Sotheby's

About Sotheby’s

Established in 1744, Sotheby’s is the world’s premier destination for art and luxury. Sotheby’s promotes access to and ownership of exceptional art and luxury objects through auctions and buy-now channels including private sales, e-commerce and retail. Our trusted global marketplace is supported by an industry-leading technology platform and a network of specialists spanning 40 countries and 70 categories which include Contemporary Art, Modern and Impressionist Art, Old Masters, Chinese Works of Art, Jewelry, Watches, Wine and Spirits, and Design, as well as collectible cars and real estate. Sotheby’s believes in the transformative power of art and culture and is committed to making our industries more inclusive, sustainable and collaborative.

THE ROLE

The Head of Wine, EMEA is part of the global wine & spirits leadership team and will focus on maximizing the growth of Sotheby’s Wine business in Continental Europe and the United Kingdom, with an emphasis on driving sales from the region to auction (and retail), both locally and internationally. You will have specialist knowledge and experience, be a highly-motivated independent self-starter, tasked with sourcing high value collections, negotiating profitable sales, meeting P&L plan and margin targets across the business. He or she will have and develop a significant private client and trade network, as well as targeted producer relationships. You will negotiate deals, inspect and catalogue wines, provide advice to buyers both for drinking and investment, create and attend Wine events, and provide general organization and administration as the business requires. As part of the global wine & spirits leadership team, you will be expected to contribute to and implement the growth strategy focusing on Continental Europe.

Responsibilities

Leadership

  • Enhance the visibility of Sotheby’s Wine as part of the Sotheby’s brands, and drive profitable growth of Sotheby’s Wine to secure its short- and long-term success
  • Apply your innate understanding of the wine trade to further create a Sotheby’s Wine brand in Continental Europe that is commercially appealing, consistent with the brand and priced sensibly
  • Contribute to the success of the business plan by meeting and exceeding assigned sales goals
  • Develop and implement the agreed auction, retail (including e-Commerce), private sales and storage (including virtual storage) vision for Sotheby’s Wine in EMEA
  • Collaborate with internal stakeholders across the wider business as well as the global Sotheby’s Wine team to compose, produce and execute interesting, innovative and profitable sale formats and concepts across the Sotheby’s sales channels
  • Develop strong and collaborative relationships both within Sotheby’s Wine and within the auction house generally
  • Develop, train, manage, incentivize and retain the Continental Europe Wine team in all locations
    • Direct reports include the Head of Auction Sales, UK & Head of Auction Sales, France
  • Foster, develop and enhance critical supplier relationships with the top wine producers in Continental Europe

Expertise

  • Sourcing and securing profitable consignments for auction and direct selling opportunities through retail, meeting individual revenue targets and helping the team meet annual budget targets
  • Secure profitable consignments for auction and wholesaler and/or private purchases for retail, meeting individual revenue targets and help the local and global teams meet annual plan
  • Cultivate and execute producer partnership strategies to obtain auction consignments and retail purchases where permitted.
  • Setting an example of scholarship providing expertise, researching and cataloguing wines to the highest standard
  • Perform property inspection for wine at Sotheby’s Wine warehouses and on-site at client’s premises
  • Proofing digital catalogues and listings
  • Valuing property to provide auction/retail/fair market/insurance estimates as required by the client
  • Assisting with inspection and research/cataloguing of wines for sale in New York and Hong Kong when required

Client Relationship Management

  • Grow Sotheby’s Wine private client and trade network in Continental Drive a long-term client development strategy across private, trade and winery clients
  • Using Specialist knowledge and expertise on strategic long-term business getting focused on high level opportunities and their requirements.
  • Act as a client contact for this client base and develop strong relationships with revenue opportunities
  • Act as an ambassador for the Wine business within Sotheby’s, promoting its services, products and expertise to internal stakeholders, cross selling the Sotheby’s Wine business to all Sotheby’s clients
  • Provide advice to buyers across both auction & retail
  • Responsible for selling wine to clients via telephone, email, in-person and at events
  • Events composition/participation to include client development and entertaining
  • Work with the wider business to streamline processes and ensure efficient client service, engaging with operations, marketing, events, and regional Chairman / business development to create consistently exceptional client experience

Team and Sale Management

  • Working with Specialist, Operations team, oversee preparation of marketing and communication strategies in conjunction with the Marketing, Press and Editorial teams to sell sales.
  • Ensure that the Specialist Operations team manages sale production and deadlines: Ensure that all photography is completed in a timely manner
  • Researching and writing catalogue entries, proof reading
  • Liaising with Catalogue Production and Sale Creation teams as appropriate
  • Produce and manage appraisal and proposal coordination
  • Responsible for having business getting spreadsheet updated to current status
  • Work with the wider business to streamline processes and ensure efficient client service, engaging with operations, marketing, events, and regional Chairman / business development to create consistently exceptional client experience
  • Manage wine auctions and related events
  • Contribute to the global leadership of the wine business by helping shape the strategy for growth in Continental Europe and help implement initiatives
  • Provide support to other parts of the Auction and Retail wine business as and when required

Ideal Experience & Competencies

  • 10+ years of professional experience;
    • 8+ years as a Specialist in fine wine and the Global wine market
  • Strong industry relationships with top producers
  • Management experience in the fine wine business
  • Proven ability to operate in a start-up or similar environment, providing dynamic, strategic leadership combined with hands-on operational drive
  • Capable of identifying obstacles to growth and success, and translating expertise into results
  • Proven manager, inspirational and dynamic leader, with experience of global teams
  • Commit to uphold ethical standards at the highest level, consistent with Sotheby’s reputation.
  • Understand and demonstrate a “no compromise” attitude towards luxury: protecting the
  • Sotheby’s Wine vision and brand equity while achieving short term sales goals
  • Experience in developing HNW and trade network and converting relationships into revenue
  • Strong ability to network and convert social connections into business opportunities, professional, discreet and commercial client service skills
  • Bilingual in French and English in written and verbal communication
  • Proficient in MS Word, Excel and SAP preferred

 

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