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Palace Revolt: RM defectors announce rival firm

Palace Revolt: RM defectors announce rival firm 6th December 2021

For motoring historians, ‘Palace Revolt’; might bring back memories of Ferrari’s top executives leaving en masse in 1961. The surprise exodus of RM Sotheby’s top brass in the last six months set the rumour mill buzzing. With the launch today of a new company led by former RM President Kenneth Ahn, we now know its line-up and general objectives.

Further news is expected later this week, but the Broad Arrow Group, “to develop a portfolio of businesses and brands to address the needs of various segments of the collector car market, including auctions, private sales, and financial services” a catch-all that rules nothing out.

Ahn will head-up the new firm as Chief Executive Officer and the other ex-RM staffers are senior car specialists Barney Ruprecht, Alexander Weaver and Donnie Gould. Maddie Baker comes in as Director Client Services, Ian Kelleher as Chief Marketing Officer and Mike Mortorano as Chief Administrative Officer. Alain Squindo is Chief Operating Officer and banker Karsten Le Blanc, previously involved with RM via Twin Spark Finance, will join mid-January 2022 to be its Chief Financial Officer.

The new set-up is entering a crowded online market dominated by Bring a Trailer, Collecting Cars and countless start-ups. The big question – possibly answered in a few days’ time – is whether, by acquisition or creation from scratch, the Broad Arrow Group will conduct traditional ‘live’ auctions at a high level. Given the heavy hitters in the team, don’t rule this out. Rely on K500 to find out first.