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This is a newly created position at the fair and, according to a statement released last week, Nazy's role will be to build and develop the fair's brand both nationally and internationally.

Nicola Winwood will remain as fair director and Nazy will work alongside both her and the Masterpiece board, which comprises Harry Apter of Apter-Fredericks, Harry van der Hoorn of Stabilo International, Giles Hutchinson Smith of Mallett, Simon Phillips of Ronald Phillips, Nicola Winwood and Thomas Woodham-Smith.

Ms Vassegh is an independent art advisor and consultant, but previously worked for 20 years at Sotheby's, rising to the role of senior director and managing director of the European Impressionist and Modern art division by 2009.

Prior to this position, she worked in Contemporary art, jewellery, marketing and VIP client relations at the auctioneers and helped to launch 'Sotheby's Preferred', a CRM programme for important clients.

Dominated by dealers in period furniture and decorative arts since the fair's launch in 2010, the Masterpiece board has lacked expertise in the fields of the Contemporary and modern art market and so her knowledge in these fields should help them to strengthen this weak point.

"I am delighted to take on this exciting and challenging role to help develop Masterpiece further," she said.

Philip Hewat-Jaboor, chairman of Masterpiece London, added: "Her time spent at Sotheby's and subsequently as an independent art advisor will be an invaluable addition to the strategic management of the fair."