HNIs plan private museums to display treasured assets

Last Updated: Mon, Jun 11, 2012 19:52 hrs

India’s uber-rich are now keen to set up private museums to display their treasured asset collections. High net worth individuals are now approaching their bankers to help them set up trusts that will own, govern and manage private museums. In some cases, wealthy families are willing to join hands to set up a museum that will display their collective assets. A private museum will serve the twin purpose of keeping the family legacy alive beside enhancing the value of the assets.

Private museums that will exhibit fine art and painting collections appear to be the popular choice. But wealthy individuals have also expressed interest to set up museums that will house vintage cars, stamp and coin collections.

“Most families in India want to keep their legacy alive and private museums serve the purpose,” Satya Bansal, chief executive officer of Barclays’ wealth and investment management businesses in India, said. “Also, in fine art, the value of the asset appreciates if it is known to public at large. We have been requested by our clients to help them in setting up private museums displaying their treasure assets.” Bansal refused to share more details on such clients.

The museums will also help in preserving personal assets of wealthy individuals without the need for family funding. “If there are some revenue streams like viewing fees, that will be used for preservation of these assets,” Bansal said.

The popularity of private museums in India is gaining despite rich individuals in the country investing only a small portion of their wealth in treasure assets. According to a Barclays survey, most Indian high net worth individuals prefer to invest in precious jewellery. There is also high demand for classic automobiles and precious metals. But assets such as wine, stamps and coins are yet to attract large number of Indian affluents.

“India is still at an early stage of aspiration cycle. Hence, most wealthy individuals still prefer to invest in assets where they expect some return. Given some of the difficulties associated with maintaining, securing and liquidating treasure assets, it appears that precious metals and jewellery are likely to pay the greater return,” Bansal said.

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