Approximately a third of clients whose net worth is north of $10 million are collectors or accumulators. The planning strategies for this “silent” emotional asset of art, antiques and other collectibles require an art succession planning team to maximize the results for these clients.
Goldmine of opportunities
If you’re both a financial advisor and accumulators of “stuff” (coins, cars, wine, stamps, etc.), then you’re already primed to become a key component of this team. This combination opens a goldmine of opportunities for you, as you can offer to existing clients, prospects and valuable referral sources–attorneys, accountants, and trust officers–your expertise and passion for such assets.
You can be in a preferred position when talking to prospects who share your passion for collecting things and who love to discuss their often irrational, crazed and loveable “art stories” regarding their collections. When they discover you are a fellow collector, you immediately go from being another provider of insurance and financial solutions to a trustworthy friend–and everyone prefers doing business with friends.
Here are some suggestions for turning your passion into business opportunities:
1. Create your own historical reference catalogue. Included in this catalogue is a comprehensive inventory of the collection, which describes each piece, its cost basis, and provenance. Also included are color photographs, collectors’ recollections, artist biographies and an ownership rights protection report, which can mitigate future ownership issues.
This document is an excellent starting point to share with clients and fellow advisors and is the initial step in art succession planning. This step will allow you and the advisory team to begin planning for arts and collectibles as they do the client’s traditional assets. Also, referrals from attorneys and CPAs will be easier to obtain when you can give them, and clients of theirs who also collect, a succession planning roadmap to follow.
2. Join a local association (sports memorabilia, cars, historical documents, contemporary art etc.) for the things you collect. The other members eventually will become future clients, as you will find that most collectors do not have a plan for the future course of their collections. These associations usually have a newsletter. Ask to contribute to a column on the benefits of financial, philanthropic and estate/legacy planning of art assets.