Tsukahara Stays as Antiquorum CEO

John Yo Tsukahara will remain Antiquorum S.A.’s chief executive into next year, JCK has learned. A search for a permanent replacement for founder Osvaldo Patrizzi, who left in August, has ended. In addition, investment banking veteran David Smith has been named to the new post of chief financial officer.

Tsukahara is director of ArtistHouse Holdings, the Japanese conglomerate which bought 50 percent of Antiquorum in 2006.

Tsukahara became interim president and chief executive officer Aug. 2 when Patrizzi was ousted by Antiquorum’s new operators. (Patrizzi has challenged in court the legality of the removal of himself and other Antiquorum executives.)

Tsukahara will now remain CEO at least through spring 2008, Karen Tasso, Antiquorum’s spokesperson, told JCK. She was replying to recent rumors in Switzerland that Tsukahara had been removed by ArtistHouse Holdings.

“There will be no [other] new CEO in the near future,” Tasso told JCK. Tsukahara will remain CEO “for a long interim period, at least April or May,” she said. “He likes it very much here, and things are running smoothly with Mr. Tsukahara as CEO.”

Tsukahara, an independent management consultant, joined the board of directors of ArtistHouse Holdings in fall 2006. Earlier, Tsukahara was in the information technology department of the Marubeni Corp., a major Japanese trading company, dealing in a range of products and materials. Tsukahara was with Marubeni for 30 years (including seven in Australia and two in California).

With Antiquorum’s top spot filled for the foreseeable future, its new operators are focused on the international auction house’s “restructuring phase,” Tasso said.

As part of the restructuring, David Smith, a veteran of the international investment banking business, was named CFO. Smith had been for four years head of the section working with high net-worth clients of HSBC Private Banking, part of the HSBC Group, one of the globe’s largest banking and financial services organizations. Prior to that, he was with the SGS (Société Générale de Surveillance) Group, Switzerland’s second-largest public company, for over a decade. There, he headed up mergers and acquisitions in North America; SGS’s audit department worldwide, and was SGS financial director for Italy. Earlier, he worked for Philip Morris.