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Saturday, December 4, 2021

Art Fact: Museums Look To Draw Hedge Fund Money

Date: Thursday, December 14, 2006
Author: Dailyii.com

Museums have been paying close attention to recent reports of hedge fund managers spending habits, and they know hedgies have a thing for fine art. The next logical step, then, is for institutions such as Lincoln Center, the Whitney Museum and the Guggenheim Museum to draw these master cash makers on to their boards with the hope that the HF managers sharing some of the wealth Ė the latest wave coming their way via billion-dollar bonuses. The New York Times reports that Lincoln Center is among the most aggressive in this area, with annual dinner heavily populated with HF stars, through the efforts of one of its biggest donors and board members, Bruce Kovner of Caxton Associates. This love of art has resulted in sizeable contributions elsewhere as well, says the Times. Citadel Investment Group founder Kenneth Griffin gave $19 million for a new wing of the Art Institute of Chicago, named for him and his wife. So far, no hedgies are members of main boards of such institutions, and with the wealth of some of them, they may brush aside the notion of joining altogether, and just enjoy their own museum-quality art collections. "I canít imagine that Steve Cohen would want to go to a board meeting at the Met or [Museum of Modern Art] if he can spend over $100 million on a [artist Willem] De Kooning," Michael Thomas, formerly of Lehman Brothers and an art aficionado, told The Times.