Auctioneer Benoit Boucher said on Tuesday that he will sell off his real estate portfolio to fund his charitable foundation.
Boucher is the chief executive of a Swiss real estate firm that operates a luxury auction house called “Vendex” in the United States.
The auction of the company’s stock for about $500 million will raise $1.5 million, according to the listing, which is part of a fundraising effort to raise money for the nonprofit he founded, the Benoit Family Foundation.
The company also will use proceeds from the sale to expand the Benois estate into an estate in California.
Benoit Bouchers brother, David Boucher, the chairman of the board of directors of Vendex, also is a director of the foundation.
He said he plans to leave his stake in Vendas in 2019.
Boulcher said his decision to sell the company, which has about 2,000 employees, comes amid a crisis for the real estate market in Switzerland.
“The market has been suffering for years,” Boucher told reporters at a news conference in Zurich.
“I have had to make a difficult choice, because of my own financial situation.
This is the right thing to do for my family.”
Vendas, which Boucher founded in 2015, is owned by the Benises and their company, the Boucher Group, according the listing.
The brothers bought their first house in the 1980s, in Paris.
But their son, Pierre, later went into private practice, according with the listing in a statement to the media.
Vendices, which also operates the auction house “The Boulcher Family Estate,” also operates a private collection house called The Boulchers in New York.
The family has been working on a plan to expand their business and raise funds to improve its services and its property, Boucher and his team said in the statement.
The brothers will continue to support their charitable foundation, and Boucher will remain involved in philanthropic activities.
The Benois family has donated millions to the United Nations, the World Bank and the American Red Cross.
Their charity, the Charles Koch Institute for Integral Studies, is based in Wichita, Kan.
The Vendices have a history of philanthropy, including donating $10 million to the Rockefeller Center and $3 million to a U.S. nonprofit to help victims of the 2015 tsunami.
In a statement, Vendes said that it “has been committed to the principles of public charity and supports the activities of charities around the world that focus on the needs of people living with AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other diseases.”
Vindes will use the proceeds from its sale to continue to help other causes, it said.
The firm said the Benis plan to sell is in line with their goal of focusing on charitable initiatives.