MCH Group, one of the world’s leading live marketing companies, which has its head office in Basel/Switzerland, is expanding its international exhibition portfolio and strengthening its position in exclusive global collectors’ markets. At the same time, the group is gearing its organisational structure even more consistently to the implementation of its corporate strategy.
Acquisition of Masterpiece London Ltd
On 30 November 2017, MCH Group Ltd. acquired 67.5% of the shares in Masterpiece London Ltd, which organises the collectors' event of this same name at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London each summer. The remaining 32.5% of the shares are held by the current shareholders.
Masterpiece London Ltd was founded in 2008, the first edition of the fair was in 2010. At the fair, 150 leading galleries and specialists present to new and established collectors exceptional works of art from every major market discipline, including ancient and contemporary art, rare books and photography, design and antiques, jewellery and ceramics. Masterpiece London is one of the leading events of its kind globally today. The ten-strong team is managed by Lucie Kitchener. She joined Masterpiece London in January 2017 having previously held senior roles in the luxury goods sector. As managing director, she will be responsible for the new business unit within MCH Group.
With the integration of Masterpiece London, MCH Group is further expanding its already strong position in the key global collectors’ markets. Presenting the finest works of art from antiquity to the present day, and with a unique focus on cross-collecting, Masterpiece London ideally complements MCH's collector events portfolio with Art Basel (in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong), the Design & Regional Art Fairs and the newly launched Grand Basel for exclusive automobiles, which opened in Basel in 2018. Masterpiece London and Grand Basel will be staged at further locations in the USA, Asia and the Middle East over the next few years.
Alignment of the organisational structure
The MCH Group is realigning its organisational structure so as to better support the implementation of its corporate strategy and the requirements of increasing digitisation. The international exhibition and event business (Baselworld, Art Basel, Design & Regional Art Fairs, Grand Basel and Masterpiece London) is being grouped together in the "Global Events" division under the management of CEO René Kamm. The national exhibition and event business at the Basel, Zurich and Lausanne locations – the MCH exhibition portfolio under the management of Didier Peier and the supervision of third-party events and facility management – are being grouped together in the "Events Switzerland & Venues" division under the management of Peter Holenstein. Jean-Marc Devaud continues to lead the division "Live Marketing Solutions".
The fields of New Products and M&A, Digital Business and Services and ICT and Human Resources are being pooled in the extended service unit "Corporate Development & Services" under the management of Stephan Peyer. The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) – the head of "Finance & Administration" to date – will be concentrating on the functions of "Corporate Finance" and also "Risk Management" and "M&A Support" in future.
With these structural alignments it will be possible to create and exploit further synergies, both in the development of international business activity and in strengthening national MCH and third-party exhibitions.
CFO Christophe Biollaz is leaving the MCH Group
Christophe Biollaz, Head of Finance & Administration and a member of the Executive Board, has taken the decision to leave the MCH Group in the course of the coming year, at his own request, and to take up new professional challenges. He joined the company on 1 December 2013 and has held the post of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) since 1 January 2014. The Board of Directors and management greatly regret the forthcoming departure of Christophe Biollaz. They would like to thank him for his high-level commitment and the valuable inputs he has contributed to the MCH Group over the past four years, and especially for boosting the group’s financial competence and for his active participation in the strategic realignment of the company. He will be continuing in his function until a successor has been arranged and will ensure a smooth transition.
New management of Design & Regional Art Fairs
Marco Fazzone, Managing Director of Design & Regional Art Fairs, will be leaving MCH Group at his own request at the end of January 2018 and taking on a new professional challenge. From 2013 to 2016, Marco Fazzone formed part of the management team for Art Basel, before taking charge of the new Design & Regional Art Fairs business unit with responsibility for developing the portfolio of regional art fairs. MCH Group very much regrets the departure of Marco Fazzone and thanks him for the excellent basis that he has created for the further development of the regional art fairs. Frank Lasry will be the new managing director of the Design & Regional Art Fairs business unit as of 1 February 2018. Since 2014, he has been Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Phillips Auctioneers Ltd and, prior to this, held various operational and managerial positions at Christie’s International in London, Paris, Hong Kong and Dubai for 12 years.