The Kansas City Star spends some time with Sandy Kemper and learns more about his plans for a new investment vehicle to launch this fall. The fund’s American Masters Collection has an interesting definition of American art:
Kemper launched the Collectors Fund in 2007. Its first investment vehicle, the American Masters Collection I fund, deals in 20th century American art pieces costing less than $500,000. Artists represented in the collection include Marsden Hartley, Thomas Hart Benton, Robert Motherwell and photographer Cindy Sherman. Among paintings sold in 2010 are works by Helen Frankenthaler and Franz Kline. To join the fund, an investor originally had to put up at least $100,000. Because of the gains it made, the minimum was raised to $135,000. It was closed to new investors in December. The fund is now valued at $20 million. […]
The fund distributes 40 percent of the profits made from each sale to its members and uses the rest to buy more art. Kemper said the fund’s internal rate of return, a way to measure the growth of investments over time, has averaged 28.5 percent annually. The fund will liquidate around 2017, the exact date depending on market conditions, and distribute its assets to the shareholders. Kemper said that although most members invested in the Collectors Fund for financial reasons, it provided a few unique perks: visits to artists’ studios, behind-the-scenes tours of auction houses and opportunities for members to display the art in their homes.
“It’s financial. It’s aesthetic. It’s social,” Kemper said. “Having appreciation for art and doing well financially are not opposing forces.” This fall the Collectors Fund will launch its second venture, the American Masters Collection II. It will invest in pieces starting at $500,000.
Kemper-Led Collector’s Fund Banks on Art, Not Stocks (Kansas City Star)