New York, NY – June 14, 2016 – Athena Art Finance Corp. (“Athena”) today announced that Jamie Niven, former Chairman of the Americas at Sotheby’s, has joined the New York-based company’s board as its first independent director. The appointment substantiates Athena’s continuing efforts to position itself as a premier specialty art-lender as well as its commitment to strong corporate governance.
“We are honored to have Jamie joining our board of directors,” said Athena’s CEO and President, Andrea Danese. “An advocate and a champion of the art market at large, Jamie brings to Athena decades of outstanding experience along with a vast network of relationships and knowledge. We look forward to his ambassadorship and guidance.’’
Mr. Niven was Chairman of the Americas at Sotheby’s from 2006 to 2015 and joined the auction house’s New York office in 1996. Prior to joining Sotheby’s, he was Chairman of Global Natural Resources. He started his career in the corporate finance division of Lehman Brothers.
“I am delighted to be joining Athena’s board and to further support art as an asset class in this role,” Mr. Niven said. “Athena offers collectors the ability to borrow funds on a non-recourse basis with their blue chip art as collateral, adding an important dimension to their collecting activity that could benefit the art market as a whole.”
Athena’s board also includes CEO and President, Andrea Danese, a structured finance veteran; Olivier Sarkozy, Senior Advisor to the Carlyle Group; Pierre-Alain Wavre, Head of Pictet Investment Office and Group Managing Director at the Pictet Group; as well as Philippe Bertherat, a retired partner of the Pictet Group.
With strong ties to the not-for-profit community, Mr. Niven is a trustee of The Museum of Modern Art, Chairman of The Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention, and is on the Boards of Overseers and Managers of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He joined the board of Bloomberg Philanthropies in June 2016 and the board of CASAColumbia in August 2013. He has previously served as a director for The Central Park Conservancy, The Children’s Aid Society, The Neil A. McConnell Foundation, AMREF, The Parrish Art Museum and The National Center for Learning Disabilities. A former Sotheby’s auctioneer, Mr. Niven has conducted over 550 benefit auctions, helping raise over $500 million for charitable causes.
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