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Keverne, who chaired the annual event between 2005 and 2010, says he was both surprised and pleased to be asked by the AAL board to fill the role for 2016.

He replaces Sarah Percy-Davis, the former head of dealer association LAPADA, who took up the role for a year from October 2014 to November 2015.

Roger Keverne

Roger Keverne, new chairman of Asian Art in London.

According to Keverne, the role of chairman to an event now in its 19th year should be about bringing expertise.

"It's being a voice as someone who's seen a lot of Asian art and knows how the trade is meant to work.

"The board is always looking at evolution and innovation," Keverne says.

But, he adds, the event "flows with the market" and is subject to different emphasis, be it Chinese, Japanese or Islamic art, depending on the international market. 

"You have to keep your finger on the pulse of what's going on in the world," says Keverne. "My feeling right now is to go with the flow."

Keverne began his career at Spink & Son where he worked for 17 years, becoming senior director of the Asian departments.

He authored the catalogues Blue and White Porcelain from the Collection of Mrs Alfred Clarke (1974) and Ivories of China and the East (1984) and was consultant-editor of Jade (Letts & Anness, London 1991).

He has previously served as vice-chairman and council member of BADA.