Art & Finance: ”new potential”

Expert interview - 5/17/2016

Mélanie Damani gave a talk at the Deloitte Art & Finance conference. As International Wealth Structuring and Art Adviser at Edmond de Rothschild, she explained the growing importance of art in wealth management and what Edmond de Rothschild can offer in this area.

Mélanie Damani, what makes this event – hosted by Deloitte Luxembourg – unmissable for wealth management and art investing?


This very avant-garde Art & Finance conference was first held 8 years ago at the initiative of Adriano Picinati di Torcello (Deloitte), with the purpose of bridging two worlds which had previously stood apart. This conference has become an international point of reference, drawing 300 professionals from all over the world to Amsterdam this year, of which two thirds were senior executives (CEOs, directors, founders). This year's edition was co-hosted by the Amsterdam Van Gogh museum. Through the years, the event has contributed to reducing the opacity of the art market by helping it to weave ties to the world of finance, ties which were limited to auction houses for a long time.

 It should be noted that financial operators' interest in art only really took off after the 2008 crisis, when many investors lost confidence in traditional assets and expressed an urgent need to diversify.


Apart from this conference, what other factors contributed to improving transparency in the art market?


This is what this emerging industry combining dual expertise in art and finance is all about. Art advisers have the abilities and knowledge required for carrying out accurate and specific due diligence and for providing investors with quality advice. These art advisers have come to fill the missing link between the two worlds. Master's degrees specialised in this field have emerged in the last two or three years. The market is still suffering from a degree of opacity, but is undergoing deep change. Several regulatory initiatives are also leading the way to greater transparency and broader access to investors.


Does art really constitute a financial asset, or is it mostly "passion investing"?


All studies point to a real contribution of art within a diversified portfolio. Today, every wealthy client owns art. However, investors need to realise that art is above all an emotional asset, which does not fit all the criteria of a traditional investment. Purchasing a piece of art requires taking a degree of interest in the work, and also remaining tolerant and open-minded.


How does the Edmond de Rothschild group stand out from the competition in terms of art advisory services?


All private banks take an interest in art, in order to be able to offer ancillary services to their clients beyond traditional wealth management. Nevertheless, some institutions prefer to rely on sponsoring, appearing in as many venues as possible, including trade fairs. This display is not necessarily matched by a suitable quality of service or any genuine substance. Many simply rely on outsourcing, thereby risking an erosion of their client relationships. We take a different approach. We conscientiously take part in and create art events; those which have genuine quality and offer real substance to our clients. Regarding our art advisory services, these allow us to provide real services internally, leveraging an expertise which combines this dual knowledge of art and finance. Our bank's history is another innate source of differentiation from our competitors. The Rothschild family is among the greatest collectors in all art history. This strengthens our legitimacy.



This article has been drawn up for general information purposes and does not constitute a personal accounting, tax or legal consultation. The information contained in this article is of a general nature and is not intended to cover an individual's or entity's specific circumstances. Wealth planning strategies depend on your personal situation and regulations, and must be confirmed by accounting, tax and legal professionals. We invite you to consult your own independent advisors.


This article has been drawn up on the basis of information deemed to be reliable at the time of writing, but we cannot guarantee that it is exhaustive or accurate.

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