The Financial Times profiles the Artist Pension Trust that is run by Pamela Auchincloss and is structured to allow mid-career artists to essentially invest in themselves:
“When people ask me what I do, I say I run a global art fund where the artists are the stakeholders, but since nothing like this exists, there was a great deal of scepticism at first. People were asking, who makes the money?”
In fact, APT uses the mutual assurance model. “The idea was that if a group of artists invested their work in a fund, within that diversified pool of work, hopefully at least a small percentage will have financial success and support those that have less,” says Ms Auchincloss.
APT uses 106 curators to select the artists, who then invest 20 art works over a 15 to 20-year period. Artists retain ownership, but APT holds the art until it is sold. Since 2004, APT has set up eight trusts serving regional artists, including London, New York, Berlin and Dubai. After seven years and once they have 200 to 250 artists, each trust starts selling art and sending its artists annual payments.
From every artwork sold, 40 per cent goes to the artist, 32 per cent goes into a pot from which every artist receives a pro-rata share, while APT keeps 28 per cent to cover costs and to distribute among its 120 financial backers, who have invested more than $10m to date to fund APT’s operations until it starts selling artworks.
Unique Design for a Pension Trust (Financial Times)