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Fine art investment fund goes live

Meanwhile, other art funds are being started up

The new $350 million art investment fund, the Fine Art Fund has gone live (see The Art Newspaper, No.133, February 2003, p.26). Investors, particularly institutional ones, are being targeted to buy into the group of Old Master, modern and contemporary art which will be chosen by a high-profile group of art dealers and advisors including James Roundell, Ivor Braka and Johnny Van Haeften. The fund, which lost its initial sponsor Dresden Kleinwort Capital, has now received a boost from the private investment company Hanson Capital, which is taking a 10% stake. Meanwhile, other art funds are being started up. The Swiss bank UBS has been working on one, but says it is premature to give any details. Another player is the London dealer Philip Mould, who will be seeking investors to put $200,000 to $1 million into his “informal” fund of paintings. “With an increasingly soft stock market, people are looking for alternatives and they want the best pictures, so it makes sense to pool our resources,” he says. Buying will mainly be in his specialist field, British art, particularly portraits. Finally, the contemporary art dealer Diego Cassina, who already runs an informal fund for clients, is working on another fund, to be started this year.

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 135 April 2003