Phillips launches art consulting firm for primary market sales – ARTnews.com

As auction houses look for new ways to maintain their existing relationships with buyers, Phillips has announced that it will create an art consulting service, Phillips Art Advisory (PAA), which will help clients with a range of needs ranging from from acquisitions to collection management. Kevie Yang, international home specialist, will lead the new consulting service, focused on helping clients acquire works by contemporary artists in the primary market and build their collections over a long period.

In an interview with ARTnewsYang said the consulting firm was established to help clients by serving as “on the ground” contact points for sourcing work outside of auctions or private aftermarket sales. She added, “It’s very personalized for each client.”

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To do this, Phillips specialists will work directly with galleries – and, in some cases, artists – to buy works before anyone else. Yang’s team will recommend new artists to clients and also advise them on the negotiation process for primary market purchases. (Galleries are known to offer loyal collectors varying discounts at times.)

This approach reflects Phillips’ attempt to meet the growing demand from collectors to find works by emerging and mid-career artists in high demand in the primary market, before their prices start to skyrocket in the secondary market. Yang said she sees PAA training as mutually beneficial for Galleries and Phillips, and not in direct competition with each other, as the auction house will also seek to attract new customers to the dealerships.

Acquiring works from some of today’s most in-demand contemporary artists can often be difficult as they usually have a low supply of works compared to the long waiting lists to purchase their art. Yang said PAA plans to leverage Phillips’ vast international network of specialists to view and research works for clients in various cities and help them acquire them.

[Which collectors can skip to the top of galleries’ wait lists?]

PAA will also provide market research and valuations, as well as advice on museum philanthropy. The auction house will also use outside financial partners to help its clients in the art lending arena, where collectors use their holdings as collateral for lines of credit. (Phillips declined to name the financial institutions that would be involved.)

Yang, who joined Phillips in 2015, said PAA would grow slowly. Currently, the internal team is made up of three people, including Phillips Vice President Robert Manley who will provide high level support. The branch will also serve a small group of collectors; it currently has two clients, collectors based in Asia who have purchased works for over $ 1 million each. PAA is in talks to work with two to three additional clients in the United States

According to Yang, the cancellation of major art fairs and the ban on international travel due to pandemic restrictions has boosted demand for an internal advisor, especially for clients based in Asia. “We definitely see the need in Asia,” she said. “They feel a lot of disconnection between themselves and the market. They need someone on the ground to be their eyes and ears.

Earlier this year, Phillips launched another initiative that offers tailor-made services to its living artist-focused clients, when they acquired the technology platform, Articker, which tracks emerging artists trends through media sharing used by Phillips specialists and collectors.

The creation of PAA, which will charge clients an undisclosed fee, appears to pursue the house’s goals of finding ways to generate income outside of aftermarket sales. Yang added, “Customers want to work with an advisor they trust to create collections beyond what they can buy at auction.”

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