(CNN) -- Edward Dolman is Christie's first chief executive officer to have been a specialist, who understands the pressure and the nature of valuing art. Part of his mission is attracting other highly motivated specialists into their business.
A Christie's employee stands beside a painting at Christie's auction house in London on July 4.
Dolman was born in London in 1960 and attended Dulwich College from 1971-1978, before studying History of Art at Southampton University.
He later completed a degree at the Study Centre for Fine and Decorative Arts, which had a close relationship with the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Not being of blue-blood birth, he joined Christie's because of the link with Christie's South Kensington, starting out as a porter in the furniture department.
After a year he assumed the role of specialist in the furniture department of South Kensington, where he would see everything from European to Chinese furniture in the high-volume saleroom over the next 10 years.
Meanwhile he became an auctioneer, doing a number of off-site sales at country estates and traveling to France and Belgium to generate business in the middle market of furniture.
At that time he was on the Management Committee, and South Kensington began to do great sales. Finally in 1995, he decided he wanted to become a manager and took a course at the Institute of Directors in the Mall to learn the language of business and the motivation of people.
Dolman was subsequently made Managing Director of Christie's Amsterdam, applying new techniques and marketing to enhance interest in high-quality art.
Twenty months later he returned to Christie's London on King Street as the Commercial Director to run Christie's Europe. As he attempted to develop new categories to win business, he was made Managing Director.
In 1999 Dolman moved to New York as the International Managing Director and later as Chief Executive. Together with Christie's International Management Group, they developed an intensive five-year business plan, and Dolman took over from Christopher Davidge, as approved by Francois Pinault.