Date of Award


Document Type

MA Project - Open Access

Project Type

MA Project - Business Plan

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Art Business

First Advisor

Paul Melton


Art is no longer only perceived as an “investment of passion”. Rather, art constitutes a viable alternative financial asset class that can be exploited through strategic trading. Due to the lower volatility and lesser correlation with traditional assets, holding art in an investment portfolio offers diversification benefits that will maintain returns while reducing risk. However, acquiring the “right” artworks, that is, the ones that will appreciate in value, can be pricey and risky. Investors can overcome these two challenges through participation in pooled art investments such as THE AAART FUND.

THE AAART FUND, located in New York City, is a privately offered investment fund that aims to generate returns through the acquisition and disposition of contemporary American artworks. Investors, who become shareholders of the fund, are offered access to the art market through a diversified art portfolio. The fund employs a traditional buyand hold strategy with a long-term investment horizon of 10 years.

THE AAART FUND’s investment strategy is focused on contemporary American art, as this genre seems to offer the most interesting and lucrative investment opportunities. Only the highest quality of artworks will be selected for the fund. Within this rather broad art category, THE AAART FUND will also allocate part of the portfolio to African American art to take advantage of the recently discovered interest in this art category. African American art is thus a special niche in the regionspecific investment strategy, which differentiates THE AAART FUND from other existing art funds.

The fund size is expected to be around $50 million based on a maximum number of 499 accredited investors and a minimum investment per investor of $100.000. This would allow the fund to acquire 150 to 200 artworks within a price range of $100.000 to $500.000 per artwork. THE AAART FUND subsequently sells these artworks after a certain holding period or whenever a great sale opportunity is identified. The fund’s objective thereby is to deliver annual returns of 5 to 10 percent to its investors.

THE AAART FUND utilizes a traditional hedge fund revenue model, which charges the funds’ investors an annual management fee and a performance fee that kicks in when above-average returns are achieved.

THE AAART FUND is set up in such a way that it appeals to both institutional and private investors. Specific marketing activities are developed to successfully reach out to these two different target groups, ranging from undertaking roadshows to collaboration with private wealth managers.

The success of this business depends on its human capital. THE AAART FUND put together a “dream team” of highly skilled people. Their unique competences range from connoisseurship in American art to superb investor relation skills. These potential employees will be proactively approached with competitive employment conditions in order to get them on board of this new art fund.

THE AAART FUND’s employees will be instructed to do their job with care and to take responsibility in achieving the firm's goal, which is to deliver above-average annual returns to its investors and to be transparent and credible at all times. THE AAART FUND will thereby prove that investing in contemporary American art through pooled investment offers a competitive and rewarding alternative to investments in financial markets.