Even art collectors are shifting to sustainable investing

UBS survey shows 1 in 4 would pay more for sustainable options

Even art collectors are shifting to sustainable investing
Steve Randall

Art collectors are following the growing trend among investors in seeking to ensure that sustainability is at the heart of their asset portfolio.

A new report from UBS Global Wealth Management and Art Economics reveals that – among investors with at least U$1 million in investible assets – 6 in 10 art collectors has considered sustainable options when purchasing art of managing their collections.

This is a bigger concern for millennials with 86% thinking about sustainable investment in art.

And across all respondents, almost 9 in 10 are willing to pay more for sustainable options, 1 in 4 would pay at least 25% more.

"Collectors increasingly see no need to compromise their values when making decisions about something as personal as their art collections," says John Mathews, Head of Ultra High Net Worth Americas at UBS Global Wealth Management. "This mindset is only going to continue to become the norm as millennials increasingly adopt sustainable practices and more options become available on the market."

Women are big art buyers
The survey discovered that women are more likely to spend big on art with 51% having paid out at least $1 million in the past two years compared to just 15% of men.

Unsurprising then, that women art collectors have an average of 88 pieces in their collection compared to 27 for men.

But heirs of art collectors may miss out on these valuable assets with 53% of respondents planning to leave their collection to museums. Women and millennials are more likely to say this is their plan.

However, for those that do plan to leave art collections to their heirs, 51% are concerned that recipients won’t get a fair price if they sell and 73% are already sharing insights with heirs on how to manage the collection.

"Many collectors have worked hard over the years to carefully curate their collections and planning can help keep collectors' passions alive, whether that's within the family or outside," continues Mathews. "As tastes change over generations, we're seeing collectors have conversations about how their families can continue caring for collections—some even engaging with museums and charitable organizations as part of that process."