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Art: an investment in pleasure
Degroof Petercam

Art: an investment in pleasure

Art investing is attracting ever-increasing numbers of people.
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Alexandre Schmitz, Head of Business Development at Degroof Petercam Luxembourg points out that although art can be a good investment, ultimately the piece must please the purchaser’s eye.

Art is increasingly seen as an investment opportunity, with it being a means for growing and preserving assets, as witnessed by the regular headlines pointing to record sales. Hence increasing numbers of wealthy people are looking at art with interest, and are asking about investment opportunities.

Emotional investment

"There are many good reasons to invest in art, but the first motivation should not be financial speculation, but rather to acquire works by artists that speak to you," commented Alexandre Schmitz, at Degroof Petercam Luxembourg. To assist clients who wish to invest in art, the Bank has developed a dedicated service over the past few years. “The great attraction of art is that it is accessible to many people and that you can start collecting at any age," Mr Schmitz said. “More than just an investment (with the implication of seeking financial return), these acquisitions give pleasure in the home setting.”

Training your eyes

Art lovers who wish to devote a share of their wealth to art, would find it worthwhile to visit art fairs and commercial galleries, as you can gauge your sensitivity to various artistic expressions. “You can be assisted by experts in these efforts," explained Mr Schmitz, pointing out one of the art-related services developed by the Bank in recent years.

“Depending on your taste, these independent specialists can introduce you to artists and their work,” he said. Together you can evaluate most accurately the pieces you are considering. "There are about ten criteria that must be taken into account, such as the condition of the painting, its history, and its place within the artist’s body of work. Ultimately though a good purchase is one that you will enjoy contemplating for several years," said Mr Schmitz.

Only quality endures

The current art market is vast, and demand has changed considerably in recent years, putting pressure on prices. "You have to keep your feet on the ground and avoid hype," said Mr Schmitz, who pointed out that the art market undergoes corrections at regular intervals. "Ultimately only quality endures and will continue to be valued beyond the transient effects of fashion. The key is to always buy with your eyes.”

Degroof Petercam has established a dedicated service for clients who wish to invest in art. The private bank’s Art Advisory department helps them when buying, selling, transferring and preserving works of art and collections. "A collection is a cultural heritage that evolves, that must be managed, passed on and shared, while preserving the notion of pleasure," explained Mr Schmitz. So what place can art have within a family’s holdings? "That will depend on the client. Valuing a collection is not necessarily straightforward. However we recommend that it should generally represent up to 5% of assets," he said.

Supporting art in Luxembourg

Beyond these exclusive and innovative services, the Bank has also been a long-term supporter of art. In Luxembourg, Degroof Petercam is a patron of Mudam, and sponsored the major exhibition of this year, "More Sweetly Play the Dance", dedicated to William Kentridge. From October, it will host an exhibition on Belgian contemporary art in collaboration with the Ixelles Museum in Brussels. "For the past 20 years, events around contemporary art have multiplied in the Grand Duchy, responding to the growing interest in art of local families. We are very proud to be contributing to this and to be able to introduce major works and artists both to our clients and the general public," said Mr Schmitz.

Banque Degroof Petercam can set up, manage and sell your art collection. Contact Alexandre Schmitz, Head of Business Development: a.schmitz@degroofpetercam.lu