyer.”
Sotheby’s has become a “trust us” story, he writes, given its added leverage and other factors, and he also says he’s heard some skepticism from collectors about the current auction / dealer pricing in the art market.