Interesting news item today in the Financial Times regarding a special sale of the entire art collection of Deloitte in the UK. It seems that along with some staff, partners and clients of Arthur Andersen, Deloitte also got its hands on their extensive art collection six years ago.
Makes you wonder what other non-liquid investments are on the Firms’ balance sheets. Maybe that’s why they are always crying poor? Is there regulatory oversight over how they invest their partners’ capital, given their special role in providing services to the capital markets and their “importance to the global capital markets” ?
Maybe before we start allowing them legislative exceptions to liability for their wrongful and negligent actions, we should see how well their are investing their own assets given their considerable exposure to litigation.
Who the heck lends them money under these non-transparent conditions?
Sale of the week: The art of business
Sale: The Deloitte Art Collection
Location: Lyon and Turnbull, Royal Academy, Burlington Gardens, London W1, tel: +44 (0)131-557 8844; catalogue online at www.lyonandturnbull.com
Date: Thursday January 10. On view Tuesday 8 and Wednesday 9, 10am-5pm.
Need to Know: Corporate art collections are all the rage nowadays but, in 1968, accountants Arthur Andersen became one of the first firms to adopt the idea of enhancing the workplace with art when its London managing partner set out to acquire high-quality prints to display on its premises. The purchasing remit soon expanded from prints to original works and, from the 1970s until the 1990s, drawings and paintings by leading figures such as Dame Elisabeth Frink, Patrick Heron, Bridget Riley and Patrick Caulfield were added to the collection under the guidance of professional art advisers. Six years ago, however, Arthur Andersen surrendered its US practice licences due to its involvement in the Enron scandal and Deloitte absorbed some of its assets, including the artworks on offer here. Deloitte is selling its entire collection pending a move from The Strand to a building with a more modern interior, which is said to be “unsuitable” for displaying traditional works.