Rebecca Wei, Christie’s Asia Chairman, will be leaving the 253-year-old auction house after seven years with Christie’s. She will take a break before starting her new professional challenge next year. Under Wei’s leadership, the auction house has seen substantial growth in sales contributed by Asian buyers, as well as increasing presence in the Asian market.
Wei joined Christie’s Asia in 2002 as General Manager and became Managing Director in 2014. She was appointed President, Asia, in 2016, responsible for overseeing auctions, private sales, and e-commerce in Asia. In January 2019, she was promoted to Chairman in Asia to lead Christie’s top client program as a primary business getter and a collaborator with the company’s global team of specialists and client advisors. She has also been Chairman of the Asian Advisory Council since 2018.
Francis Belin was appointed President of Christie’s Asia
Rebecca is leaving Christie’s
Before moving into the auction industry, Wei spent over ten years at McKinsey and Company and became the first female partner to be elected to enter their Greater China office. Prior to that, she worked at UBS Warburg Dillon Read and served on the Board of several listed companies.
Wei has contributed significantly to the growth of Christie’s in Asia and especially in Greater China. During her tenure at Christie’s Asia, activities of Asian buyers within the region and around the world have increased, accounting for 25% of Christie’s global sales in 2018. 70% of Christie’s Asia business comes from Greater China. Wei also played a significant role in the consolidation of the house’s entire Asia business, including the previously distinct China market, into its Hong Kong offices.
In the autumn season last year in Hong Kong, Christie’s totalled HK$2.75 billion (US$353 million) with a number of records produced, including the record for the most expensive object ever sold by Christie’s in Asia. Su Shi’s Wood and Rock, a 1,000-year-old masterpiece, sold for record-shattering HK$463m (US$59.5m) to Rebecca Wei’s telephone bidder, who was later revealed by Wei to be a buyer from Greater China.
In autumn 2017, Christie's held an unprecedented evening sale for Chinese works of art and the sale was led by a Wucai fish jar and cover, Jiajing reign, from Le Cong Tang collection. The jar was hammered down for HK$188m and sold for HK$213m to Wei's telephone bidder. The final price realised is the third-highest auction record for any Ming ceramics.
At Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale in New York in November 2017, Vincent van Gogh’s Laboureur dans un champ became the top-price lot of the night after selling for a whopping US$81.3m, the second highest auction price in history for the artist. The painting was sold to Rebecca’s client.
Whoever picks up the role as Christie’s Asia Chairman will undoubtedly play a key role in continuing the auction house’s expansion and increasing its presence in Asia. Please stay tuned.