Press Release

Sotheby’s New Appointments  in Tandem with Ongoing Expansion Across Asia

Hong Kong


Wannida Saetieo to take on an advisory role for the development of Thailand and George Lacey, Head of Wine relocates from London to Hong Kong in support of Sotheby’s Asia growth

Hong Kong, 16 November 2022 Sotheby’s announces the appointments of Jane Yoon as Sotheby’s Managing Director, South Korea and Apple Charnsethukul as Head of Sotheby’s Thailand, to lead the development of the company’s business activities in both regions, as part of a commitment to expand its footprint across Asia. Driven by South Korea’s established but growing art and luxury market, Jane will tap into local business opportunities to establish Sotheby’s footprint locally and set up an office in Seoul. Together with Apple, who is based in Bangkok, both appointments will work closely with colleagues both in Asia and internationally to drive business goals and establish Sotheby’s footprint locally, from the very centre of South Korea and Thailand’s established and expanding cultural milieu. 

Jane Yoon arrives at Sotheby’s with twenty-three years’ experience in the art world, beginning her career in the commercial gallery sphere in New York, Korea and China. In 2012 Jane held a position at Art Basel Hong Kong, before taking a role at Christie’s Hong Kong as a specialist in the Post-War and Contemporary Art department. She later joined Phillips in 2017, where she opened an office in Seoul and managed the company’s presence in the region.

The arts scene in South Korea is thriving; with its market expected to surpass a trillion won / US$760m this year for the first time, three times more than 2021; the Asia debut of the Frieze art fair in the city and the opening of international and local galleries – a development that is mirrored by the growing activity of Korean collectors at Sotheby’s. The number of new bidders and millennial collectors has seen an increase of almost 50% this year to date, over 2021, with millennials focusing on Contemporary art and showing interest across the luxury categories.

Kullachat (“Apple”) Charnsethukul has worked in Thailand’s luxury goods business for over fifteen years, beginning her career in marketing for Montblanc before running a popular luxury timepiece manufacture for more than ten years and successfully cultivating a local client network.  With Apple’s diverse experience in luxury, she has also recently led the watches and fine jewelry department of one of Thailand’s leading group of companies (the Gaysorn Group) to further optimize business goals for the brand. 

Apple succeeds Wannida Saetieo, a Sotheby’s veteran who nurtured a vast client base and brought to auction important private collections for over 20 years. Wannida will be taking on an advisory role for the ongoing development of Thailand in support of Sotheby’s Asia growth.  

As part of Sotheby’s greater global business integration, this month also sees George Lacey relocate from Sotheby’s London to Hong Kong to become Head of Wine, Asia as the region continues to drive the market for Wine and Spirits with 50% of global sales. George oversaw the first consecutive ‘white glove’ (100% sold) wine sales in London for more than five years, spearheaded a six-fold increase in the number of single-owner sale offerings, and developed a focused programme of direct-from-producer auctions, including direct auctions from the historic cellars of more than three leading Bordeaux Châteaux, in two different partnerships with CHANEL and the Cazes family, as well as exclusive direct releases from Super-Tuscan Tenuta San Guido (Sassicaia), rising Rheingau star Eva Fricke and from the cellars of Paul Jaboulet Aîné to celebrate their 100th anniversary. Paul Wong will assume a new role as Head of Department, Wine & Spirits, China, to further develop the local clientele and to eventually establish local wine & spirits auctions as part of Sotheby’s cross-channel China strategy.


Sotheby’s Expansion in Asia

Sotheby’s pan-Asia strategy includes the appointment earlier this year of Jean Qian as Managing Director, China to elevate the brand’s presence in the country. This month marked Sotheby’s return to the China International Import Expo (CIIE), a major platform for fostering art and culture collecting experience to the local community with a space five times larger than last year. This commitment will continue with further initiatives to come in Greater China next month and into 2023, including the launch of Sotheby’s new Mainland China Headquarters in Shanghai, which boasts a large showcasing space alongside its office, and a magnificent view of the Suzhou River waterfront that runs through the heart of the city. In Southeast Asia, this summer saw the company’s first ever non-selling exhibition in Vietnam which saw attendance from over 4,000 visitors; the staging of Sotheby's first auction in Singapore in fifteen years; the move of its Tokyo office space to the heart of the city’s contemporary art scene. Sotheby’s broadening of its activities across the region tallies with its approach of meeting collectors wherever they are, and taking business beyond the traditional centres, the model for which has been in motion for some time.

Sotheby’s expansion in Asia has played out against the backdrop of continued solid results in Hong Kong, including a record-setting year in 2021, the second highest total in company history for a Spring sales series (April 2022) and most recently the highest total for an Autumn sales series in four years.  

Looking more broadly, Asian collectors remain a strong force in Sotheby’s global sales, accounting for over a quarter of all bids by value so far this year. Across Luxury, Asian collectors account for the highest proportion of global spend (40%), and with the largest percentage of buyers in Streetwear and Modern Collectables (57%), Handbags & Accessories (34%), and Watches (33%). 


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