Leslie Rankow Fine Arts

INTERNATIONAL ART ADVISORY SERVICE

Art Market Update: Bank of America Private Bank, a three phase perspective

THE ART MARKET’S RESPONSE IN THREE PHASES

The art market tends to lag the stock market and the broader economy. Pullbacks are typified by a misalignment of buyer-seller expectations. We’ve had three major art market pullbacks in the last 30 years: the 2008–09 financial crisis, the 2001 bursting of the tech bubble (compounded by the 9/11 terrorist attacks) and the 1990–91 global recession. The two most recent pullbacks had V-shaped recoveries, while the 1990 collapse took nearly a decade to bounce back, partly due to higher interest rates. We expect the post-COVID-19 art market to avoid a steep collapse and forge a three-phased path ahead: The Bridge, The Adjustment and The Recovery.

The Bridge Phase (now through Fall). As the medical crisis wanes, local economies reopen and the world begins to spin again, we expect the art market will likely be supply-constrained until there is more economic clarity. But don’t expect deep discounts in Phase I. During the last crisis, the total value of art sold fell 40% from 2008 to 2009.* This was driven by sellers refusing to accept lower prices from bargain-hunting buyers, not price depreciation. Expect a similar phenomenon through the summer as consignors sit on the sideline awaiting economic clarity, and auction houses, art fairs and galleries shift to digital sales channels to salvage some revenue. Perhaps counterintuitively, the few works that do come to market will likely be met with surprisingly stable demand as stimulative monetary policy and a bored, quarantined collector base continues to buy. While the summer auctions will likely have thinner offerings, previously negotiated guarantees and stable demand should keep price levels stable.

The Adjustment Phase (Fall through Spring 2021). Beginning this autumn, the number of works coming to market are expected to spike sharply and outpace demand in some segments, pushing prices lower. Cash-strapped galleries in need of liquidity, distressed sellers impacted by market volatility and consignors who’ve psychologically accepted lower prices will hit the public and private market. Demand—a function of collector sentiment—will ultimately be determined by the medical reality, stock market levels and buyers’ liquidity. But we expect prices to recalibrate slightly downward during this period. Prices on the few masterpieces that trade should remain stable, but hyper-contemporary and middle market works will likely see downward pressure. Phase II is the time for bargain-hunting.

The Recovery Phase (2021 and beyond). The art market’s deflationary period should end as capital markets strengthen, the corporate profit cycle normalizes and economic sentiment rebounds. During this period, economies will begin paying for their monetary and fiscal responses to COVID-19 through inflation. This should again drive capital into art (the Fed can’t print Picassos). Primary market contemporary artists—particularly young figurative pre-crisis market darlings—will lag more established artists. Middle market galleries and museum acquisition programs will likely take years to recover, and some will close. Well-capitalized mega-galleries should emerge stronger and the art fair calendar will likely shrink. We expect virtual sales rooms, online auctions and digital channels to boom, but ultimately the art market could return to its social, tactile roots in Phase III (vaccine willing).

 

THREE BIG ART MARKET TRENDS

  1. Art ecosystem adapts. The art market’s infrastructure is in the midst of an extreme retrenchment. Galleries, auction houses and museums have cut or furloughed staff and are pondering how to function in this new environment. Expect a wave of consolidation and closures—the galleries we’ve spoken to say revenue is off by 80%. The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) estimates that 30% of museums will not have the resources to reopen, and galleries tell us that business will be down 70% this year. We expect the most rapid, potent innovation cycle we’ve ever witnessed in the art market’s history. This means a more accessible, impersonal, transparent, slightly dreary, virtual art world in the near term.
  2. Auction house strategy. Last year three auction houses sold themselves—Hindman, Bonhams and Sotheby’s. A battle for market share has eroded industry margins, and the age of social distancing has accelerated their move into new product areas and digital sales channels. Expect the live digital-hybrid auction model to be used for its major sales for the foreseeable future. You’ll also see a proliferation of eBay-style multiday auctions with the option to offer a buy-it-now price and significantly more lots sold via private treaty sale than under hammer. Expect creative alliances among auction houses (for example, Guardian and Christie’s in China) and with the private market (Sotheby’s Gallery Network). Finally, look for the houses to make strategic bets in fashion, retail and even financial services.
  3. Rise (and fall) of digital. Social distancing has expedited the art world’s transition to digital sales channels. We first saw the digital acceleration in March as Art Basel Hong Kong launched an entirely virtual fair. Expect all art fairs to have digital sales rooms. Galleries tell us that virtual sales are 25% of live fairs. The new format creates more price transparency, which drives market efficiency and accessibility. Recent online auctions and digital art fairs have proven surprisingly effective with high sales and up to 40% of auction bids coming from new bidders. You might never see an in-person day-sale auction again. While the digital dream is now real, it is wanting; as a result, we expect the art market to transition to a hybrid digital/in-person world, once we are able.

FOUR TACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR COLLECTORS

  1. Consider your art as a source of liquidity. As interest rates drop and markets turn choppy, take stock of your liquidity options. More collectors hold their art on the balance sheet and use it as a strategic source of capital to redeploy into investments. And because art is not priced daily, art loans offer lower margin call risk than a typical margin loan.
  2. Consignment considerations. As you think about selling art, consider the benefits and drawbacks of your current options: hybrid auction formats, private treaty sales, online-only digital sales and gallery consignment. To help manage risk for our clients, we’re building optionality into consignment agreements to provide a release valve should the medical or financial crisis intensify.
  3. Planning considerations. Appraisals are expected to adjust lower, which should in turn affect planning. Certain planning techniques are more efficient when interest rates are lower. For example, the Internal Revenue Service 7520 rate is issued monthly and reflects an assumed rate of return. Since the June 2020 rate is the lowest it has ever been (0.6%) it provides an opportunity to transfer even more wealth to the next generation.
  4. Gifting and philanthropy. Aside from selling, collectors have additional options for their art: give it to family members or donate it to charity. Lower values affect both of these options. While no one likes lower values, they do allow a senior generation to transfer more wealth to the next generation at a reduced transfer tax cost. Conversely, depressed values (and appraisals) may lower charitable income tax deductions for donations of art. However, the ability to deduct cash donations was increased to 100% of adjusted gross income as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), which dramatically increases the deduction for cash donations to art and cultural institutions.

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT BANK OF AMERICA’S ART SERVICES, CONTACT EVAN BEARD, NATIONAL ART SERVICES EXECUTIVE, at evan.beard@bofa.com

https://www.privatebank.bankofamerica.com/articles/art-services-market-update.html

Stay tuned: future plans at Phillips with Deputy Chair and Head of Private Sales, Miety Heiden

Phillips
New York, London, Hong Kong

SINCE MID-MARCH 2020, PHILLIPS HAS HAD TO  POSTPONE THE MAJORITY OF THEIR UPCOMING SALES, AS DID ALL THE AUCTION HOUSES, IN RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC LOCKDOWN. ALTHOUGH A PAINFUL DECISION, IT WAS A NECESSARY ONE. ART FAIRS HAVE BEEN CANCELLED OR POSTPONED, GALLERIES CLOSED AND NOW CAUTIOUSLY OPENING BY APPOINTMENT IN SOME CITIES AND IN EUROPE AND ASIA, AND THE ART WORLD AS WE KNOW IT HAS BEEN RECONFIGURED. WHAT HAS EMERGED IS A RAPID AND PROFOUND DEVELOPMENT OF A NEW WAY OF VIEWING AND BUYING IN THE ART WORLD VIA THE SOPHISTICATED DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY THAT IS NOW AVAILABLE.

