There has been an art collecting boom going on for the last 30 years. Not that people didn’t collect art before then, but at the end of the 20th century the baby boomers go serious about art as an investment. With the dawn of big hedge fund managers in the 1990s, more investors had more money to invest. Typical commodities and securities were their primary avenue for investing, but art became a secondary investment road. Unlike stocks and bonds, collecting art was a tangible investment. Collectors could hold it, look at it, and most of all enjoy it. As the demand for art grew, art advisors took on an extended and important role. Art advisors were not afraid to do whatever it took to satisfy the collector that was willing to pay them a 10 percent commission for their art knowledge and their investment sense.
Art advisor Todd Levin was the eyes and ears behind Adam Sender’s success in collecting contemporary art. Levin is a good example of a very successful art advisor that lived well thanks to one collector. Sender, the young hedge fund manager, started to expand his investments in art back in the 1990s and about fifteen years ago Sender called New York-based Levin and asked him to help him manage his growing collection of contemporary art.
When Sender made the call to Levin, he had already accumulated a massive collection, and his main objective was for Levin to be the curator of that collection. Sender and his wife Leni wanted to sell some of the collection, and they needed help sorting through their large volume of work in order to ear-mark the pieces that could bring top dollar. Sender had managed to collect some of the hottest artists in the art world and he knew he could recover his original investment and make some money with Levin’s help. Sender owned works from Andreas Gursky, Mike Kelley and Richard Prince along with several other well-known artists. Adam Sender is a well known part-time art collector.
Sender and Levin made a great team. The pair managed to sell a portion of Sender’s 800 piece collection for $70 million in 2014. Sender and his wife recouped their $20 million investment and made a bundle thanks to Levin and some incredible works of art. There’s no doubt art advisors are worth the money if investors have a serious art collection.