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Michael McGinnis, president of auction house Phillips, is leaving the company after 16 years as the smaller rival to Christie’s and Sotheby’s undergoes a transformation under new senior management.

McGinnis will step down on Nov. 30 to spend time with his family and pursue other opportunities, Phillips said Thursday in an e-mailed statement. After founding the contemporary-art department in 1999, McGinnis became the boutique auctioneer’s chief executive officer in 2012 and held the post until CEO Edward Dolman’s arrival in 2014, when he assumed his current role.

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Last September, Arnold Lehman announced that he was retiring from his post as director of the Brooklyn Museum, a job he has held since 1997. Today, however, it became clear that his retirement won’t last very long, with Phillips announcing that he has joined the auction house as a senior advisor to its chairman and CEO, Edward Dolman.

Dolman joined Phillips last July after having spent 27 years at Christie’s and three years as the executive director of the Qatar Museums Authority.

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Phillips will sell a $35-million contemporary art collection at its New York auction house this May, featuring works by artists such as Alighiero Boetti, John Chamberlain, Brice Marden, Giuseppe Penone, Ed Ruscha, and Robert Ryman. The consignment represents a coup for the house and a sign of the clout and art world connections of new chairman and CEO Edward Dolman. The longtime Christie's CEO took over the lead role at Phillips this past summer. The house has salesrooms in New York and London and plans to expand to Hong Kong.

Though Phillips typically holds much smaller contemporary art sales than Sotheby's and Christie's, it has nonetheless carved out a niche and become well known for selling art by younger artists like Alex Israel, Oscar Murillo, and Sterling Ruby.

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Thursday, 11 September 2014 11:20

Phillips to Open Saleroom in Hong Kong

Phillips is planning to open a saleroom in Hong Kong “as soon as possible”, says Edward Dolman, who joined the auction house as its chairman and chief executive in July. Dolman, who worked at Christie’s for 27 years where he launched salerooms in Paris, New York and Hong Kong, says he has spent “a lot of time” over the past ten years developing the auction business and recruiting in Hong Kong. “It’s a very exciting market,” he says.

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Christie’s veteran and former CEO of the Qatar Museums Authority Edward Dolman has joined Phillips as chairman and CEO. He will share his time between the auction house’s London and New York headquarters, overseeing and developing a major growth strategy for the business, which will include a push abroad as well as the inclusion of new categories.

Dolman’s appointment comes at a crucial time for Phillips, which will inaugurate grand new headquarters at 30 Berkeley Square in London this October.

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Edward Dolman, the former Chief Executive and Chairman of Christie’s, has announced that he will leave his current post as Executive Director and Acting Chief Executive of the Qatar Museums Authority. Dolman will return to the auction world in July when he assumes the role of Chairman and Chief Executive of Phillips.

During his three-year tenure with the Qatar Museums Authority, Dolman oversaw the construction and opening of several new museums. He also presided over the state’s collections, spearheaded new acquisitions, and organized exhibitions.

Phillips, which sells contemporary art, design, photography, limited edition prints, and jewelry, was founded in 1796 by former Christie’s employee Harry Phillips. The auction house is currently owned by the Russian luxury goods company, the Mercury Group.

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Edward J. Dolman, chairman of Christie’s International, is leaving the auction house to join the board of the Qatar Museums Authority.

A Christie’s employee for 27 years, Dolman will be working directly for the emir’s daughter, Mayassa Bint Hamad Al Thani, as the executive director of her office, the London-based auction house said today in an e-mailed statement.

Dolman, 51, became chairman of Christie’s in September 2010, when Steven Murphy, the former president and chief executive of the U.S.-based publishing company Rodale Inc., succeeded him as CEO.

Dolman had been appointed CEO in December 1999 after spending several years as a European furniture specialist.

Qatar’s museums authority administers collections of Islamic art, Orientalist paintings, natural history, photography, armor, Islamic coins, costumes and jewelry.

In October 2010, the emir said he may be interested in acquiring the London-based auction house, the Financial Times reported, after months of speculation about a possible Qatari bid. Christie’s remains a private company owned by the French billionaire Francois Pinault. The auction house was bought by his holding company, Groupe Artemis SA, for $1.2 billion in May 1998.

Active Buyers

The new National Museum of Qatar, designed by Jean Nouvel, is scheduled to open in December 2014, according to the authority’s website. Members of the Qatari royal family have been active buyers of Western modern and contemporary art in recent years.

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