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Art as an Alternative Investment: Factors that Drive Art Valuation
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Art as an Alternative Investment: Factors that Drive Art Valuation

When: Monday, October 14, 2019
6:00 - 8:30 pm
Where: Withers
430 Park Avenue
10th Floor
New York, New York  10022
United States
Contact: Administrator

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Art as an Alternative Investment: Factors that Drive Art Valuation

There has been an enormous interest in investing in art over the last decade. Many financial theories argue for portfolio diversification, while the conventional art market wisdom suggests buying the best art one can afford. The following topics and many others will be discussed by this panel:

-  Should you diversify your collection and focus on multiple genres and artists or not?

-  Should a collector be concerned about the resale value of his or her collection?

-  What financial principles apply to art and what’s specific and unique about the art market that makes it distinct (or not) from investing in financial assets.

Network with attendees and panelists over wine and light hors d'oeuvres before and after the presentation.

Confirmed Panelists:

Arturo Cifuentes, PhD -  CBS Professor of 'Finance and the Art Markets,' Investment Banker and Hedge Fund Manager

Asher Edelman - Executive Chairman, Artbnk LLC, an artificial intelligence company focused on art valuation; Managing Partner, Artemus USA LLC, an art financing and leasing company

Elin Lake-Ewald, Ph.D.  - ASA FRICS, President and CEO at O’Toole-Ewald Art Associates, Inc. (OTE)

Carole Pinto - Art Dealer and Adviser specializing in museum quality fine arts 

(Moderator) - Viktoria Prigarina - Principal, Concordia Ventures; Co-chair, International Committee of CBS Alumni Club of NY

Diana Wierbicki - Partner, Head of the Global Art Practice, Withers law firm

Date:  Monday, October 14, 2019
Time: 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm  (The discussion will take place approximately 6:30 - 7:30 pm with time for networking before and after.)
Location: Withers, 430 Park Avenue (bet. 55th-56th Sts.), 10th Floor, NYC
Tickets:  $35 members; $45 non-members; no admittance at the door

SPECIAL OFFER:  Columbia Business School Alumni Club of New York offers ONE FREE EVENT for new members who sign up for the first time ($85 or more). Click here to join now and then contact us to receive your promotional code before you register for the event of your choice (sports events, holiday parties and mixers are excluded.)


Arturo Cifuentes, who brings more than twenty years of experience as an investment banker, hedge fund manager, scientist, university professor, consultant, and newspaper columnist, currently divides his time between New York and Chile. Previously, he served three years as a member and President of the Chilean Sovereign Fund investment committee (US$ 25 billion); and four years as a member of the Advisory Board of the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). He has written numerous academic articles (refereed papers) on topics related to finance, portfolio management, applied mathematics, and engineering. He has also lectured extensively about the art market from a financial viewpoint and published several studies on this topic. As a result of the subprime financial crisis, he was invited twice to testify, as expert witness, by the US Senate. Cifuentes holds a Ph.D. in Applied Mechanics and a M.S. in Civil Engineering from Caltech; an MBA in Finance from New York University (Stern scholar award); and a Civil Engineering degree from Universidad de Chile.

Asher Edelman started his career in 1961 and his Wall Street experience includes investment banking, money management, and derivatives trading. Mr. Edelman has served on Boards of Trustees of art and educational institutions including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, American Ballet Theater, Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, Prix de Lausanne, Gotham Chamber Opera, and more. He presently serves on the Board of Bard College, and was recently appointed Chairman of the Board of ARTBnk, a startup that uses artificial intelligence to provide real-time valuation for art work. In 2002, he created the company Edelman Arts, Inc., focusing on Impressionism through Post War art. He is also the Founder and President of ArtAssure Ltd., an art finance firm founded in 2010 which places art at auction, lends, purchases and guarantees the price of art at auction. In 2014, he launched Artemus, an art leasing business that buys art from owners and then leases it back. Mr. Edelman graduated Bard College in New York.

Elin Lake-Ewald, Ph.D. (New York University), ASA FRICS, President and CEO at O’Toole-Ewald Art Associates, Inc. (OTE). OTE is a fine art appraisal firm originally established in 1932 in New York and Venice that is now an international organization with associates in London, Geneva, Paris, Berlin, and Düsseldorf, Amsterdam, Athens, and Tel Aviv. Known as experts in damage, loss, fraud reports in arts and antiques, and appraisers of artists’s estates, such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Basquiat, Dennis Oppenheim, Louise Nevelson, Arman, as well as creators of innovative approaches to valuation challenges, such as leasing of art by collectors who have donated art to heirs and rent it back based on the OTE leasing fees, discounting of art inherited by multiple heirs in estate, appraisals of fine art and applied art for collateral loans, etc. Elin has authored hundreds of articles and publications about and lectured on: art, art and the law, appraisal functions in equitable distribution of properties, appraisal methodology and procedures. She has appeared in multiple trials as an expert witness and is a trained co-mediator in disputes concerning art-related subjects.

Carole Pinto received her B.A. in Architecture and Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania, followed by an M.B.A. from Columbia University. She worked in Corporate Finance at Salomon Brothers and was hired by Sotheby's to launch their Art Investment Department, publishing monthly newsletters that analyzed various sectors of the art market. She was a consultant for the New York State Council on the Arts and was a regular contributor to "Art and Auction" magazine, examining legal and financial aspects of the art market. She has worked in a curatorial capacity at the Metropolitan and Brooklyn Museums in New York, and is currently an art adviser and private dealer specializing in late XIXth and XXth century paintings. Carole currently teaches a class on the art market at Hunter School of Continuing Education, is a regular contributor to the "Fine Art Connoisseur" magazine and participates in art fairs around the country.

(Moderator) Viktoria Prigarina started her finance career in derivatives at Morgan Stanley followed by roles in derivatives modeling, options trading and cross-asset structuring at Deutsche Bank and Barclays Capital. She has also lived and worked in Brazil where she created a capital raising platform and was a member of the Investment Committee for what is now a $10 billion global macro hedge fund, SPX Capital. Viktoria holds a Master’s degree in Mathematics of Finance from Columbia University and a B.B.A. from Baruch College with concentrations in finance and comparative literature and minor in Latin American Studies. Ms. Prigarina is on the Board of Directors of the African Dream Academy, member of The Young Patrons and Cercle d’Amies at the French Institute (FIAF) and is the Co-President of the International Committee of the Columbia Business School Alumni Club. She has been passionate about the arts throughout her life and has pioneered these series of art investing and art collecting seminars for CBSAC.

Diana Wierbicki is the Global Head of the Withers' Art law group. Her clients include the industry’s top collectors, dealers, galleries, charitable organizations, artists, auction houses and museums. Diana has been quoted in numerous news outlets, including The New York Times, CNN, Bloomberg Business, BBC, as well as having written articles for various publications including Forbes, Trusts & Estates. As a contributor to the art and legal community, Diana serves as co-Chair of the Appraisers Association of America’s Art Law Day, as Chairof the New York City Bar Association’s Art Law Committee, on the Professional Advisory Council of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, on the Planned Giving Advisory Council of the New York Historical Society and as a member of the ArtTable Circle.  Diana received a J.D. from Emory University and a B.A. from Georgetown University.

The images of painting used on this event post are from Carole Pinto's personal collection.

Many thanks to Viktoria Prigarina, CBS '07, and Co-Chair of the CBSACNY International Committee for coordinating the program. And special thanks to our generous hosts, the Withers law firm. 

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