Phillips Hires Former Christie’s Executive Cathy Elkies as Its Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer

Elkies was among a string of high-profile departures from Christie's in 2016.

Cathy Elkies. Photo courtesy of Phillips.

Phillips continues its recent hiring spree with the appointment of Cathy Elkies as the its new chief marketing and business development officer. Elkies previously served as the global managing director of 20th and 21st century art & design at Christie’s.

Elkies was part of a number of high-profile departures that left Christie’s in July 2016 amid a market correction followed by a period of instability in the top-level auction sector. At the same time, Phillips has hired Dina Amin, Clarice Pecori Giraldi, Ken Yeh, and Miety Heiden, as well as several other auction house executives in recent years.

In her new role at Phillips, Elkies will work across several departments to help develop and implement the company’s brand positioning and communications strategy around the globe. One of her chief assignments will be to grow the auction house’s client base while strengthening existing relationships.

“Phillips has experienced exponential growth in the last three years,” Elkies told artnet news in an email. “It has made senior global hires, opened a new London headquarters, started auctions in Hong Kong, established a 20th century art department, launched a market-leading watch department, and greatly expanded its digital sales. That’s an enormous amount of change in a short period of time. So I see my job as connecting the dots and helping Phillips continue to reach new clients around the world.”

Total sales at Phillips have increased by more than 80 percent since 2014, the year the house appointed Ed Dolman as its CEO. They reached an unprecedented $708 million last year. The impressive growth has largely been financed by Phillips’s Russian-owned parent company, the Mercury Group, which helped bankroll international expansion and the hiring of several key executives.

Among them now is Elkies, who will be “a key member of our global leadership team,” said Dolman in an email. She “will elevate Phillips’s strategy of engaging with clients and expanding our brand’s reach as we continue to grow our market share.”


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