Christie’s appoints international director

Fine art auction house Christie’s has appointed former Grey London business director Richard Bagnall-Smith to the newly created position of international strategic marketing director.

Bagnall-Smith will be based in London and has a remit to develop, implement and oversee Christie’s marketing and client strategies worldwide. Christie’s has its own in-house strategic, advertising and new media teams.

Bagnall-Smith will also focus on maximising the potential of the company’s database and tightly segmenting the company’s customer base.

He will work closely with Christie’s London managing director Lisa King and report to chief executive officer worldwide Edward Dolman. He will also serve as a member of the Christie’s group management committee.

Christie’s London house and other European auction houses face a potential headache due to a new European Union directive. The “droit de suite” directive is due to be implemented on January 1, 2006 and already exists in some countries, such as France. It gives artists and their descendants the right for 70 years after the artist’s death to claim a levy every time a work is sold.

One possible implication is that owners of art will sell their works in countries where the levy does not apply, such as the United States. The London market accounts for an estimated half of all European art sales.

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