Hedge fund manager Steve Cohen’s reported plan to sell a number of valuable artworks may not only deliver a nice chunk of change for the Wall Street mogul, it may also provide gains for another rival manager.
Cohen is selling several high-profile artworks from his art collection, according to a story Monday in the New York Times, and he has given the task of selling the works to Sotheby’s – the 269-year-old auction house currently in the firing line of activist Daniel Loeb.
Loeb’s hedge fund owns 9.3 percent of Sotheby’s, making his New York-based Third Point the majority shareholder. Loeb wants the company to revamp and overhaul many of its operations and has demanded the resignation of the current CEO William Ruprecht. Sotheby’s has called Loeb’s actions “incendiary and baseless.”
Among other things one of Loeb’s major criticisms of the company is its approach to the contemporary and modern art market. In his early October missive to Ruprecht he wrote:
In particular, we are troubled by the Company’s chronically weak operating margins and deteriorating competitive position relative to Christie’s, as evidenced by each of the Contemporary and Modern art evening sales over the last several years.