PHILLIPS ANNOUNCED:

As a result of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and recent New York State and City mandated restrictions on commercial operations, Phillips regrets that we are unable to make lots from this sale available for pre-Auction, in-person inspection.

Gerhard Richter Phillips Evening Sale, NY, July 2, 2020

ON JUNE 15th, THE SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST OFFERED THIS PREDICTION:

“While you’ll certainly see our core business return to in-person live auctions when it is safe to do so, we’ve witnessed the effectiveness of the online-only platform and the interest it has attracted, which is certainly making it one of our key services and options for our clients. This is something that was in the works well in advance of Covid-19, and you’ll see it remain a pillar … after it as well.”

The transition of sales from in person to online has allowed these forward-thinking auction houses to further develop and fine-tune online sales – and no one is bidding against the phenomenon remaining strong when live auctions eventually resume.

Joan Mitchell
Noel
Phillips July 2 Evening Sale

PHILLIPS WILL HOLD ITS 20th CENTURY AND A CONTEMPORARY ART EVENING SALE, NEW YORK, ON JULY 2, 2020.

“We live in strange days,” Phillips’ Robert Manley, Worldwide Co-Head of 20th Century and Contemporary Art, said. “But the way I see it is that for every season, every auction you have to take the temperature of what people looking for and buying and those are the things we go after. This season in a way is no different.”

Manley said that Phillips plans to make the July 2 sale as similar to any of its other evening sales before the pandemic. The works are still being heavily researched and with accompanying catalogue essays, to be published online instead of in a printed book. Potential bidders will still have the opportunity to view the painting, but it will most likely be on an appointment-only basis. And the sale will take place with a live auctioneer, though most likely bidders will not be allowed in the salesroom.

VR Walkthrough: 20 Century and Contemporary Art, Hong Kong, July 8, 2020

HERE TODAY, MIETY HEIDEN, DEPUTY CHAIR, HEAD OF PRIVATE SALES AND PHILLIPS X, THEIR ONLINE PLATFORM, WILL SHARE HER PERSPECTIVE ON THE FUTURE OF THE ART MARKET IN GENERAL AND PHILLIPS IN PARTICULAR IN OUR ALMOST POST-PANDEMIC WORLD.

What are your aims and goals in growing the private sales department at Phillips? Are there changes you would like to make in how the private sales department works?

Our private sales department at Phillips is growing and developing as we speak. We are running an exhibition program in all three of our selling locations – London, New York and Hong Kong – and we also have pop- ups all around the world. We work with dealers, curators and artists directly, and are looking into digital private sales as well.

As always, our sales will feature significant examples from a variety of modern, post-war, and contemporary masters.

Do you think the trend towards the private sales sector will continue to increase and, if so, why?

I definitely think there is huge potential for growth in this area. Whilst the auction process still forms the backbone of our business, the ability to engage with our collectors all year round on a more personal and direct platform is a very important and expanding avenue.

IT HAS BEEN A DELIGHT TO POST THIS INTERVIEW WITH MIETY AND THE LRFA BLOG SO APPRECIATES HER CONTRIBUTION OF TIME, EXPERTISE AND INSIGHT.

THANK YOU, MIETY!

Beyond auction, Phillips X with Miety Heiden, Deputy Chair at Phillips, Head of Private Sales and PhillipsX

Deborah Kass
NOMEN: American Women Artists
Phillips X July 2019

In the first traveling exhibition for Phillips X,  Foujita/Sanyu: Muses and Models went on view in both Paris and Hong Kong. Last summer, Phillips X held an exhibition in New York entitled NOMEN: American Women Artists from 1945 to Today, as well as HYSTERICAL  in collaboration with set designer Gary Card in London. Earlier in 2020, 10 Monkeys and a Dolphin brought forth  a sale of exceptional works by the ever popular street artists, Banksy and KAWS.

Phillips has moved beyond physical exhibitions to offer works for private sale digitally. Miety Heiden heads this new division called Phillips X which I am sure has garnered rapid success more quickly than anticipated due to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown and is particularly timely in terms of the current situation. Whatever the circumstances, Phillips X represents an important expansion beyond auction and a new format for private sales, the online viewing room, certain to reach a global audience.

In an interview posted on the Phillips website on April 9, 2020, Miety adds:

 Our clients at Phillips have been moving online for quite some time now. In our auctions, they register and bid online and we’ve seen explosive growth in the value of works sold online. Just last November, a painting by Sean Scully  sold for over $1.7 million to an online bidder during our New York Evening Sale. Just as we have with our slate of exhibitions, we’ve created this platform to meet collectors where they are, year-round. We began this program with great artists such as Tracey Emin,   Lucian Freud, Yayoi Kusama, KAWS and more. We’re adding new works to the online viewing room on a daily basis and, at present, they all stay online for two weeks. This is an exciting development for our team and for Phillips as a whole.

https://www.phillips.com/article/56425102/tca-miety-heiden-private-sales-phillips-auction

HYSTERICAL
Hosted by Gary Card
Phillips London

What are some of the most significant transactions you’ve made as Head of Private Sales at Phillips?

The private sales department has grown exponentially over the last few years. We have hosted a number of incredibly successful selling exhibitions since I’ve been here – our summer 2019 exhibition Hysterical, for example, was a notable example of one of these shows – a collaborative selling exhibition with renowned set designer and artist, Gary Card.

Ten Monkeys and a Dolphin: Banksy & KAWS
Phillips Jan/Feb 2020

How would you describe the profile of the collector now and how has it evolved over the years?

Collectors today are far more informed about the market and what’s ‘hot’, there is more information available to them online like Artnet and The Baer Faxt which in turn makes them more autonomous. Collectors are also more mobile, traveling to art fairs, auctions and exhibitions all over the world. Collectors also tend to worry more about art being an asset and keeping its value.

Sean Scully
Red Bar
Phillips Evening Sale
November 2019

What do you think of the current art market? From this vantage point it seems to have an almost surreal success with big ticket market quality artworks but a more conservative judicious approach to middle market works?

Actually the contemporary art market is entering a new territory, due to the significant growth and vibrancy of the middle market. There is an increasing focus on works of art priced at the hundreds of thousands of dollars to the lower millions. Our Day Sale totals are breaking records season after season, and we will focus on building on this in 2020. Of course the big ticket items will always have the headlines but the backstories are less rosy.

What do you think the current trends to support artists who did not get the recognition they deserved because of gender or race? How long-term do you think these trends are?

There have of course been many artists who have been overlooked across the art historic canon and into the present day, and when the art ecosystem finally shines a torchlight on these artists it can be a very positive thing, bringing new names and ideas to the table.

Stay tuned! Miety will share some of the highlights of future plans at Phillips in our next LRFA Blog post.

Thank you for following!

 

Private Sales vs Auction with Deputy Chair of Phillips & Head of Private Sales, Miety Heiden

Kehinde Wiley 
American African American
Phillips

Phillips Private Sales first launched in 2018. The curated program exhibits some of the world’s most sought-after works from the 20th and 21st centuries, informed by the company’s understanding of what the market demands and with a focus on approachable works that appeal to multiple types of collectors. Miety Heiden, Deputy Chair at Phillips, is also the Head of Private Sales and director of Phillips X, the auction house’s private selling exhibition platform. Often ahead of the curve set by the art world’s major institutions, the team at Phillips Private Sales has established a pattern of tapping into the zeitgeist and sourcing works that are underrepresented in the secondary market. Last January in New York, Phillips responded to exploding demand for previously-ignored black artists with a group show entitled American African American.

