Simon Berti of Auction Technology Group
Simon Berti, who joined ATG in 1998 and is now stepping down from his role as Chairman of Arts & Antiques.

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Berti, who joined the Gazette as sales manager in 1998, will consult for ATG and joins the company’s newly formed Art & Antiques Advisory Council led by ATG chief executive, John-Paul Savant.

“I’ve had the most amazing career with ATG,” Berti said. “The business I joined back in the 1990s was fairly sleepy, but the management team all shared the vision and energy to grow the company and bring it into the modern age.

“We have been very fortunate to build a hugely successful online business with a global footprint and now with offices in Seattle and Hamburg in addition to our London base.

Berti added: “I feel that the time is right for me to explore life beyond auctions while I’m still fit and able.”

A familiar face at industry events in the UK and beyond, Berti has worked closely with many auctioneers, fairs organisers and dealers.

Strong industry relations

Expressing gratitude to Berti for his “hard work and commitment”, Savant said: “Simon was key to converting a successful publishing business into a successful fast moving, digital marketplace. His knowledge of the industry, strong relations with auctioneers and ability to get things done played a major role in ATG’s development.”

Savant added: “It has been a pleasure to work with him and he will be greatly missed by his colleagues and customers.”

Berti was part of the management buyout team which bought the business from the Daily Mail Group in 2008.

Portals launch

Working closely with ATG’s then-commercial director and current deputy chairman Anne Somers, Berti helped diversify the business in the mid-2000s with the launch of fine art and antiques portal thesaleroom.com, as well as commercial and industrial auction platforms including i-bidder.com and bidspotter.com.

In 2018 the business expanded further with the acquisition of Lot-tissimo.com, Germany’s leading fine art and antiques auction platform.

'ATG in good hands'

Berti paid tribute to his colleagues at ATG. “John-Paul and Richard Lewis [chief operating officer] have been very supportive since I told them I was planning to leave. It’s clear the company is in good hands.

“I am happy that I’ll keep a presence with ATG in the new Art & Antiques Advisory Council. In the near term, I will pursue personal projects and spend more time on my bicycle – wearing no Lycra though!”

Berti will continue as a Liveryman with The Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars and as a player with the Fine Art Golfing Society.

He said: “I would like to thank everyone in the trade for their support and friendship down the years. I have been privileged to work with intelligent, generous and thoughtful professionals who have made every working day a joy.”