“Neuflize OBC”

The wheel of fortune

Elegant and persuasive, she embodies the discreet charm of private banking as the head of one bank’s art department. An hour with Mathilde Courteault of Neuflize OBC. Former director of the Asian art department of Ch­ris­tie’s in Paris, Ma­thilde Cour­teault, thirty-nine years old, welcomes us into the muffled rooms of a big private bank. Holder of a master’s in art history on “the European influence on Mughal miniatures”, this lively, enthusiastic woman has been managing, for three years now, the art assets of a clientele subject to France’s ISF (wealth tax). We talk about culture and investment strategy, collections and assets. It’s also a chance to discuss major trends on the art market, the concept of pleasure-investment… All this with the discretion and poise that are characteristic of wealth-management companies. What exactly does art-wealth expertise involve? What does this profession consist in? The profession has existed in our bank for twenty-five years. We deploy our expertise in an integrated structure, wholly dedicated to consultancy and the management of art wealth. This, incidentally, is a specificity that is written into our company’s DNA. As the owner of a photograph collection and also as a sponsor of the Cinémathèque, a partner of the Palais de Tokyo, moreover holding ties to the Musée Jacquemart-André, Neuflize OBC is firmly anchored in the cultural domain. Let’s say that expertise is developed in three areas. First, the concrete management of collections which encompasses a full range of services for art assets, including storage of artworks in reserved strongboxes, offering museum-like conservation with controlled hygrometry. We of course offer insurance packages. We can also offer advice to clients wishing to make copies of their paintings or to get restoration work done. When we have collection-management mandates, we can also administer the loans of works to museums...

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Interview with Stéphane Mathelin-Moreaux, from the Banque Neuflize OBC

Paris, 29 November 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA). The Banque Neuflize OBC is one of the very few banks interested specifically in the field of culture and more precisely of the art market. Art Media Agency met with Stéphane Mathelin-Moreaux, head of the Professionals of the Art Market department. Art Media Agency (AMA): Could you present in a few words the Banque Neuflize OBC? Stéphane Mathelin-Moreaux (SMM): the Neuflize and OBC banks were established over three centuries ago by entrepreneur families. They merged in 2006, and constituted the Banque Neuflize OBC, specialised in private and professional fortunes management.  Neuflize OBC, a branch of Dutch bank ABN AMRO, has over €35 billion in assets. For several decades now we have realised that knowing well our clients’ field of activity and the specificity of their markets might bring an increasing added value. This is how we became the first bank of the film industry in France. And we are renowned for our knowledge of the health field, of philanthropic activities and art as well. Our presence in the artistic field is entirely coherent with our clients’ private fortunes. Are there other banks specialised in the art field? There are very few. Why ? Because they cannot afford to get specialised. Major banks segment by geographic zones, not by fields as we have done with the art field. To specialise into art requires a true expertise and a know-how, and big finance companies are not interested in that. The Professionals of the Art Market department of the Banque Neuflize OBC gathers six professionals, and me, of course. How do you accompany the professionals of the art market? We offer to galleries, antiques dealers, auction houses and other players of the art market every service of a commercial bank, when it comes to managing...

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