Sotheby’s has dismissed the three director candidates proffered by Third Point and offered a pair of independent candidates of its own.
The auction house said it had reviewed Third Point’s nominees, which include Third Point founder and frequent Sotheby’s customer Daniel Loeb, and found them wanting. They “add no relevant expertise not already represented on the board of directors,” Sotheby’s told shareholders.
Instead, the company urged its investors to vote for its candidates, Jessica Bibliowicz and Kevin Conroy. The former is a senior adviser to Bridge Growth Partners and the daughter of former Citigroup Chairman Sandford Weill, and the latter is a senior executive at Univision Communications.
Sotheby’s also said its board had unanimously rejected Loeb’s proposals for the company, which included a focus on increasing its “chronically weak operating margins” and on modern and contemporary art. Loeb has also called for the ouster of CEO William Ruprecht.
“Under the leadership and guidance of your board of directors, Sotheby’s has delivered strong financial performance and superior shareholder returns, including a total shareholder return of 32.5% over the last year,” Sotheby’s wrote.