Berenberg Bank Art Consult


Hamburg’s Berenberg Bank has been serving clients for an impressive 425 years. Although, it rarely offers direct art loans it is not ignoring art as an asset class.

The bank’s Berenberg Art Consult group is an in house art advisory service offering consultancy on valuations, recommendations for purchase and the sale of art work. They can also help with other services, such as the placement of restoration work.

Private Art Investor spoke to Dr. Thomas Kellein, Chief Curator in Cooperation with Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co. KG about Berenberg Art Consult and what they are doing for the art market.

What is Berenberg Art Consult?Thomas Kellein

“Under the name Berenberg Art Consult, we offer art advice as an in-house Bank service. This primarily relates to valuations and recommendations for the purchase and sale of artworks, although other services, such as the placement of restoration work, are also involved.

In 2014, for example, the sale of a large legacy of classical-modern works of art was prepared. Art Consult has helped a number of clients to acquire high-value paintings. The art collection of an entrepreneur has been greatly expanded and an exhibition of this collection at the coming Biennale in Venice prepared. We are regularly available to give our clients guided tours and advice at major international art fairs in places such as Maastricht, Basel and London.”

What makes Berenberg Art Consult different?
“We are convinced that we should give well-funded advice to our clients that covers all transactions with art. Whether buying or selling, whether active collecting or investing in art, we want our clients to feel safe, to have professional guidance and total reliability.”

What is your typical deal?
“The usual transaction is a sale or acquisition of just one special work of art, be it through an auction or a private dealer. The perfect deal is to find a very special work that one party wants to buy but couldn’t find and the other party wants to sell without knowing of this idea before.“

What advice are you giving your clients?
“Art is an emotional asset. Don’t just buy what you love, and don’t just buy what is categorized in a Top 100 list. Every good art lover should try to create a special and personal strategy.

What trends are you seeing and what do you see in the future for the market?
“There will be more diversification and more running after the 8 and 9 digit US$ works. Everything else needs to be watched more and more carefully. The market will be stable as long as the our strongest nations keep their rather stable economy without wars and without major changes in the interest rates.

There is plenty of liquidity all over, the arts are a good investment, and major artworks are a very speaking asset.“

Core topics