Stonehage Fleming expands art mgmt ops with Omniarte acquisition

Stonehage Fleming expands art mgmt ops with Omniarte acquisition

Stonehage Fleming, said to be the largest multi-family office in the EMEA region, has acquired OmniArte, a Zurich-based art management and advisory business, as it looks to expand its fine art expertise.

The purchase price and other financial details of the acquisition weren’t given. Stonehage Fleming already has an art management division, launched in 2007, which currently manages art collections worth several billion pounds on behalf of clients.

In the wake of the acquisition, Maria de Peverelli (pictured above, right) becomes executive chairman of the the Stonehage Fleming art management division, a newly-created created role, where she will work closely with Georgina Hepburne Scott, (above, left) head of art management, and will continue to work between London, Italy and Switzerland, Stonehage Fleming said in a statement.

Also as part of the deal, Stonehage Fleming will add two art registrars/research professionals to its Zurich offices.

OmniArte was founded in 2005 by de Peverelli, and looks after the fine art investments of a European client base that includes individuals, family offices, foundations and trusts and estates.

De Peverelli is a trustee of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England, and also serves on the board of advisers of the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, Florence.

Prior to establishing OmniArte, Maria was gallery director of the Villa Favorita in Lugano’s Thyssen-Bornemisza collection.

Steve Kettle, partner responsible for art management at Stonehage Fleming, noted that the area of art management had been “a core part of the company’s multi family office offering since Georgina established the highly successful art management division in 2007”, and that art “is very much part of the Stonehage Fleming DNA”.

“[While a collector’s tastes may change from time to time, an art management platform continues as the backbone to a collection,” he added.

He said the acquisition would “enhance” Stonehage Fleming’s cross-border art management capabilities while adding to its expertise in the area.

Stonehage Fleming was created in 2015 by the merger of two well-established family office entities, Stonehage and Fleming Family & Partners. Stonehage had been set up in 1976 as a “diaspora vehicle” by a group of South African families who were looking to leave their homeland’s apartheid regime behind, while Fleming was founded in 2000, and had offices in places like Moscow and Hong Kong as well as London, where it was based, and Zurich.

Stonehage Fleming currently advises on more than  £35bn (US$43bn) of assets, on behalf of more than 250 families, out of 11 offices in eight jurisdictions.  according to its website. Its investment business looks after more than £9.5bn (US$12bn) for families and charities. It is majority owned by its management and staff, who number more than 520.