Navigating The Art Market

August 2007

Executive Editor.


Many thanks to all of you who have shared your feedback on Private Wealth with us. We have long believed that the special needs of wealthy clients, and the intricate issues you face as an advisor to the superwealthy, are topics worthy of more detailed coverage-and your enthusiastic praise reinforces that belief.

Moving forward, we will continue to probe the topics of greatest interest, and concern, to the ultra-affluent. In this issue, we delve more deeply into the many aspects of owning art. Fine art is the biggest area for discretionary expenditures among the wealthy, according to a study Russ and I conducted for The New Jet Set: A Psychographic Analysis of Luxury Spending. Our survey respondents-each a multimillionaire-spent an average of US$1.75 million on art in 2006. The art market has been hot in recent years, as evidenced by the new records being set by Sotheby's and Christie's for aggregate sales and purchase prices for individual works at auction. The number of buyers is up sharply, driven largely by personal wealth, and many important works have increased in value two, three and four times in as many years, according to a recent posting on

To address this topic, we have a feature story on how the wealthy use advisors in the acquisition of art and the development of collections. We also have a piece from seasoned private client attorney Ed Renn on how art owners can secure preferential tax treatment, and a complementary piece in the Wealth Protection area on the particulars of insuring fine art. Lastly, in the Research department, we highlight the growing availability of noninvestment services, such as art appraisals, among financial institutions as a means of differentiating the firm from its competitors and strengthening their client relationships.

In addition, we have a wide range of articles on investments, insurance, asset protection, lifestyle services, professional networking and family offices from some well-known industry experts-and a Q&A with Jessica Bibliowicz, the chief executive of National Financial Partners and the powerhouse behind the meteoric rise of their stock.

Your ideas help us shape future issues -so please keep us informed.

Good luck and good fortune ...