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Willstone Management was launched in 2010 when gallerist Olyvia Kwok switched to providing art investment portfolios for family offices and HNWs. As a gallerist she had introduced London collectors to Chinese contemporary art, emerging markets art, and
the revival in Pop art.
Her clients are buying art for investment purposes. ‘We tell our single-family-office clients to allocate 10 per cent of their assets to tangible, emotional assets because at the end of the day we trade in scarcity values, and there aren’t going to be any more Picassos painted,’ says Kwok.
Other projects include the firm’s art finance arm, Willstone Capital, which recently launched an art financing facility aimed at shortening the transaction period for works of fine art guaranteed at auction. ‘Collectors like to sell artworks in order to buy new artworks but find the current available arrangements too constricting,’ explains Kwok. ‘We are being actively encouraged by the auction houses, which see the competitive benefit of being able to pay sellers sooner.’ She is also developing a Live Auction art app.
A fan of American minimalism, Kwok is also partial to the Impressionists as well as Schiele, ‘because it’s very emotional, a real human atmosphere. I like art that speaks to you, I guess.’