Art Talk: Francesca Casiraghi on Fractional Ownership of Art
Francesca Casiraghi introduces a new, innovative, and tech-friendly way to collect art for the new generation of young art collectors through fractional ownership of art.
INTRODUCING FRANCESCA CASIRAGHI
Francesca Casiraghi is co-founder and CEO of London Trade Art. She has been working in the art industry for over five years, having worked for international art galleries and art institutions. She first moved to London to write her master thesis, the theoretical project that would later become her business model. At that point, she started an internship at a hedge fund in London to compare the art market to the financial market. After her master thesis, she attracted the interest of a London-based hedge fund, which decided to partner with and financially support the creation of her innovative and visionary project, London Trade Art.
1. WHAT IS LONDON TRADE ART? WHAT'S THE CONCEPT BEHIND IT? WHAT IS THE IDEA OR VISION YOU HAVE?
FC: London Trade Art aims to provide the most professional tailor-made and diversified art investment service. We offer both online and offline art services. Online, we provide a marketplace where everybody is able to buy cutting-edge, contemporary artworks, including prints and multiples by established artists directly on our website. Offline, we also offer an art advisory service dedicated to individuals as well as corporates. Most importantly, we are introducing our latest and most innovative art investment tool, which is the Pooling Investment service. Pooling Investment is a new way to collect art based on the fractional ownership concept, which allows everyone to buy just a share of high quality and high-value artworks. At the moment we are providing this service offline, but we are due to launch it very soon on our online platform, too. So, stay tuned for this.
2. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE OR HOW COME THE YOUNG UPCOMING ART COLLECTOR CAN EVEN PURCHASE A MILLION DOLLAR ART?
FC: That is the goal really. Our fractional ownership model is actually dedicated not only to professionals - art and finance professionals - and corporates but also to all art lovers, those who want to diversify their portfolio of investments, those who are just approaching art collecting and need a professional guide, and to those who just want to start an art collection without spending a lot of money. This actually includes millennials collectors. We strongly believe that there's a new generation of art collectors who are increasingly tech-friendly, international, and are requesting more transparency and accessibility to art investment. So, our goal is to provide them with a new tool to invest in art that actually meets these expectations.
3. WHAT EXACTLY IS 'FRACTIONAL OWNERSHIP'?
FC: Fractional ownership is actually a very simple model, which has been inspired by the financial trading system. Based on a deep analysis of the comparison between the art market and the financial market, we understood that there's something that can be introduced to the art market that can potentially modernize the art system, which is fractional ownership. Fractional ownership allows everyone to come to London Trade Art and make an inquiry to buy just one or more shares of high-value artworks. We start from a portfolio of artworks, and more specifically, from the market value of each piece, which we split into multiple shares, validated by a digital art certificate. These certificates have been drawn up by the international firm, Withers, ad hoc for London trade art. Along with the joint ownership agreement and the contract of sale, we guarantee the authenticity of the artwork and its traceability. Our main goal, in fact, is to make the artworks as usable as possible and to circulate them in the market, just renting them to institutions or museums, and most importantly, organizing bespoke events or temporary art exhibitions with these artworks.
4. HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE KINDS OF ART FOR FRACTIONAL OWNERSHIP?
FC: London Trade Art's team is composed of both art and finance professionals and our art team has been composed of our chief art officer, Jessica Tanghetti, who has a Ph.D. in Art Investments. She's in charge of selecting our artworks.
5. WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS OR AN ARTIST TO GET INTO LONDON TRADE ART? IS THERE A SPECIFIC SIZE OR TECHNIQUE?
FC: We, of course, carry out due diligence when it comes to our artwork. We are collaborating directly with artists to select the artworks that can actually meet our requirements. Most of them are not totally based on size and technique but on the values that these artworks express. For this reason, we also commission some artworks as it happened last time to an internationally recognized artist, who is creating an artwork that will also represent London Trade Art’s values. It will be sold in art shares, so we create it for our pooling investment. We strongly believe in our direct partnership with the artists.
6. WHAT IS THE PRICE OF THESE ART PIECES FOR ART COLLECTORS?
FC: We are currently proposing our first two projects of pooling investments. The first artwork is by a contemporary, Italian artist, Lapo Simeoni. The value of this artwork is 25,000 Euros, which has been split into 25 shares of 1000 euros each. You can buy one or more shares of this value. The other project is by Patrick Tuttofuoco, which will be created very soon. We'll take the artwork’s market value of 50,000 Euros and split it into 25 shares of 2000 Euros each. Our aim is to propose these contemporary artworks and test the market with them. When there is a possibility to digitize the pooling investment, we aim to create a portfolio of higher valued artworks, considering the blue-chip market. Anything from 200,000 Euros onwards.
7. HOW CAN ART BE CONNECTED WITH FINANCE AND WHY SHOULD THIS CONNECT TO DIFFERENT INDUSTRIES AND SECTORS?
FC: Art and finance are often thought of as being two different worlds, but in the end, they are very similar. We studied the two markets in-depth and their results were amazing. They had shown the same evolution, with just one difference: the art market is still very reluctant to adopt technological advances. This caused a big lag between the two markets. It's amazing to think that the financial market adopted an electronic trading system back in the '80s. In this sense, the art market is still anchored to the traditional trading system. We think that by introducing innovative technologies and the fractional ownership concept, we can actually start to fill this gap and finally achieve the most important goal, which is to expand the art audience and democratize access to art investment.
8. WHY TO PURCHASE FRACTIONAL ART FEES? WHY SHOULD YOUNG ART BUYERS REALLY THINK ABOUT THIS CONCEPT?
FC: Our goal is to expand the art public and meet the expectations of new collectors who want to access art investment in an easier and more innovative way. For this reason, we created our pooling investment concept, through which collectors can buy art shares. In the future, through our Art Exchange, they will also be able to sell them and track their performance through a digital platform, gaining visibility, through our press and communication services, and benefitting from the temporary holding of the artwork whenever required. Obviously, it is a good way to diversify a portfolio of investments and adopt a new way of approach to art collecting.
You can find more information about LONDON TRADE ART and Francesca Casiraghi here:
Read more about how to start your first art collection here!
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