Luxury Corner: Ann Lydecker’s Interview in The International Family Offices Journal
Q: What is your ‘instant’ summary of the new service provided by Collectrium?
Collectrium is a new global tangible asset management platform for collectors and their advisers. Family offices have long wanted a way to include tangible assets in their consolidated reporting. Wealth managers, insurance providers and brokers, appraisers, conservators and collection managers have welcomed our offering. Users praise its visual beauty and simplicity of use and Collectrium enables families to organise the contents of their homes, understand the current values of their objects, track market movement around their collections and make informed decisions about buying, selling or gifting.
Q: How was the name Collectrium chosen?
Our founder, Boris Pevzner, is an MIT-trained physicist. Setting out in 2010 to create the most technologically-advanced product for collectors and their advisers, he called it ‘Collectrium’, a name that evokes the science of organising art and collectibles. As Collectrium’s business rapidly expanded over the following years, the company name acquired a broader meaning, as Collectrium is seen as the premier global platform for managing any unique objects of value, such as art, collectibles, wine, watches, cars, jets, boats and more.
Q: Tell us about your own background and what interested you about Collectrium?
I have worked in New York and California in corporate finance, technology and fine art advisory. Many of my associates over the years were significant collectors. When I saw a demonstration of Collectrium in 2013, I began recommending it to my associates to manage their collections. I shared their feedback with the founder of Collectrium, Boris Pevzner, about how he could improve the product further – and he listened – then had his developers build in the functionality requested by collectors, curators and art service providers.
In 2015 Boris asked me to join his team, and it has been an exciting journey ever since. Collection management has become a booming industry as a result. I do not know of any other platform that offers so many resources centralised in one place including data analytics, art and collectibles market news and trends.
Q: What is the relationship with Christie’s?
Collectrium was acquired by Christie’s in 2015 and operates as an independent company with its own management, employees and business infrastructure, There is no data sharing between Collectrium and Christie’s in either direction, and Collectrium and Christie’s do not share data centres or servers.
Christie’s did evaluate all collection management platforms on the market and acquired Collectrium as it is an excellent, highly private and secure tool. Christie’s recommends Collectrium to all their clients to help them to manage their collections.
Q: Can you give an example of a client?
We had a multi-generational family based on the west coast of the United States who had inherited a large collection of art and furniture. They had also acquired many of their own tangible assets from extensive International travels. When their family office reached out to us, this family had five homes, More than a dozen storage facilities and no inventory list and no knowledge of the current values of any of it. Three members of our Inventory Services team worked for 22 days to photograph, catalogue and inventory each item across several locations. The end result was a Collectrium account with all the information neatly organised and easily navigable delivered to the owner. They were so pleased with the work and relieved to have alleviated the burden of their collection. Their family insurance advisers, estate attorneys, tax advisers, estate managers, divorce attorney, the heirs, and beneficiary institutions could also rest easy. It is so important for families to inventory all of their assets in advance of a life-changing event. The Internal Revenue Service in the United States is hoping you won’t.
It is so important for families to inventory all of their assets in advance of a life-changing event. The Internal Revenue Service in the United States is hoping you won’t.
Q: Is the service offered globally?
Yes. Collectors are global citizens, and we absolutely cater to their lifestyle. Collectrium is cloud based and accessible on all iOS and Android mobile devices. Additionally, the Collectrium platform operates in 13 languages and includes a built-in currency converter for a range of global currencies. We have offices in Paris, London, Hong Kong and New York and offer customer support in 11 languages, 24 hours a day, five days a week.
Q: How do you charge?
Collectrium costs $90/month for a Personal Edition licence, geared towards individual collectors, small estates and independent professionals. For family offices, art appraisal and advisory firms, expanded functionality and with a minimum of five users warrant a Professional Edition licence for $500/month.
Q: Finally, what has been the feedback from family offices in particular?
Family offices have a fiduciary responsibility to insure their clients’ tangible assets accurately and establish a coherent strategy for complicated tax and estate planning. Without the right tools, they are left with too much guesswork. For the first time in history, Collectrium empowers family offices to make informed decisions based on current values and market movement related to clients’ collections in addition to being able to manage and report on their clients’ assets by type, value, location from anywhere at any time.
One very well-known family office for an American TV star with a sizeable classic car collection, and wine, art, jewellery and watches collections said: “Collectrium will help me make money, save money and save time.”
In another case, during a demonstration of Collectrium in New York, the decision maker for a single family office stated: “This is exactly what we need.” In less than 10 minutes he was ready to write a cheque to begin using Collectrium. We are very proud of this offering.
Ann Lydecker Bunge is a Senior Vice President at Collectrium, the leading technology platform for tangible asset management, owned by Christie’s.