Zurich-based independent asset manager Chefinvest has been exhibiting contemporary art on its premises for years. He has recently been involved in NFTs. Mimi Haas, partner at Chefinvest, sees huge potential in this market, but also has reservations, she explained in an interview with finews.ch explained.
Ms. Haas, Christie’s regularly auctions multi-million dollar artist NFTs. Vienna’s famous Belvedere also displayed 10,000 NFTs of Gustav Klimt’s painting “The Kiss” in February. Is NFT art? What are NFTs?
Art lovers will have to get used to the term non-fungible token (NFT). NFT trading volume peaked at $4 billion in September 2021. Estimates assume that the volume potential of this market will exceed even the booming cryptocurrency many times over.
In theory, any asset can be digitized into NFTs, graphics, photographs, and many other real-world possessions. It is important that NFTs contain information proving their uniqueness. With this new format, there will be a major shift in the art scene, both on the artist side, on the supply side, and on the demand side as well.
“Artists see this as a form of digital copyright protection.”
The arrival of digitization in art represents a revolution, and artists see this as a form of digital copyright protection. For Michel Comte, NFTs will bring order to the system, and they will regulate the market in an intelligent way.
How do NFTs work?
Like cryptocurrencies, NFT is based on the blockchain. This represents a decentralized database and, simply put, consists of blocks of information arranged like links in a chain.
Data and information are stored on blocks and cannot be changed afterwards. They provide a high level of transparency and security. This application can be interesting in many areas. NFTs are offered online on a number of trading platforms, the most popular being OpenSea, Rarible, and Mintable.
“Once NFT is standardized, a market similar to an options exchange could emerge.”
They are usually paid in cryptocurrencies, but there is also the possibility of paying in classic currencies. For example, NFTs from “The Kiss” were offered in February 2022 at a price of 1,850 EUR or 0.65 Ethereum. Meanwhile, they brought about 4.5 million euros for the museum.
Isn’t this just marketing for electronic rights?
Since data can always be traced back on the blockchain, individual ownership can be well documented. So an NFT stored on the blockchain cannot be copied – at least not within the blockchain.
All kinds of real estate assets can be securitized using this technology, for example music, sports, watches and even real estate. There is no end to imagination here and there can be a market that sells, rents or uses these rights.
Once NFTs are standardized, a market similar to options exchanges could emerge. This may open up a line of work for us as asset managers in the future.
Is this only interesting for future asset managers?
NFTs often remain on the wallets of the respective NFT markets, but are only partially secured there. It’s all about securing your personal access key. There are software solutions for this from various providers that ensure secure storage, and the insurance is currently being worked on.
“The choice of NFTs depends on the individual’s taste and on the other hand the future level of awareness of the work.”
In general, it can be said that the entire market and its processing is still in its infancy and many things are still complex, cumbersome and associated with uncertainty. However, I am assuming here that technology will soon be easier to deal with and early business may become more valuable.
As an asset manager, how do you handle NFTs?
The increasing technological understanding of our customers is fueling interest in this market. The choice of NFTs depends on the taste of the individual and on the other hand the future level of awareness of the work.
We support our clients in selection and storage and open up our network and access to experts to them as a peripheral benefit to our comprehensive wealth management services.
You obviously have gained knowledge of this young market. Why don’t you offer management of NFTs?
Currently, NFT is not regulated and has no contractual standards. You should check in each individual case what rights the NFT contains. Pure management of so-called cold wallets, which is comparable to keeping securities in banks for our clients (as some market participants offer cryptocurrencies), does not bring our clients any real added value.
“Banks are increasingly becoming platforms”
When it comes to selection, on the other hand, the right networks have the potential to generate added value. This is similar to analyzing investments, which requires expertise and a robust selection process.
Why is Chefinvest an asset manager dealing with art at all?
We own in our consultation We specialize in solving all your financing questions. A similar transformation and digitization has taken place here in recent years. Banks are increasingly becoming platforms. We here as asset managers are required to help shape and optimally use this interface for the client.
Chefinvest’s core business remains asset management and comprehensive customer care. Simply put, wealth management is about generating a good return with predetermined risks and improving technology, without losing sight of capital preservation.
«This exhibition is new for us»
However, investments don’t always have to be just a matter of heads and numbers. We’ve been making our office space available to contemporary artists for several years. In recent years, works by Franz GertschAnd the Hannes SchmidAnd the Bernd Nikolaissen And the Edward Burtynsky As well as the distinguished GENAP collection of an important collector from Switzerland with important works by Herbert W. FrankAnd the Gottfried JaegerAnd the Carl Martin Holzhauser And the Pierre Cordier issued.
Currently working before Michel Comet to see. We have created a great meeting space. The values on these galleries is Christine Schueblin.
Can you say more about the current exhibition?
We have had a special exhibition called “Fusion” on our premises since May 2022. Swiss artist Michel Comte is very versatile. He has worked in a wide variety of genres and media throughout his life.
He started his work as a restorer specializing in the restoration of paintings Andy Warhol And the Yves Klein specialized. His photos soon followed. This exhibition is a novelty for us. It combines classic and new photography. Michel Comte dropped his NFT project for the first time in this gallery.
Mimi Haas He has 15 years of experience in the financial sector. She worked in asset management for more than eight years, after which she looked after wealthy private clients in German-speaking countries at Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse. Haase graduated from the University of St. Gallen with a BA in International Relations and then a Master of Arts in Banking and Finance. During her studies, she published her master’s thesis on Family Offices. Since 2017, she has been a partner in a German limited liability company that owns and operates a variety of properties in Germany. In 2021 she joined the company as a partner Chief investment.