Want to invest in art but not sure where to start? Aside from seeking the expertise of an art adviser (read our piece about Nick Campbell), there are other avenues you should know about. Read our guide to four companies art investors should know about…
Companies Art Investors Should Know About
The Lawyers – Maitland
‘Even lawyers can be fascinated by art,’ says Iris Harvey, partner at legal and multi-family firm Maitland, who deal with the legal side of acquiring, protecting and inheriting art works. And they have to be with the complexities that can arise. A whole range of issues comes into play: how to avoid the creditor claims, the ravages of taxation and the endless pitfalls that arise when collections outlive their owners.
And these are not limited to the large collector, specific legal issues have equal weight for those with a few pieces. At an early stage, Maitland can assist with the legalities surrounding the acquisition of works, notably reviews of title, provenance and authenticity.
They will then guide the client through purchasing, transporting and importing or exporting, finalising contracts and ensuring that the local and international heritage laws are applied.
Longer term, Maitland can help oversee the transition of a major private art collection from individual ownership to trusts or other structures.
This move can aid tax planning, simplifying the transfer of art works should they outlive their owner, to preserve family property and avoid forced heirship provisions in certain jurisdictions. What’s more, once the new trustees must find a home for the collection, Maitland muscle in and assist on negotiations with museums and governments. maitlandgroup.com
The Lighting – TM Lighting
Founded by Harry Triggs and Andrew Molyneux in 2012, TM Lighting combines classic picture light design with innovative LED lighting technology, guaranteeing superior art lighting with true representation of the full spectrum of colour.
The magic light has been used for private collections in residential homes and historic properties, notably Goodwood House, Weston Park and Burghley House, giving museum-grade lighting a run for its money. tmlighting.com
The Loan – Own Art Plus
In the context of contemporary art a couple of grand won’t get you very far. That’s why Own Art Plus has partnered with some of the best galleries in the UK, from Tate Museums to the House of St Barnabus, to offer potential art buyers loans of up to £25,000, payable over ten equal monthly installments, increasing the value of loans available ten-fold.
The scheme is backed by the Arts Council in the hope of making the market more fluid for makers, artists and galleries, and to open up a world that can feel dauntingly off limits to many.
The credit can go towards sculpture, painting and photography, but also textiles, glass, furniture, ceramics and, even, bespoke commissions. Nor is it exclusively for the use of supporting emerging artists – at the Royal Academy, for example, you can buy a Grayson Perry or a Tracey Emin. ownart.org.uk
The Leasing – Art Futures Group
Asia’s first 360-degree investment service, Art Futures Group offers an annual return on Chinese Contemporary Art with a unique leasing service. Drawing on the success of its Hong Kong offering, the company has recently launched in London, affording international and European clients the opportunity for ‘win-win’ by doubling up on the increasing value of their Chinese Art and ‘rent money’ from leasing.
Founded by creative minds with impressive financial and art CVs, Art Futures Group hunts down and nurtures mid-career Chinese artists. Clients are educated and advised strategically to invest in these expert finds, with guidance at each step of the investment and brokering process.
Before buying, clients can physically view prospective works to ensure authenticity and approval. Once bought, should they opt for the renting option, AFG works with pre-identified partners, offering a six per cent cash return per annum. Add this to the potential increase in the value of the pieces themselves, and you’re laughing. artfuturesgroup.com