The LRFA blog is very pleased to continue the conversation with Miety Heiden whose intelligence and perception of the art market, past, present and future, enriches Phillips’ reach in the global auction world. There is a huge potential for growth in the area of Private Sales, particularly in these extremely uncertain times, haunted by both the coronavirus pandemic and the state of extreme social unrest and inequality erupting in America at the present time.

“In the past, Phillips was not really focusing on private sales, and now we have created a platform for both online and offline sales where we can connect with clients 365 days a year. Auctions will always be a key part of our business, but there’s been a growing movement to engage with collectors more than just a few days a year. Again, as the market goes global, the demand just keeps rising, and we want Phillips to be there to meet it.”

Miety Heiden, Deputy Chair, Head of Private Sales and PhillipsX, in an interview in April 2020

https://www.phillips.com/article/56425102/tca-miety-heiden-private-sales-phillips-auction

Phillips
Installation View
American African American

Miety, thank you for your time and sharing your expertise.

What are the deciding factors on the part of an auction house when analysing the best placement for an artwork, both geographically and in terms of private sales versus public auction?

It generally works on a case-by-case basis – in particular we take into account the reason for selling and the nature of the work. For example, those younger artists of the moment tend to do better at auction, and their reputation privately follows suit. On the other hand, some clients prefer to sell discreetly or quickly, and that’s often where private sales come into play. Sometimes, a particularly special piece can reach a wider audience if sold at auction, so we can go down that route to garner more exposure for the sale as this takes into account the popularity of certain artists in different parts of the world.

Nicholas Party
Landscape
Phillips Evening Sale
May 2019
Estimate $100-150,000
Sold $608,000

The competition with all three auction houses has become increasingly charged as the prices of artworks have increased by geometric proportions and the collector profile has expanded both due to the globalization of art and as a result of digital technology. What are some of the ways in which an auction house can ‘sweeten the deal’ to persuade a collector to consign a work?

Given our more focused lens on the best of 20th century and contemporary art, we understand this market well and our entire team is fiercely committed to singularly promoting individual artworks and collections as leading highlights of a sale season. The emphasis that works of art get within the context of our sales is therefore far greater, as we have the advantage of being more curated in what we do. Our global reach spans a huge range of collectors worldwide, and we are soon opening an unrivalled space at 432 Park Avenue in New York that we are confident will be a huge selling point for Phillips.

Carrie Mae Weems
S/2 Gallery 2015

What are some of the highlights that stood out in the private sale sector during your time at Sotheby’s?

The nature of private sales is of course that they are private! But at the time, the S2 gallery was really ahead of the curve. We hosted a selling exhibition in 2015 called ‘I Like It Like This with Drake’ that included works by African American artists such as Crosby, Hendricks, Basquiat and others that are now in huge demand in the contemporary scene.

Drake
S/2

https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/hip-hop/6561104/drake-i-like-it-like-this-sothebys-exhibit

Who are the artists you view as having the strongest foothold now at auction and in private sales and which artists do you see moving into that position in the future?

The enormous amount of enthusiasm for the new generation of artists working in figuration points to a shift in taste. I think 2020 will continue to see this renewed appreciation for figuration in painting, with artists such as Julie Curtis, Genieve Figgis, Tschabalala Self, Nicholas Party, and Christina Quarles garnering great international attention and fierce competition on the secondary market. The result Phillips achieved recently for Amoako Boafo’s ‘The Lemon Bathing Suit’ reflects this shift. Of course let’s not forget the blue chip artists like Warhol and Twombly – these will always continue to do well as long as they are of a good quality. Quality is everything!

Amoako Boafo The Lemon Bathing Suit Phillips London Sale February 2020 Estimate GBP 30,000-50,000 Sold GBP 675,000

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG POST, MIETY WILL DESCRIBE THE NATURE OF TODAY’S COLLECTORS. STAY TUNED!

 

A warm welcome to Miety Heiden, Deputy Chair and Head of Private Sales at Phillips

Miety Heiden Deputy Chair & Head of Private Sales at Phillips

TODAY, PHILLIPS IS A PREMIER DESTINATION FOR BUYERS AND SELLERS OF MODERN, POST-WAR, CONTEMPORARY, AMERICAN AND LATIN AMERICAN WORKS OF ART IN ADDITION TO WATCHES, JEWELS, PHOTOGRAPHY, WORKS ON PAPER AND EDITIONS. IN 2020, THE NEW YORK AUCTION HOUSE MOVED TO LARGER HEADQUARTERS AT 432 PARK AVENUE EXPANDING ITS FOOTPRINT IN NEW YORK AND ITS GLOBAL PRESENCE IN THE AUCTION WORLD.  FOUNDED IN LONDON IN 1796, PHILLIPS FIRST GAINED INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION FROM ITS SALE OF THE ESTATE OF QUEEN MARIE ANTOINETTE HELD INSIDE BUCKINGHAM PALACE. ITS FOUNDER, HARRY PHILIPS, WAS AN INNOVATIVE BUSINESSMAN, THE FIRST TO HOST EVENING RECEPTIONS BEFORE AUCTIONS, NOW AN ANTICIPATED AND STANDARD PRACTICE. THE AUCTION HOUSE HAS CHANGED HANDS SEVERAL TIMES INCLUDING ITS OWNERSHIP BY LVMH CHAIR, BERNARD ARNAULT, AND DEALERS SIMON DE PURY AND DANIELA LUXEMBOURG.

Phillips Auction

IN 2014, AT A MOMENT OF A SYSTEMIC CHANGE IN THE THREE LEADING INTERNATIONAL AUCTION HOUSES, ED DOLMAN JOINED PHILLIPS AS CEO AND BROUGHT IN AN EXCEPTIONAL TEAM CULLED FROM THE RANKS OF CHRISTIE’S AND SOTHEBY’S. MIETY HEIDEN BECAME AN INVALUABLE PRESENCE AT PHILLIPS, CONTRIBUTING HER ENORMOUS EXPERTISE IN THE PRIVATE SALES SECTOR AT AUCTION, A VERY LUCRATIVE ASPECT OF EACH AUCTION HOUSE. SHE HAD LAUNCHED S/2, THE SELLING GALLERY AT SOTHEBY’S AND WORKED ON THEIR CONTEMPORARY EVENING SALES.

https://www.phillips.com

As reported in Artnet News, March 3, 2016:

In recent years, both Sotheby’s and Christie’s have increasingly focused on private sales, which are generally more lucrative, since they avoid the hefty costs of staging public auctions and publishing auction catalogues.

She contributed to business development and managed client relationships for the New York and Hong Kong contemporary art evening and day sales, as well as focusing on emerging markets and drumming up business on the West Coast. She was also a consultant to the Chinese contemporary art department, and was previously head of the modern and contemporary art department in Amsterdam.

TODAY THE LRFA BLOG IS DELIGHTED TO WELCOME MIETY HEIDEN, DEPUTY CHAIR AND HEAD OF PRIVATE SALES AT PHILIPS AUCTION HOUSE. MIETY IS BOTH A FRIEND AND A COLLEAGUE, MUCH ADMIRED BY EVERYONE WHO KNOWS HER. HER LOVE OF THE ARTS, DEEP KNOWLEDGE OF THE ART MARKET, SENSE OF HUMOR AND COOL COMPOSURE, MAKE HER AN INVALUABLE PROFESSIONAL ALLY AND FRIEND.

https://www.phillips.com/private-sales

MIETY, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE BLOG!

