Billionaire Activist Dan Loeb Confirmed to Board of Sotheby’s

May 29, 2014 12:02 pm ET

May 29 (Bloomberg) -- Billionaire hedge-fund manager Dan Loeb was confirmed as Sotheby’s newest director following a closely watched proxy fight between the auction house and its largest shareholder.

Loeb and five others were officially appointed to the board today at Sotheby’s annual shareholder meeting in New York. The activist investor sat in the front row of the room. His Third Point LLC owns 9.65 percent of Sotheby’s shares, according to a regulatory filing.

Sotheby’s agreed May 5 to appoint Loeb and two of his candidates, jewelry designer Olivier Reza and Harry J. Wilson, who helped restructure General Motors Co., after weeks of campaigning against them. Third Point and Sotheby’s struck a deal to expand the board to 15 members from 12.

The shareholders meeting, initially scheduled for May 6, was postponed until today. The deal was seen as a win for Loeb, who for months battered Sotheby’s management including Chief Executive Officer William Ruprecht about what he said was the auction house’s “deteriorating” competitive position.

Loeb, Reza and Wilson were appointed along with Jessica Bibliowicz, a financial-services executive whose father is Sanford Weill, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Citigroup Inc., and Kevin C. Conroy, an executive at Univision Communications Inc. Among the 15 directors, 13 are independent.

The directors are John M. Angelo, Domenico De Sole, The Duke of Devonshire, Daniel Meyer, Allen Questrom, Marsha E. Simms, Robert S. Taubman, Diana L. Taylor, Dennis M. Weibling and Ruprecht, Bibliowicz, Conroy, Wilson, Loeb and Reza.