Invest in protecting and sharing humanity’s artistic patrimony

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Host art
To host art you must be a museum accredited by the U.K. Arts Council, the American Alliance of Museums, or a similar accreditation scheme. When you host art your institution receives the 1.5% charitable donation every time shares in the art change hands.

Ikon Exchange is the at-scale platform for buying and selling registered shares in fine art.  Our marketplace enables anyone to purchase shares in artworks from institutions and art custodians seeking to release liquidity in their collections.  In doing so, we also make private or hidden art available to the public via hosting by our partner institutions. Our secondary market will make those investments easily liquid.  Our beneficial business model gives the custodial institutions a 1.5% charitable contribution on every trade of the shares so they have an ongoing cash flow, in addition to the equity they release, so they can protect, display, restore, loan, and create educational programmes around the art.

We seek to be a force for good in the preservation of and participation in humanity’s artistic patrimony via the collective investments and returns made possible through a stakeholder approach available to the broader public.

Why IKON is
urgently needed:

The acquisition, securing, preserving, and maintaining of high-value art is expensive.  Even though high-quality art has strong asset appreciation, it is generally cash-flow negative until it is sold.  And the strong appreciation in value means that insurance premiums continue to grow (particularly for private museums), even if revenues do not.  There are generally five main ways to access liquidity of some form from high-value art: 

Ticket sales
In the best of times tickets generally cover less than 50% of operating costs. Most museums' revenue under covid has gone to basically zero and they now have a significant hole to fill. 30% of museums are potentially facing permanent closure.
Government and donor support
Government support is in long term decline and donors focus on a small handful of institutions.  Even those institutions are finding a significant shift in the donation patterns of foundations and UHNWI towards different social issues
Licensing and commercialisation of image rights
Copyrights expire 70 years after death and licensing and commercialisation are historically negligible. NFTs are a new form of limited edition prints and while some have sold for astounding prices, on average they bring in relatively small amounts of revenue for institutions relative to the value of the actual painting.
Loans against art assets are the fastest-growing part of the market (estimated to be a $40b total market) but the loans only cover 40-50% of the asset value, generally come with onerous basis points and the money has to be paid back; art that is used to secure lending frequently has to ultimately be consigned for sale. 
Outright sale
Fine art sold by galleries, auctions and brokers doesn't provide a long-term solution to the revenue gap problem for institutions. Selling the art naturally leads to institutions permanently losing custody and hence the dilution of their content offering.

Why IKON makes
financial sense:

Fine art is already a savvy & established investment, which has historically been out of reach for most investors. IKON will bridge this gap to make it an accessible asset class for more investors.

Smart investment
Credit Suisse, in their recent Collectibles, An Integral Part of Wealth report from October 2020 compared returns across various types of high-quality art and more traditional asset classes. It is perhaps because of these strong and stable returns that Knight Frank's 2020 Attitudes survey found the average UHNWI in their survey allocated approx. 5% of their total assets to art, antiques and collectables (almost 2x their allocation for gold and other precious metals)
Accessibility & scale
Historically, participating in fine art as an asset class generally requires paying the full ticket price, making it out of reach for most accredited investors and relatively illiquid
Designed to support institutions in
the preservation and display of fine art
New entrants, like MasterWorks, enable the buying of fractionalised shares in fine art but they charge 1.5% assets under management and take 20% of the upside of sales, significantly taxing returns while doing nothing to support art institutions which make the art available to the public

Who we are:

Dennis Layton

Founder & CEO

William Charnley

Partner, King and Spaulding. Former Master, The Drapers Company

Juan M. Sevillano

Managing Director, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí

Orna NiChionna Turner

Interim Chair of the National Trust; former McKinsey partner; Non executive Director of Burberry

Warren Hyams

Adviser to some of the world’s leading contemporary artists

Amelie Sarrado

Director, Chairman's Office at Christie's

Huw Owen

CEO of Ark Data Centres

Bayju Thakar

Co-Founder & CEO, Doctor Care Anywhere

Steve Kasoff (TBC)

Former Equity Partner at Elliott Management Corp

Register interest

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