Where did you grow up and what were your educational pursuits?

I grew up in the Netherlands and I always knew that I was interested in the arts. Once I finished school I studied History of Art at the University of Amsterdam.

How did you develop an interest in art? Were your parents collectors and were you exposed to the museum and gallery world as a child?

No, my parents weren’t collectors or anything like that. When I was 17, I had a conversation with a family friend who explained the auction world to me, and that’s when I knew that this is what I wanted to do with my life.

Who were the first artists that struck a chord? How did you know that you wanted to pursue a career in the art world?

The first artists that caught my attention were the Dutch Old Masters – the likes of Rembrandt, whose works I first saw at the Rijksmuseum as a teenager.

The Rijksmuseum
Amsterdam

How did you gain a foothold in the auction world?

I first started my career as an intern at a Dutch auction house in 1992, before joining Sotheby’s Amsterdam five years later. During my time there I also worked a lot in Singapore and Indonesia. I then moved to Sotheby’s New York in 2005.

What pulled you into the private sales sector first at Sotheby’s and now at Phillips? How would you describe the responsibilities of Head of Private Sales versus those of the auction specialist?

Having worked in auctions for 15 years I wanted to explore something new – I had the idea to set up a selling exhibition program at Sotheby’s and came up with the idea to open a gallery within Sotheby’s which we did in 2011. Our first show focused on Sam Francis and was a sell-out. This set the precedent for many more solo artist selling exhibitions for artists such as Basquiat and Keith Haring. In 2019, Phillips’ private sales were up 34% from the previous year – in part because of the time and resources we’ve devoted to it, and our international exhibition program. As we explore new ways to generate business under the pressures of the market, we are focusing more on the private selling aspect of the business.

What was your career path at Sotheby’s? What were your responsibilities when you started and how did they develop over time?

I was at Sotheby’s for 18 years in total. I was head of Modern and Contemporary Art and Indonesian Art at Sotheby’s Amsterdam, and then when I moved to New York I started as head of their Afternoon Sale, before working on the Evening Sale a year later. It was after that I started the S2 program and ran the two side by side, in the same way that I work in both auction and private sales at Phillips today.

IN THE NEXT LRFA BLOG POST, MIETY WILL SHARE HER EXPERT PERSPECTIVE ON AUCTION HOUSE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES AND ON THE POSITIONING A WORK CORRECTLY TO GIVE IT ITS OPTIMUM EXPOSURE, AN ART IN AND OF ITSELF.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! KEEP READING!

Taking action with Christie’s Lydia Fenet, author, auctioneer and Global Director of Strategic Partnerships

Lydia Fenet
Christie’s Managing Director, Global Strategic Partnerships

 

No one knows what the future holds, but you can determine what success looks like in your own life and keep moving forward. The path to success comes from taking action.

RECENTLY POSTED BY LYDIA FENET ON INSTAGRAM DURING THE HEIGHT OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC AND THE DEPTH OF GLOBAL UNCERTAINTY, LYDIA FENET TURNS HER WORDS INTO ACTION.  DURING THE TEMPORARY CLOSING OF CHRISTIE’S DOORS, SHE HAS CREATED A SERIES OF ENGAGING AND INFORMATIVE DAILY CONVERSATIONS WITH OTHER  ACCOMPLISHED WOMEN WHO KEEP MOVING FORWARD. SHE IS DEDICATING HER TIME AND EXPERTISE TO SHARING HER BUSINESS ACUMEN AND SAVVY, ASKING ONLY THAT THOSE WHO CAN, DONATE TO THE RIVER FUND NEW YORK, http://www.river.fund, A LOCAL NON-PROFIT THAT PROVIDES DIRECT EMERGENCY AND CRISIS SERVICES, THE LARGEST FREE-FOOD OUTLET IN THE CITY.

https://www.instagram.com/lydiafenet/

HER MOST RECENT GUESTS INCLUDE ILANA RAIA, A FORMER SKADDEN ARPS ATTORNEY AND FOUNDER OF ETRE, A RESOURCE AND MENTORSHIP PLATFORM FOR YOUNG WOMEN; AMORY McANDREW, A LITIGATOR AND EXPERT ON EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIPS, ON THE STEPS TO TAKE IF WE ARE LAID OFF DUE TO THE PANDEMIC; AND ALLY LOVE, BROOKLYN NETS IN-ARENA HOST, PELOTON INSTRUCTOR, ADIDAS GLOBAL AMBASSADOR, AND CEO OF LOVE SQUAD, AN ONLINE PLATFORM  FOR WOMEN TO CONNECT; AS DIVERSE AND INNOVATIVE A ROSTER OF TODAY’S WOMEN AS ONE COULD HOPE TO FIND.

Lydia Fenet
Author
The Most Powerful Woman in the Room is You

THEIR ONE UNIFYING FORCE IS LYDIA FENET, GLOBAL MANAGING DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP AND LEAD BENEFIT AUCTIONEER AT CHRISTIE’S AUCTION HOUSE. AUTHOR OF “THE MOST POWERFUL WOMAN IN THE ROOM IS…YOU”, SHE IS A MAGNET FOR OTHER SUCCESSFUL AND DYNAMIC WOMEN WHO ARE CHANGING OUR PERCEPTION OF THE WORKPLACE, THE NEGOTIATING TABLE, AND THE HOME- EVERYWHERE.

LYDIA, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO THE LRFA BLOG!

WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN IN THEIR NEGOTIATING MINDSET AND SKILLS?

In my experience, men tend to walk into negotiations with the expectation that if they go into a negotiation with a big number, they will ultimately walk out where they want to be. Once they throw out that number they don’t try to justify what they are asking for – the number is the number and it is up to the person across the table to agree or disagree. Women tend to come in asking for the number that they want to get and then spend thirty minutes explaining why they should receive that amount. It always seems to me that men feel like they deserve more whereas women feel like they are asking for a favor.

HOW DO YOU COUNSEL A WOMAN TO NEGOTIATE AS POWERFULLY AS A MAN BUT STAY WITHIN THE ARENA OF THEIR PERSONALITY AND NATURE? 

The most important thing to do is lose the emotion. I have never been in a negotiation with a man where the end result was tears. I have definitely seen that a number of times with women – and I have also been the woman who burst into tears. You need to remember that business is business – and personal is personal. 

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SPECIAL EVENTS YOU HAVE PLANNED IN THE COMING YEAR BOTH IN TERMS OF PROMOTING THE BOOK AND IN FURTHERING THE STRATEGIC GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM?

I have been holding events around the book nonstop since it launched last April. As long as there is an appetite for it, I am thrilled to promote it. In Strategic Partnerships we are focusing on bringing in fewer partners so that we can concentrate on integrated marketing programs that deepen the relationship between the partners and Christie’s.

YOU ARE HARDLY ONE TO STAY IN THE STATUS QUO. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE? WHAT ARE SOME DREAMS YOU HAVE PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY?

The list is long and changes almost weekly at this point!

On the personal front, now that my kids are getting a little older, I look forward to traveling with them around the world. Travel was such an important part of my childhood that I want to expose them to the world in a similar way.

