Bonhams CEO Bruno Vinciguerra, Who Oversaw Rapid-Fire Expansion, Is Stepping Down
The auction house's executive chairman, Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, will lead the company on an interim basis.
Bonhams announced today that its CEO, Bruno Vinciguerra, is stepping down after more than five years in the role. Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, the auction house’s executive chair, who joined its board in 2020, will take the helm on an interim basis.
The 230-year-old company did not give a reason for Vinciguerra’s departure or lay out new strategies that it will undertake with Hoejsgaard’s leadership.
In 2018, Bonhams was acquired by the private equity firm Epiris, and set about carving out a middle-market business. The auction house also bolstered its volume in 2022 through a rapid-fire series of acquisitions of smaller but well-known regional auction houses, including Bukowskis in Stockholm, Bruun Rasmussuem in Copenhagen; Cornette de Saint Cyr in Paris; and Skinner in Boston, Mass.
The combined 2021 turnover for those four houses was more than $300 million, according to Bonhams, which reported turnover of $1.14 billion last year.
Hoejsgaard spearheaded the acquisitions of Bukowskis, Bruun Rasmussen, and Cornette de Saint Cyrt he, the company said.
Vinciguerra was COO at Sotheby’s for nearly nine years before joining Bonhams. In 2022, Bonhams’s annual revenue topped $1 billion for the first time, a 27 percent increase from the $816 million it reported in 2021. In 2023, it had its highest-grossing year ever, growing 14 percent to reach that $1.14 billion figure.
In early 2023, Epiris was reportedly seeking to sell the house with a valuation of roughly $1 billion, according to Bloomberg. It declined to comment on the matter at the time, as did J.P. Morgan, which was said to be advising on a possible sale.
“Bruno and I have shared the Bonhams journey since day one and I want to pay tribute to his leadership in transforming the business and to thank him for our partnership,” Alex Fortescue, managing partner of Epiris, said in a statement. “With Bruno at the helm, we have come a long way since 2018.”
Hoejsgaard has 30 years of experience in global luxury and is a non-executive director (and former CEO) of MCH group, the owner of the Art Basel and Masterpiece London fair. He is also a non-executive director of Barclays Bank Switzerland. He is Danish by birth, speaks four languages, and is based in Switzerland.
Just a few weeks ago, rival Phillips also reported a shift in leadership, with Stephen Brooks stepping down as CEO after nearly three years. During his tenure, the house hosted record-breaking sales and expanded its global reach, opening a new Asia headquarters in Hong Kong last year. Edward Dolman, Phillips’s executive chairman, told Artnet News that Brooks departed for personal reasons.
Follow Artnet News on Facebook:
Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.