From Hedge Funds to Art Funds

Posted on July 17, 2015

Art is a topic which can be difficult to convey into exact words. Each individual prefers their own unique style so it can be quite amusing to visit another’s home to view their creative pieces such as photographs, paintings, decorative writing like calligraphy or inspiring wall decorations. Many individuals turn to art collecting as the works simply please them, while for others it can become an investment. One prominent art collector of contemporary pieces is Adam Sender, a hedge-fund tycoon who created Exis Capital Management Inc. 

Regarded for his art-collecting savviness, Sender has sold about 30 of his pieces for about $19 million in 2006, earning him a nice return on these investments. His vast art collection graces his homes and offices in Miami, New York (including Manhattan) and Sag Harbor, which includes works done by Cindy Sherman and more than 20 done by Richard Prince. In 2011 Sender turned his home in Miami into an art exhibit hall when he held “Home Alone” inside its walls (a great move that made the most out of the art crowds heading to Art Basel in Miami Beach). Pieces in “Home Alone” included works by Chris Ofili and Keith Haring. Recently the auction block saw many of his collection pieces being placed for sale which included work by Dan Flavin. Over a period of months, Sotheby’s began to sell about 400 of these pieces in their New York City location and it was thought to generate about $70 million or more. One of the initial hedge fund managers to seriously collect art, Sender earned a history degree from the University of Michigan. The new graduate then took a trader position with Steve Cohen’s successful SAC Capital Advisors LP, than created his own Exis company in 1998. 

Not only is Adam Sender a hedge-fund manager turned serious art collector but Steve Cohen (from SAC Capital Advisors LP) is an owner of one of the world’s largest collections. In 2013 he paid $155 million for La Reve by Pablo Picasso, which is currently the highest amount paid for a piece of artwork by a U.S. collector. Often making the yearly list of the top 200 art collectors for Art News, Daniel Loeb of Third Point LLC is also a serious art collector, preferring pieces from contemporary, postwar and feminist art. 

As for Mr. Sender, art collecting seems to be a passion for him that has led to amusing and profitable adventures. For many, there can be incredible pieces that seem to touch our inner soul and arouse thoughts, but while art collecting offers possibilities for values that soar, one must know exactly what to buy so remember to buy smart!