On the work front: I would love to stay at Christie’s and continue to grow my department, and serve as an ambassador for the firm as an auctioneer. I continue writing all of the time – if you ever see me on a plane I am usually writing something just to write. (Simon & Shuster published Lydia’s 2019 “The Most Powerful Woman in the Room is You”).   Additionally, my book has been optioned by New Form Entertainment so hopefully I will have exciting news about a TV/film deal in the coming year. I am also in talks with a number of companies about developing an unscripted TV series. Finally, I am co-founding a hospitality platform for female travelers with my sister called She Gone.

I am happiest when I am busy – so, I am definitely happy these days!

The Most Powerful Woman in the Room is YOU
by Lydia Fenet

 

https://www.amazon.com/Most-Powerful-Woman-Room-You-ebook/dp/B07GNTSTZ8

Excerpts of reviews of The Most Powerful Woman in the Room is …You

Fenet highlights the importance of operating in the business world from a position of strength and confidence . . . through knowledge.

Her career in a male dominated business as an auctioneer for Christie’s to her outlook on helping woman help other woman reached me on a deep level.

I cannot speak enough to the power of the written word and especially when it’s written by an author/woman who wants to positively impact our working and personal lives today.

IN OUR BUSINESS, A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS, ERGO A VIDEO IS PRICELESS. LAST WEEK, LYDIA JOINED BRIAN McCOMAK, CEO & FOUNDER OF HUMMINGBIRD HUMANITY, IN A SERIES BRIAN CREATED DURING THE PANDEMIC CRISIS, “HOPE, HEART AND THE HUMAN SPIRIT”.

 

BRIAN IS A PASSIONATE EXPERT ON INCLUSION AND DIVERSITY IN THE WORKPLACE AND MET LYDIA AT CHRISTIE’S WHERE HE SERVED AS HEAD OF HUMAN RESOURCES FOR ALMOST FIVE YEARS. THEY ARE FRIENDS AS WELL AS COLLEAGUES AND LYDIA’S FORTHRIGHT HONESTY AND HUMANITY RESONATE THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE CONVERSATION.

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-dcola-015&hsimp=yhs-015&hspart=dcola&p=lydia+fenet#id=23&vid=4d36e63dcf813a0951abbe7d5019e519&action=view

IT HAS BEEN A GREAT PRIVILEGE AND DELIGHT FOR THE LRFA BLOG INTERVIEW LYDIA FENET, WHOSE INSIGHT, INTELLIGENCE AND GRIT SET A HIGH STANDARD FOR ALL OF US IN TODAY’S WORLD.

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG, I AM VERY PLEASED TO INTRODUCE MIETY HEIDEN. MIETY IS  DEPUTY CHAIR AT PHILLIPS AND HEADS PRIVATE SALES AND PHILLIPS NEW DIGITAL PLATFORM, PHILLIPS X, EFFECTIVELY EXPANDING THE FOOTPRINT OF PHILLIPS BEYOND LIVE AUCTIONS.

PLEASE JOIN US!

Lydia Fenet, a passionate philanthropist, and charity auctioneer, Managing Director, Christie’s

Lydia Fenet
Global Head of Strategic Partnerships, Christie’s

MANY CHARITIES RELY ON SIGNATURE ANNUAL EVENTS TO FINANCIALLY SUPPORT THEIR MISSION-DRIVEN WORK. OFTEN, THE ANNUAL GALA FEATURES A BOTH LIVE AND SILENT AUCTIONS THAT IS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT FUND-RAISING EVENT OF THE YEAR. THE CHARITY SOLICITS DONATIONS FROM INDIVIDUALS AND BUSINESSES. NOW IN THESE UNCERTAIN TIMES, THE GENEROSITY AND SUPPORT OF DONORS MATTERS ALL THE MORE.

LYDIA FENET IS BEST KNOWN IN HER ROLE AT CHRISTIE’S, GLOBAL HEAD OF STRATEGIC PLANNING, A CONCEPT SHE INVENTED AND ESTABLISHED FOR THE AUCTION HOUSE AFTER THE CRASH OF 2008.  EQUALLY IMPORTANT TO HER AND TO ALL THOSE SHE HELPS IS HER VERY PROMINENT AND DEMANDING SECOND CAREER AS ONE OF THE WORLD-WIDE LEADING CHARITY AUCTIONEERS. EVEN WITH THE JOYS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF A FAMILY OF THREE YOUNG CHILDREN, LYDIA MAINTAINS AN EXHAUSTING SCHEDULE OF EVENING CHARITY AUCTIONS AFTER FULL WORKING DAYS AT CHRISTIE’S.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/13/arts/lydia-wickliffe-fenet-christies-auction.html

Are you looking to exceed your fundraising goals? Elevate your auction to the next level? Leave your guests entertained, inspired, and with considerably less money following your auction? Look no further than the woman who has raised over half a billion dollars for non-profits globally: Lydia Fenet. Using her charisma, humor, and uncanny ability to connect meaningfully with audiences of 100 and 3,000 (and everything in between), Ms. Fenet commands every stage effortlessly without leaving a dollar in the room.

Since leading her first auction in 2001, Lydia has taken over a thousand auctions, and is recognized as the top performer in her field.

Over the past fifteen years, Lydia has taken between 70 – 100 auctions a year. Her recent auctions have benefitted Tipping Point, AMFAR, the Bob Woodruff Foundation, New Yorkers for Children and the Naples Winter Wine Festival.

https://lydiafenet.com/

THE LRFA BLOG IS DELIGHTED TO HAVE LYDIA BACK TO SHARE HER INSIDER’S VIEW ON THE CHARITY AUCTION WORLD.

LYDIA, WHO WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN YOUR TWENTIES? HOW HAVE YOU EVOLVED AND WHAT ARE SOME OF THE WAYS IN WHICH YOUR SENSE OF SELF AND VALUE HAVE DEVELOPED IN YOUR THIRTIES?

In my twenties, I was very focused on pleasing everyone around me. An unkind word or a comment could upset for days. In my thirties, I realized that ultimately it has nothing to do with what people around me think. If I am living in my truth, acting with respect and kindness to those around me, I can be proud of who I am. 

YOU ARE THE LEADING CHARITY AUCTIONEER SPENDING 70 TO 80 NIGHTS A YEAR ON STAGE. HOW DID THAT ROLE EVOLVE?

When I first started taking auctions I would take any auction that I was asked to take. Because I spent so much time onstage, I was able to develop a style that felt very authentic and comfortable. As my auctioneering career evolved, I starting taking less auctions so that I could focus my energy on raising money for causes that I care deeply about in addition to the ones I do for Christie’s.

https://www.christies.com/features/What-I-have-learned-Lydia-Fenet-9768-1.aspx

HOW DO CHARITY AUCTIONS DIFFER FROM AUCTIONS AT CHRISTIE’S? AT AUCTION, THE FOCUS IS ON THE OBJECT, BE IT A RARE BOTTLE OF WINE OR  A PICASSO. CAN YOU GENERALIZE AS TO THE LOTS THAT REALIZE THE MOST AT A CHARITY AUCTION?

Without a doubt, charity auctions should focus on experiences, not art or items with an actual value. When something is considered “priceless” there really is no limit to what people will give. 

DO THE NON-PROFITS APPROACH YOU OR DO YOU WORK THROUGH CHRISTIE’S TO DECIDE WHICH AUCTIONS TO LEAD. HOW DID YOU ENTER INTO THE AUCTION WORLD AND HOW HAS YOUR APPROACH TO A SUCCESSFUL AUCTION DIFFERED FROM WHEN YOU STARTED AND HOW HAS IT REMAINED THE SAME?

