NEW YORK, June 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.
About Athena Art Finance (www.athena-art.com)
Launched in October 2015 with $280 million of equity capital led by the Carlyle Group and investors of the private equity unit of the Pictet Group, Athena is an independent specialty finance company, dedicated to serving the financing needs of the global art market. Building upon the strength of its founding shareholders, Athena specializes in lending solutions that are secured by blue-chip fine art collections.
About The Carlyle Group
The Carlyle Group is a global alternative asset manager with $193 billion of assets under management across 128 funds and 159 fund of funds vehicles as of June 30, 2015. Carlyle's purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, many of whom are public pensions. Carlyle invests across four segments – Corporate Private Equity, Real Assets, Global Market Strategies and Investment Solutions – in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South
America. Carlyle has expertise in various industries, including: aerospace, defense & government services, consumer & retail, energy, financial services, healthcare, industrial, real estate, technology & business services, telecommunications & media and transportation. The Carlyle Group employs more than 1,700 people in 35 offices across six continents.
About the Pictet Group
Founded in Geneva in 1805, Pictet is today one of Europe's leading independent wealth and asset managers, with $449 billion in assets under management or custody at June 30, 2015. The Pictet Group is owned and managed by seven partners with principles of ownership and succession that have remained unchanged since its foundation. The Pictet Group, headquartered in Geneva, employs more than 3,800 people. It is also present in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Basel, Brussels, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Lausanne, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Montreal, Munich, Nassau, Osaka, Paris, Rome, Singapore, Taipei, Tel Aviv, Turin, Tokyo, Verona and Zurich.
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SOURCE Athena Art Finance