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BNP Paribas Wealth Management celebrates 40 years of Art Advisory

Since 1976 the Art Advisory service at BNP Paribas Wealth Management – the first service of its kind to be an integrated part of a private bank - has been a guide and companion to clients answering any questions they may have related to art and art-ownership. 

Our in-house team of art historians specialized in the field of Fine Arts dating from the Renaissance to “Classic” Contemporary Art (artists who have a well-established value on the “secondary” auction market) provides objective advice for clients whether they wish to buy or to sell works of art.  The team is active in the three main sectors of the art market: at auction, with galleries and at international art fairs and also negotiating private sales.

100% personalised service :

For clients who wish to buy, Art Advisory selects the best quality available on the art market

For sellers, Art Advisory studies

  • provenance and the place of the work in the corpus in the artist

  • different sales strategies according to the nature of the work and the requirements of the seller

For buyers and sellers

  • “due diligence”: checking attribution, provenance, publication and exhibition history, state of preservation

  • valuations
  • creation and management of art collections, administration of temporary exhibition and long-term loans

With 40 years of experience, the service accompanies clients in their consideration of questions related to art-ownership in the long term.  Taking the necessary time is essential to this form of asset diversification.

Fully integrated within the private bank, Art Advisory is in a unique position to work together with private bankers and in-house tax planners to find the best solutions.

40 years of significant change in the commercial art world: a more open, accessible and transparent market

Antoinette Leonardi, Director of Art Advisory at BNP Paribas Wealth Management explains “40 years ago the majority of our clients were interested in Old Master and Impressionist painting.  Today they want to live with Modern and Contemporary art.  We have seen changes in the profile of our collectors too.  Our collector base is much more diverse, with younger entrepreneurial clients becoming interested in acquiring works of art at a certain level”.

  • The art world is becoming more “democratic” with a growing appetite for art in general and at every level: museum visits, queues for art exhibitions …

  • The internet offers an unprecedented level of access to information:  auction sale results are published on specialised websites (Artnet, Artprice); auction houses – whether they be international or provincial – promote their sales on dedicated websites; information and reproductions of works of art are accessible world-wide. It is even possible to bid at or follow an auction “live” from the comfort of living room or office!

  • The boom in art fairs: according to Forbes, there are now 60 art fairs at international level; 10 years ago there were 10.  At a local and national level the phenomenon is even more marked.  Looking at Contemporary Art fairs, in 1970 there were 3 fairs dedicated to this discipline; by 2015 this had grown to 269.

The art market in 2016: a transitional year for the major players on the market

The results of the art market are published annually during the first quarter. In 2015, a drop of 7% was recorded and art sales totaled over 63 Billion US$

2016 was a transitional year for the major players on the market marked by a downturn in turnover reflecting an uncertain politico/economic situation internationally which encourages sellers to play a waiting game.

Impact :

  • Shortage of highly important works of art at the top of the market (>10 m $)

    The record price of Picasso’s Femmes d’Alger : 179.4M US$ in 2015 at Christie’s, New York will not be beaten this year.  The auction record in 2016 so far is Claude Monet’s La Meule which sold for 81.4M US$, also at Christie’s in New York.

  • Buyers’ premiums have been raised (again) by the auction houses

  • Despite the general downturn there is still strong competition from buyers for works of the best quality: single owner/collector sales this year have proven to be very successful, especially where work is fresh to the market and/or comes from a well-known collection.

    eg: the sales of the collections of art dealer Leslie Waddington’s at Christie’s and the David Bowie sale at Sotheby’s in London: not a single lot was left unsold in either sale and both exceeded their high estimates.

BNP Paribas Wealth Management is a top ranking private bank on the world stage and is recognised as the 1st private bank in the Euro zone.  Active on three continents (Europe, Asia and America) the private bank employs more than 6 600 professionals who propose a wide range of solutions to their private investor clients for the optimization and management of their assets.  The bank holds 341 Billion Euros of assets under management as at end September 2016.

Art Advisory is one of the asset diversification services proposed by BNP Paribas Wealth Management along-side Private Equity, Real Estate, AgriFrance active in the field of rural and agricultural property and Philanthropy.