It works both ways. If an auction goes well, I usually receive 2 or 3 requests from people in the audience asking if I will take their auction. In addition, I also receive a number of requests through Christie’s which are always interesting. I took a charity auction in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in June which was absolutely amazing. Christie’s is such a storied brand that the experiences I have had as an auctioneer for the firm have been truly amazing.

YOU TEACH A PROGRAM IN AUCTIONEERING AT CHRISTIE’S. DO YOU FIND THAT THE PROPORTION OF WOMEN TO MEN HAS CHANGED OVER THE YEARS?

Definitely. I have had a number of women over the years tell me that they tried out because they saw me onstage and felt like a woman could do it too.

 

DO WOMEN HAVE A DIFFERENT AUCTION STYLE OR DO YOU COACH EACH PERSON IN THE COURSE TO IDENTIFY AND REFLECT THEIR OWN PERSONALITY?

Without a doubt it is according to their personality. Everyone has something unique to bring to the table – in the class I try to figure out what that is and help them bring it into their performance.

YOUR RECENTLY PUBLISHED BOOK, THE MOST POWERFUL WOMAN IN THE ROOM IS YOU, COMES AT A TIME WHEN INCLUSION, EQUAL PAY AND FAIR TREATMENT ARE AT THE FOREFRONT OF OUR POLITICAL AND SOCIAL CONCERNS. WHAT WAS YOUR PURPOSE IN WRITING THE BOOK?

I wanted women to understand that all the power they need is already inside of them – they just need to start believing in themselves.

WHAT IS THE AUDIENCE YOU ARE YOU MOST INTERESTED IN REACHING AND HOW HAVE YOU GONE ABOUT IT?

When I wrote the book, I hoped to reach women who were just starting out in the working world. I focused on doing podcasts and interviews in publications that focused on that targeted group. Interestingly, what I have since realized since the publication date in April, is the book actually has a much larger reach. I can’t tell you how many emails and letters I have received from 60 – 70 year old women thanking me for writing the book, and telling me that they wished they had had the book when they were in their 20s.

EVEN IN THIS TIME OF STAYING HOME, SOCIAL DISTANCING AND QUARANTINE, LYDIA HAS BEEN INCREDIBLE PRO-ACTIVE IN FORMING AN AMAZING DAILY INSTAGRAM IG LIVE.  SHE INVITES A ROSTER OF ACCOMPLISHED WOMEN TO SPEAK ABOUT THEIR LIVES, THEIR CAREERS AND THEIR VISION OF THE FUTURE. TRY TO TUNE IN, AT 6 PM EASTERN, AND OF COURSE, BEING THE INCOMPARABLE PHILANTHROPIST THAT SHE IS, SHE INVITES US ALL TO DONATE TO HER FAVORITE CAUSE, https://www.river.fund, OR TO A CHARITY OF YOUR CHOICE.

PLEASE JOIN US IN THE NEXT LRFA BLOG POST WHERE LYDIA FENET OFFERS EXTRAORDINARY GUIDANCE IN THE ART OF NEGOTIATION.

AND, MOST OF ALL, STAY WELL AND STAY SAFE!

 

Lydia Fenet, Managing Director at Christie’s, founder and global head of Christie’s Strategic Partnerships

Lydia Fenet
Manager Director, Christie’s
Global Head, Strategic Partnerships

WE ARE FACING A PERIOD OF RADICAL TRANSFORMATION IN THE WAYS IN WHICH WE CONDUCT BUSINESS DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.  IN THE ART WORLD, GALLERIES, ART FAIRS AND AUCTION HOUSES ARE CREATING AND FURTHER DEVELOPING SOPHISTICATED VIRTUAL EXHIBITIONS, SALES AND VIEWING ROOMS IN AN EFFORT TO CONTINUE TO MARKET AND SELL ARTWORK.  IN 2008, WHEN FACED WITH A GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS, LYDIA FENET, MANAGING DIRECTOR AT CHRISTIE’S BROUGHT THE CONCEPT OF STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS TO THE AUCTION WORLD IN A THEN TRULY RADICAL AND INNOVATIVE WAY TO CONTINUE CORPORATE SUPPORT OF AUCTIONS.

A strategic partnership is a an agreed-upon collaboration between businesses with common missions. Although partnerships can take on a number of objectives and levels of formality depending upon the nature of the agreement, the overall goal of strategic partnerships is to share resources in a way that promotes growth for all partners. This type of marketing has long been in place in much of the corporate world in which businesses with mutual interests agree to collaborate to share their specific areas of concentration to the advancement of all of the partners.

WITH A TEAM IN NEW YORK, LONDON, AND HONG KONG, CHRISTIE’S STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS WORKS WITH SELECT BRANDS TO CREATE CUSTOMIZED REGIONAL AND GLOBAL PROGRAMS FEATURING ELEGANT EVENTS, BESPOKE CONTENT AND EXCLUSIVE DIGITAL EXPERIENCES. EACH PROGRAM IS UNIQUE AND PROVIDES THE PARTNER WITH OPPORTUNITIES TO ENGAGE THEIR AUDIENCE AND ELEVATE THEIR BRAND BY ALIGNING WITH CHRISTIE’S, THE WORLD’S LEADING ART BUSINESS AND THE ULTIMATE ICONIC LUXURY BRAND.

https://www.christies.com/about-us/strategic-partnerships

Christie’s Strategic Partnerships & Bugatti

THE LRFA BLOG IS DELIGHTED TO WELCOME LYDIA FENET BACK TO TELL US HOW IT ALL CAME ABOUT.

LYDIA, YOU VIRTUALLY TRANSFORMED THE BUSINESS MODEL AT CHRISTIE’S BY BRINGING IN OUTSIDE REVENUE TO SUPPORT THE SPECIAL EVENTS DEPARTMENT.

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE INNOVATIVE PLAN TO INTRODUCE PARTNERSHIPS BETWEEN OTHER LUXURY BRANDS AND CHRISTIE’S?  PLEASE TELL US ABOUT ITS INCEPTION AND DEVELOPMENT.

I started the Strategic Partnerships division at Christie’s after the crash in 2008. I was working in the Events and realized that, once again, I was going to lose members of my team because we were supposed to be spending money at a time when the company was really cutting back. I wrote a business plan for Strategic Partnerships proposing a new department that offset the costs of events by getting other companies to pay for our events. Now sponsorships are everywhere, but ten years ago companies were just starting to explore partnerships as a way to cross-promote to new audiences. Strategic Partnerships at Christie’s looks very different than it did ten years ago – we evolve and innovate to keep up with the constantly evolving digital landscape.

Christie’s Strategic Partnerships & Athena

 

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR CLIENTS THAT CHRISTIE’S PARTNERS WITH IN THE STRATEGIC GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS DIVISION?

We partner with every luxury brand imaginable – Mandarin Oriental, VistaJet, Gucci, Bugatti.

 

Christie’s Strategic Partnerships &
The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHT EVENTS AND PARTNERSHIP CAMPAIGNS THAT WERE THE MOST SUCCESSFUL FOR THE BRANDS AND WHY? 

To this day, my favorite partnerships were the ones we did around The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor. We partnered with everyone from Gazprom in Russia to Wells Fargo in Los Angeles. Each partnership brought exposure to a new group of clients and new ways to broaden the reach of the sale. A couple of years ago, we had a fantastic collaboration with VistaJet during The Collection of Peggy & David Rockefeller. They have a fabulous marketing team that worked with our team to create a customized series of offerings giving clients the opportunity fly privately in order to visit the exhibition around the world, and attend the sale in New York.

