Deutsche Bank, UBS, the FT and the business of art


Deutsche Bank sponsored Frieze 2012 What do Deutsche Bank, UBS and the FT have in common in terms of art fairs?

The answer to this question is simple, they share their costumers.

If investment banking and wealth management companies UBS and Deutsche Bank provide their costumers with efficient investment options which will earn them high returns on income, more financial services will be demanded in the future.

The business of the FT also works like that. If its readers find the financial news helpful to follow the happenings in the economy, and most notably in the stock markets, the sales figures of the FT will rise.

International art fairs offer perfect locations to meet some of the wealthiest FT reader, as well as (private) investors.

Before the financial crisis took place in 2008, prices for art works increased dramatically which was mainly driven by art dealers and investors demanding more and more. Prices are still more than sky-rocking high. Consequently, art has become a currency-like exchange medium to secure the value of one’s money, as well as has it developed itself into one of the fastest increasing alternative investment option. This provoked many more management services to provide advice on it.

Also the FT has responded to these changes in investment options. The content of its weekend supplement How to spend it is particularly targeting investors’ tastes and preference changes. Therefore it focuses on luxury brands, designer clothes, wine, cars, fine art, watches, jewelry and pompous villas.

Driven by consumer tastes for alternative investment, wealth management firms – as well as the FT – are willing to sponsor art fairs. Because they do it for their clients. But, artists are also benefiting from this as increased demand for art enables them to supply more works and increases their incomes. However, the hunger for buying contemporary art as an investment good has a large impact on art production because artists are responding to changing market conditions. Therefore, the approach towards what can be considered as art has changed in line with the development of the mechanics of the art market.

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