Economist Clare McAndrew lured away from Dutch fair Tefaf to crunch numbers for Art Basel

Her annual global market report, now sponsored by the Swiss fair and UBS, will be published to coincide with next year’s Hong Kong edition

The art economist Clare McAndrew, who has crunched the art market’s annual numbers on behalf of the Tefaf, Maastricht art fair for eight years, will now work with Art Basel instead. The first Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report is due be published to coincide with the fair’s next Hong Kong edition (23-25 March 2017).

The look and feel of the report for Art Basel will be “very different” McAndrew says, though the broad methodology and data gathered will still form the basis for her overview of the market. She hopes to improve the response levels regarding under-the-radar transactions: “My work will be focused on expanding the private sales information.” The Art Basel and UBS networks will be something that she can tap into, but the report—and McAndrew—remain independent entities.

Marc Spiegler, Art Basel’s global director, says that the academic’s professional relationship with Noah Horowitz, Art Basel’s Americas director, helped to seal the deal.

“I left [Tefaf] on good terms,” McAndrew says. Patrick van Maris, the chief executive of Tefaf says: “It is a sign of a maturing market that other players are now choosing to invest in independent research.”

The Tefaf report will still be published each year, he says, with more details to follow. “We wish [McAndrew] well,” he says.

McAndrew’s annual report has become the go-to source for art market statistics and for the past five years has been at the centre of a symposium at the Tefaf fair. Her most recent report, published in March, recorded a 7% fall in global fine art sales in 2015 from $68.2bn to $63.8bn.

The news comes at the same time as UBS confirms it has extended its lead sponsorship agreement with Art Basel. Details of the ongoing partnership with the Swiss bank are undisclosed.