 

Christie’s Strategic Partnerships
& VistaJet

https://www.christies.com/auctions/rockefeller/vistajet

DO YOU APPROACH THEM OR THEY YOU OR BOTH?

Both. There are many times when we have an exciting sale that we think would benefit from cross-promotion with a brand. In that instance we create a target list and reach out. We also field a ton of requests from different companies looking to partner with the Christie’s brand.

Collector’s Night
Partnership Event with Christie’s
and Harris Fraser

WHAT MAKES A GOOD FIT FOR A BRAND TO PARTNER WITH CHRISTIE’S?

We are always looking for brands that have a strong corporate identity but also looking to try new, innovative campaigns that will attract new clients and resonate with existing clients. My favorite brand collaboration is with a brand that might seem unexpected, but with great storytelling and good marketing helps make people want to come in and see a collection or click through on Instagram to learn more about the collaboration.

YOU HAVE BEEN DESCRIBED BY OUR MUTUAL FRIEND, JENNIFER BROWN, EXPERT AND LEADING VOICE ON THE SUBJECT OF INCLUSIVITY IN THE WORKPLACE, AS A RAINMAKER. WHAT GAVE YOU THE COURAGE, IN AN ESSENTIALLY MALE DOMINATED INDUSTRY, TO BREAK THE GLASS CEILING?

One of my greatest blessings in life is the unconditional love I have received from my parents. I think the lessons that they taught me as a child about going after what I want in life have enabled me to push fear aside in pursuit of my goals. That combined with a strong inner drive makes me pretty fearless about trying new things.

DON’T MISS LYDIA’S DAILY INSTAGRAM IG LIVE INTERVIEWS THAT SHE HAS  INNOVATED DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, 6PM EASTERN NIGHTLY.

NOT ONE TO PASSIVELY SIT STILL, THE AUTHOR OF THE MOST POWERFUL WOMAN IN THE ROOM IS YOU, LYDIA FENET HAS CREATED A VERY POPULAR SERIES OF IG LIVE CHATS WITH OTHER WOMEN WHO ARE MOVERS AND SHAKERS WITH VERY DIVERSE BUSINESSES. DO LISTEN AND, IF YOU CAN, PLEASE SUPPORT LYDIA’S FAVORITE CHARITY, www/river.fund WITH A DONATION.  THANK YOU!

https://www.amazon.com/Most-Powerful-Woman-Room-You/dp/198210113X

HERE ARE JUST A FEW:

DANA PERINO, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR

JULIA TAYLOR, FOUNDER OF EVERLYWELL, AT-HOME LAB TESTS

SAMANTHA BARRY, EDITOR IN CHIEF, GLAMOUR MAGAZINE

CAROLINE FAIRCHILD, EDITOR AT LARGE, LINKED IN

LAUREN SMITH BRODY, FOUNDER, THE FIFTH TRIMESTER

With the most powerful woman in the room, Lydia Fenet, Managing Director at Christie’s

Lydia Fenet
Managing Director, Christie’s
Strategic Global Partnerships

LYDIA FENET IS A RAINMAKER. A COMMITTED PHILANTHROPIST, DEVOTED WIFE AND MOTHER, AS MANAGING DIRECTOR AT CHRISTIE’S AUCTION HOUSE, SHE CREATED AND HEADS THE STRATEGIC GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS. SHE IS A FANATICALLY SOUGHT AFTER CHARITY AUCTIONEER AND HAS RAISED OVER HALF A BILLION DOLLARS FOR NON-PROFITS GLOBALLY. SHE RECENTLY ADDED TO HER MANY ACCOMPLISHMENTS WITH THE PUBLICATION OF A BOOK, THE MOST POWERFUL WOMAN IN THE ROOM…IS YOU, A BRILLIANT AND EMINENTLY READABLE GUIDE FOR WOMEN TO EMPOWER THEMSELVES AT THE NEGOTIATING TABLE AND IN LIFE.

The Most Powerful Woman in the Room is YOU
by Lydia Fenet

https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/The-Most-Powerful-Woman-in-the-Room-Is-You/Lydia-Fenet/9781982101138

THE LRFA BLOG HAD PLANNED TO POST LYDIA’S INTERVIEW DURING THE NEW YORK AUCTION MONTH IN MAY AND LOOKED FORWARD, WITH GREAT ANTICIPATION, TO THE SERIES. THEN WE WERE ALL QUARANTINED, LOCKED DOWN BY THE FRIGHTENING AND UNEXPECTED PANDEMIC: COVID-19. LYDIA FACED THIS WITH THE SAME FORTITUDE AND DETERMINATION THAT CHARACTERIZES HER ENTIRE LIFE.  SHE STARTED A MARVELOUS INSTAGRAM IG LIVE SERIES TO BENEFIT A BELOVED CHARITY, THE RIVER FUND, INTERVIEWING OTHER ACCOMPLISHED WOMEN ABOUT THEIR BUSINESSES, HOW THEY ARE COPING WITH THE LOCKDOWN AND THEIR PLANS IN A POST-COVID WORLD.

MORE ON THAT TO FOLLOW, BUT HERE IS LYDIA’S APRIL 3 IG POST.

I can’t know the future. I can’t know if anything I do will change what happens tomorrow. What I do know is that if I do nothing, nothing will change. So I choose to try.

IT IS TRULY AN HONOR TO HAVE LYDIA FENET’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE LRFA BLOG.

LYDIA, WELCOME.

WHERE DID YOU GROW UP AND HOW DID YOU DEVELOP AN INTEREST IN ART?

I grew up in Louisiana, but we spent a lot of time in England/Europe because my mother is British. My parents took us to museums in all of the major cities whenever we were traveling, but I never remember being particularly interested in spending time looking at art. That all changed when I did a semester abroad at Oxford as part of a European Studies program through my college.

Oxford University

HOW DID YOU BECOME EXPOSED TO THE INTERNATIONAL ART SCENE AS A YOUNG WOMAN AND WHAT INFLUENCE DID THAT HAVE ON YOU?

I knew very little about about the international art scene before I read an article in a magazine about the auction world while it was in college. It all seemed incredibly glamorous and exciting, and decided that I needed to work in New York at an auction house. I spent months telling anyone who would listen that my life goal was to work at an auction house, and at a Christmas party later that year, I met a young woman who had just started working at Christie’s. She gave me the contact information for the internship coordinator, and I basically stalked her until she let me into the internship program. 

Christie’s New York

WHEN DID YOU MOVE TO NEW YORK AND WHY?

I moved to New York right after I graduated to work in an internship at Christie’s.

HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO FOCUS ON ART AS A CAREER CHOICE? SO MANY OF US BEGAN AS TENTATIVE WANNABE ARTISTS AND MANAGED TO TRANSFORM A LOVE OF ART INTO A PRESENCE IN THE ART BUSINESS. WAS THAT TRUE IN YOUR CASE?

Not at all. I have zero artistic ability when it comes to visual art– it was the business side of the art world combined with working around the art that made the job so appealing.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?

I never had a “first” job – my entire career has been at Christie’s. I did two internships, worked briefly in Client Advisory and then was hired in Special Events where I spent my first ten years with the firm. 

WHAT WERE YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AT CHRISTIE’S AS A PART OF THEIR SPECIAL EVENTS DEPARTMENT? WERE THEY FOCUSED ON EVENTS IN NEW YORK, OR GLOBALLY, AND IF SO,WHERE?

