Luxembourg settles me

2013 was such a busy year at the Gallery, to say the least! I wasn’t considering leaving London at all until late November last year. In pursuit of my plan by January I was already decorating my new home, yes in Luxembourg! I didn’t know much about this tiny country. I still don’t. Indeed I was walking around the other day without so much as a Google Map to guide my way. The City is so small and the grid system so easy to master (at least in contrast to London’s spaghetti-like tangle) that you feel comfortable – maybe even a little bit smug – about traversing its streets sans phone, sans map, sans any real sense of purpose (best to discover with serendipity as your only guide!) I’d visited the Grand Duchy only a few times in the past, and yet, there was something about Luxembourg that resonated within me at both a spiritual and a professional level . . . . a retained physical memory, perhaps, of the way it had made me feel on past visits: liberated, dreamy, at ease, productive and right.

Feeling right was the most important of all those sensations considering my professional ambitions. Luxembourg is a country that keeps its assets and delights well-hidden, and so far, after just a few months, I’ve managed to unearth a ‘framework’ that has helped me to shape my business strategy, as I believe, rightly.

Now for some interesting facts that justify my confidence in this place. Luxembourg is the home to almost 150 banks and the largest investment fund sector in the world after the U.S., it is the also the first captive reinsurance market in the EU, the first private banking centre in the Eurozone and it has a proven record of expertise in wealth management as well as an attractive approach to taxation. Take a deep breath! There is more. Its geographical location is at the heart of the biggest art market in the world where approximately one half of Europe’s GDP is produced, reinforced by a wide range of financial services for international investors, creating, by definition, a concentration of highly sophisticated buyers. Culturally, Luxembourg has a proud global standing, holding UNESCO World Heritage status and being the first City to be named European Capital of Culture twice (in 1995 and 2007).

Did you know all of this? I didn’t. I remember when I first started telling people that I was moving to Luxembourg, nine times out of ten they would ask me “Luxembourg, really?” What they don’t know is that Luxembourg has changed. I have changed. It is the best arena wherein I can achieve my professional ambitions and follow the current of art developments, to start a new idea and to carry our Gallery’s proud history into another fertile setting.

Following the premises that a) art has been increasingly considered as a potential alternative investment viewed through the lens of modern portfolio management theory and b) the recognition that economic changes are shaping a client demand for alternative investment, I suggested to the Gallery that we should explore these two topics in a country that benefits from such attractive Financial, Political and Geographical advantages and also (albeit quietly) is becoming an archetype for a global city sustained by a culturally diversified, knowledge-based economy. I felt it right to move to the newly favourable Free Zone development area and be available to advise potential investors about opportunities available to them within the fine art sector. I am excited by this new journey, during which I intend to put passionate buyers into contact with unique and exclusive works of art by the great European masters and which display those special and eternal qualities that each work has been imbued with by its master artist.

Here my plan is to provide tailor made art advisory services for both private companies and individuals. So far we have seen that the art market has introduced new and important issues to serious collectors; whether they buy because they want to invest or simply because they love the piece. Accordingly there is an urgent necessity to promote both the education, and an appreciation, of the merits of truly fine art. And this approach is what I intend to pursue based on adherence to the same principals that have been nourished over the past 262 years since Gladwell’s opened in Queen Victoria Street, London. While the Gallery is vividly aware of the current changes within the world of fine art dealing it still intends to stay true to the fundamental values that have driven its purpose over the centuries. This is exactly our passion, (my passion) that has matured in London and now been brought to Luxembourg like an unexpected gift . . . an exceptional and enduring service . . . and all focused on the acquisition of truly sublime works of art. . . which to me personally feels the right way to proceed!


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