NEW YORK—Phillips, de Pury and Company recently announced the formation of its first advisory board. The 11-member panel is comprised of American and European artists, art collectors and business executives.
They include: Marc Jacobs, a clothing designer; fashion photographers Juergen Teller and Mario Testino; Lisa Eisner, a Bel Air, Calif., photographer and art-book publisher; contemporary-art collector Maria Bell, also of Bel Air; Austrian archduchess Francesca von Habsburg and German princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis, both major contemporary art collectors; Lapo Elkann, a brand promotion manager at Fiat Auto in Torino, Italy; London art-book publisher Lady Elena Foster; New York City real estate developer and contemporary collector Aby Rosen; and German television broadcast CEO Christiane zu Saim.
The concept of an advisory board grew out of a retreat earlier this year that was held by the 13 partners who own Phillips (chairman Simon de Pury is the majority owner).
The auctioneer’s “client base is currently fairly evenly split between Europe and the U.S., with a rapidly growing client base in new collecting markets,” says Brook Hazelton, managing director of Phillips. Part of the selection process for advisory board members, he explains, was finding people in the “primary geographical locations” of the auctioneer’s sales.
Unlike a board of directors, which has a fiduciary responsibility to a company, an advisory board offers nonbinding suggestions for businesses on how better to realize their goals. Hazelton told ARTnewsletter that the Phillips advisory board will “lend creative ideas and a network of relationships” to the auction house but will “not be involved with financial, legal or administrative activities.”
Auctioneers Sotheby’s and Christie’s both maintain advisory boards: Sotheby’s has one board of 18 members, while Christie’s has two—one in New York and one in London—each consisting of about a dozen members.