When I worked in Special Events, I conceptualized, planned and executed over 500 events a year for Christie’s North and South America. When I first started in the role the events were mainly in New York and Los Angeles, but as the art market became more global I started traveling a ton. I went to Brazil five or six times in eighteen months to execute events when the Brazilian market began to take off. I absolutely loved it. 

YOU HAVE BEEN WITH CHRISTIE’S IN DIFFERENT ROLES SINCE THE BEGINNING OF YOUR CAREER. WHAT IS IT ABOUT CHRISTIE’S THAT HAS CAPTURED YOUR ADMIRATION AND LOYALTY? 

It is such an amazing company, and there is no doubt that working around world class art is a huge part of why it is such an incredible place to work. But truthfully, I think the people who I work with are a large part of the reason that I have been here so long. I really enjoy working with the global Christie’s team. Whereas most companies are working to promote or sell the newest, hottest item, at Christie’s we are entrusted with items that have belonged to families for, in some cases, generations, and there is a story that has to be told, and a legacy to be explained in every piece. The people who work for the firm are intellectually curious, and very intelligent. Even after people leave the auction world, they are always part of the auction family.

IN SO MANY WAYS, LYDIA TRANSFORMED WAYS IN WHICH CHRISTIE’S PARTNERED WITH CORPORATIONS, HARD HIT BY 2008. IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG POST, SHE WILL SHARE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF HER CAREER AND HER COMMITMENT TO A TRULY GREAT AND HONORABLE AUCTION HOUSE.

THANK YOU ALL FOR FOLLOWING THE BLOG!

The art of recruiting for the art world, now and in the future, with founder of Murk & Co, Sarah Murkett

Start With Why
by Simon Sinek

SIMON SINEK IS THE AUTHOR OF MANY BEST SELLING BOOKS ON HOW THE GREATEST LEADERS AND ORGANIZATIONS THINK, ACT AND COMMUNICATE. IN START WITH WHY, HE GIVES EXAMPLES OF MANY OF THE LEADERS WHO INSPIRE US ALL IN EXACTLY THE SAME WAY: BY DEFINING AND ARTICULATING THE WHY OF WHAT THEY AND THEIR COMPANIES SET OUT TO ACCOMPLISH.

He writes:

WHY-types are the visionaries, the ones with the overactive imaginations. They tend to be optimists who believe that all the things they imagine can actually be accomplished. HOW-types are focused on things most people can see and tend to be better at building structures and processes and getting things done. Visionaries need HOW-types to realize their visions.  

Start With Why  p.38

https://www.amazon.com/Start-Why-Leaders-Inspire-Everyone/dp/1591846447

Sarah Murkett
Murk & Co.

SARAH MURKETT, FOUNDER AND OWNER OF MURK & CO., SPECIALIZES IN RECRUITING THE BEST HOW-TYPES FOR ALL THE MANY FACETED JOBS IN THE ART WORLD. HER SERVICES ARE INVALUABLE TO THE VISIONARIES THAT START A BUSINESS FOR WITHOUT THE EXECUTION, THEY WOULD ONLY HAVE IDEAS.

THE LRFA BLOG IS VERY PLEASED TO HAVE SARAH BACK TO SHARE HER VISION OF THE FUTURE OF THE RECRUITING WORLD IN GENERAL AND MURK & CO. IN PARTICULAR. SARAH, WHAT IS THE SCOPE OF SERVICES MURK & CO. PROVIDES IN TERMS OF ART-CENTRIC BUSINESSES? DO YOU FOCUS ON THE COMPANY’S POTENTIAL FOR GROWTH OR PROFIT OR MORE?

I am currently helping an advisor to grow her business and have been brought into the process at an intimate level.  An employee left and I conducted an exit interview with that person to get a better picture of her role and the activities of the business.  We restructured the role so that it would better suit the principal, in terms of the key support that she needs, as well as what would be potentially attractive to the talent pool being considered for the position.

 

IF YOU COULD IMPROVE THE NATURE OF THE RECRUITING BUSINESS IN ANY WAY, WHAT WOULD THAT BE?

Two things:

As I mentioned before, I try to meet all of my candidates in person and so I spend a lot of time in meetings and traveling to meetings.  But when this is not possible, I prefer a phone call and try to avoid video interviewing on platforms like Skype or Facetime.  I find the platform to be inherently awkward and so it gets in the way of me establishing a rapport with the candidates I am trying to connect with.  The most distancing feature of any video platform is where to look so that your eyes are in the right place.  You need to look into the camera in order for your call partner to feel like you are looking at them.  If you look at the screen where your call partner’s face appears, then it doesn’t feel like you are looking at them, creating a kind of parallax effect.  I personally just anxiously keep moving my eyes back and forth between the two.  Also, the surrounding environment, lighting, camera angle and what you are wearing all contribute to how you are perceived in a video call.  It feels like you need a background in video production in order to do this well, and if not done well, then it puts candidates at a disadvantage for something that has nothing to do with the skills required for the job they are interviewing for. And so, I avoid it whenever I can.  But if there was a way to improve this technology so that I could intimately connect with candidates around the world without have to leave the comfort of my office, then I would totally use it.

The other area of recruiting that I would like to see improved is specific to the art world.  A company’s employees are the human capital that allow it to operate and grow and I would love for my clients, and all art world businesses, to be offering more robust benefit packages to make sure their team is taken care of.  A comprehensive benefit package, at the very minimum, would include:

Full Health Insurance

Paid Time off including vacation, sick days, personal days, national holidays

401K or other retirement plan

If you are a small business trying to attract and keep top talent, then organizing yourself so that you are able to offer these basic benefits is an easy way to stand-out in the marketplace.

WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR MURK & CO? DO YOU HOPE TO EXPAND IN TERMS of SIZE AND/OR NUMBER OF LOCATIONS?

This year I plan on bringing on some support staff.  I am just beginning a search for a part-time data entry specialist, and hopefully later this year will also be able to add a researcher and assistant.  But there is definitely more to come, including expanded services for clients and candidates, so please stay tuned.

WE WILL. SARAH, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR INSIGHTFUL AND COMPREHENSIVE PERSPECTIVE ON THE JOB MARKET IN THE ART WORLD AND HOW RECRUITING SERVES BOTH CLIENT AND CANDIDATE.

THE LRFA BLOG IS HONORED THAT OUR NEXT INTERVIEW IS WITH THE INCOMPARABLE LYDIA FENET, GLOBAL HEAD OF STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS AT CHRISTIE’S AND AN INTERNATIONALLY SOUGHT AFTER CHARITY AUCTIONEER. LYDIA IS THE AUTHOR OF THE BEST-SELLING “THE MOST POWERFUL WOMAN IN THE ROOM IS YOU” IN WHICH YOU WILL LEARN TO DEVELOP BOTH A SENSE OF SELF-WORTH AND THE ART OF NEGOTIATION.

DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, SHE HAS GENEROUSLY LAUNCHED AN AMAZING IG LIVE, AN EXAMPLE TO ALL OF US TO BE PROACTIVE EVEN DURING THESE ENFORCED TIMES OF SELF-ISOLATION AND SOCIAL DISTANCING. THE SERIES BENEFITS THE CHARITY, THE RIVER FUND, AND LYDIA HOSTS DAILY INTERVIEWS WITH THE MOST INTERESTING AND ACCOMPLISHED WOMEN OF TODAY.

CHECK OUT THE IG LIVE AND THE NEXT LRFA BLOG POSTS!