Professional Advisors to the International Art Market (PAIAM), a new networking association to promote business interests and share ideas and information, launches next month in London.
With a board chaired by well-known industry lawyer Pierre Valentin, a solicitor specialising in art law and a partner of Withers LLP, the association aims to bring together professionals advising the art market – though not art experts themselves – cutting across established professional boundaries.
"Art collectors and art market businesses rely on a range of professionals to advise them on matters unrelated to art itself but relevant when collecting and dealing in art, such as insurance, taxation, accounting, contracts and regulatory issues," he told ATG. "Professionals tend to work in silos; lawyers meet lawyers, accountants meet accountants, but seldom interact on a cross-disciplinary basis. Yet they serve the same market and have the same clients."
PAIAM intends to put that right by organising regular networking events.
"Through PAIAM, members will have access to a vast network of professional advisors" Mr Valentine explained. "Members will be encouraged to put up content on PAIAM's website such as information and updates on relevant issues and events potentially of interest to members. They will be offered the opportunity to provide information on themselves and their firm. In due course, the website will include a section for members only where they will have the opportunity to ask questions and exchange views with other members."
What PAIAM will not be is an industry watchdog. "The association will not set professional standards, nor does it have a policing role. Members are expected to abide by their own professional rules."
Joining Mr Valentin on the board are James Kelly, an accountant who recently joined Damien Hirst as his business manager, having spent 20 years as a partner in an international firm of accountants; Anders Petterson, the founder and managing director of London based art market research firm ArtTactic; Wendy Philips, head of tax and heritage at Sotheby's; and Antonia Kimbell, a specialist in art-related investigations and research formerly with the Art Loss Register.
Accountants, tax advisers, insurance brokers, solicitors, barristers, in-house lawyers employed by museums and art businesses, professional trustees, private bankers and other professionals will all be welcome as members. The PAIAM hopes to attract people "who know little about art but a great deal about something else that is of use to those who know a lot about art".
Applicants, who can be UK-based or from overseas, are expected to have a proven track record of advising the art world over a period of years. More than 100 have shown serious interest so far, says Mr Valentine.
The annual fee is £200.