One of the central questions surrounding Sotheby’s acquisition of Art Agency, Partners was, and remains, whether the advisory business built upon Allan Schwartzman’s client base could continue to scale once it was owned by Sotheby’s.
Part of the question is simply one of management and manpower. Could Art Agency, Partners’s principals take on additional roles within Sotheby’s—Amy Cappellazzo runs the so-called Fine Art Division and Adam Chinn is the auction house’s chief deal-maker—while still focusing on growth at AAP?
The question has no foregone conclusion. But Schwartzman seems to have told the Wall Street Journal that AAP is stuck in the transition:
Mr. Schwartzman said he had advised artists and artist estates before joining Sotheby’s in January, but he and partner Amy Cappellazzo “didn’t have the bandwidth” to expand their efforts once they joined the auction house.
AAP is still quite new to Sotheby’s and all strategic initiatives within larger corporations require day-to-day management to thrive. Hiring Christy MacLear—we’ll have more posts for AMMpro subscribers on that subject—may also provide a deeper bench at AAP that could allow the advisory firm to crack this growth nut.
By all accounts, MacLear’s management skills are one of her outstanding features.