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Julius Baer’s fledging collection of Swiss contemporary art
Lifestyle
<p>With over 5,000 pieces of art in its collection, the Julius Baer Art Collection has become a desirable destination for emerging Swiss artists. Fostering young talent is a mission the bank proudly accomplishes. Its objective, then and now, is to buy and display contemporary Swiss art with the purpose of supporting artists who, at the time of a first purchase, are not yet firmly established, but clearly have a great deal of potential, writes FinBuzz.</p> <p>For Hans J. Baer (1927-2011) art was not something to be shut away but something to be appreciated daily, allowing it to become integral to the culture and environment of the company. Much of the bank’s artwork is off-limits to the public, but can be seen on the walls of the Zurich, Switzerland headquarters or in one of the other offices spread across five continents and in over 25 countries and more than 50 locations. Sometimes the Julius Baer art team runs special tours, exhibitions and events, and lends its pieces to museums.</p> <p>As one would expect, the artworks are excellent conversation starters when clients come in, adding some flavor of Swiss heritage to everything the bank does.</p> <p>“Our clients are very interested in art. I believe that after guiding a client through the collection that they will connect very differently with the company thereafter,” said Barbara Staubli, Julius Baer’s art collection curator. Staubli joined Julius Baer in 2011, after working at the world-renowned Hauser &amp; Wirth gallery. Before that she studied art history at the University of Zurich.</p> <p>In order to be put on the watch list by the Julius Baer Art Committee, an artist must either have been born in Switzerland or live in the country. The bank is on the lookout for art at public exhibitions in art galleries and museums, and the young talent is purchased by the bank.</p> <p>The Julius Baer Art Committee believes that this kind of support is what an emerging artist needs the most as he or she creates confidence to move forward, and of course, it helps with the cash-flow too. The bank then follows the artist through their career and forges closer ties with them. Today, the bank boasts the works of Roman Signer, Pipilotti Rist, Ugo Rondinone, Dieter Roth, John M. Armleder, and Lutz &amp; Guggisberg.</p> <p>If the bank is strict about an artist having close connections with Switzerland, it is much more open about the form of art itself. The collection contains paintings, drawings, photography, installations, video art, and objects created with new technology. In 1995, the committee purchased its first audio and video installation ‘Edna’ by Pipilotti Rist, which is part of a series of videos titled ‘Yoghurt on Skin-Velvet on TV’, today considered one of the collection’s gems.</p> <p>Collecting art has a very long tradition at Julius Baer and dates back to the 1930s. In 1981 Hans J. Baer decided that the collection strategy should be precise and reflect the values of the bank itself. This is when the underlying theme – quintessentially Swiss art through the eyes of contemporary artists – was established. It was also when the Art Committee was formed. Unlike other banks, this particular Art Committee includes actual employees who get to see the artworks on an everyday basis. The committee also includes relationship managers, a head of strategy research, and, interestingly, no one from senior management. “It’s very important,” said Ms. Staubli, “as it reflects that art is something for all employees and a vital part of our corporate culture.”</p> <p>El Frauenfelder, Zurich Airport, 1979</p> <p>Studer &amp; van den Berg, Schlitten no.8, 1960/1962</p> <p>Beat Zoderer, Reels.Pipes.Spools-object, 1955<br /> This story first appeared in FinBuzz</p> <p>Photo: FinBuzz</p>
Reuters names top 100 global innovators
Lifestyle
<p>Thomson Reuters has announced its top 100 global innovators for 2015. The fifth annual award is given to companies that have at least 100 unique inventions patented over the most recent five-year period, have a global presence, and be rated for success and influence by Reuters' metrics.</p> <p>Of the winners, 75% come from the U.S. and Japan. The other fourth come from Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan. Nearly a third of the U.S. winners come from Silicon Valley.</p> <p>New additions to the 2015 list include:</p> <p> Air Products<br /> Alstom<br /> Amazon<br /> Analog Devices<br /> Bayer<br /> Becton Dickinson<br /> Boehringer Ingelheim<br /> Bridgestone<br /> Bristol-Myers Squibb<br /> Chevron<br /> Exxon Mobil<br /> Idemitsu Kosan<br /> InterDigital<br /> Japan Science &amp; Technology Agency<br /> Johnson Controls<br /> JTEKT<br /> Kawasaki Heavy Industries<br /> Makita Corporation<br /> Mitsui Chemicals<br /> Showa Denko<br /> Solvay<br /> Thales<br /> Toray<br /> Valeo<br /> Yamaha Motor<br /> Yaskawa Electric<br /> Yazaki</p> <p>Photo: Pascal </p>
Apple CEO Tim Cook to students: ‘The world has a stake in how you do business’
Lifestyle
<p>On Tuesday, November 10, Apple CEO Tim Cook delivered his keynote speech at Bocconi University, Milan — the first time he has addressed a European university, Finbuzz reports.<br /> Among the highlights of his speech, Cook told the assembled students and graduates:</p> <p> I’ve been fortunate to join a company that shares my values, and my great hope for you is that you do the same.<br /> You have before you an incredible opportunity — I would actually call it an obligation — you owe it to yourself and to the rest of the world to be a part of something that serves a noble purpose, however you define it, and you can do that through your work.<br /> Because now more than ever, businesses are in a position to help societies solve their greatest problems. The responsibility should not rest on governments alone. Whether we are talking about climate change or equal rights, the challenges we face are simply too great for businesses to stand on the sidelines, especially today when companies have more capacity to do more good in more ways for more people than at any point in human history.<br /> I hope the students in the audience today hold on to your idealism. Not just as students, but also as graduates, as CEOs and even as presidents.<br /> You really can live with your values and your passion to change the world.<br /> The environment must also be on the business agenda. As business leaders, we have a responsibility to address this, and urgently. We have obligations to our companies and our shareholders because climate change impacts supply chains, energy crises and overall economic stability.<br /> So, what will your success look like? As you consider that question, understand that the whole world has a stake in your answer. The world has a stake in how you do business.<br /> You are citizens of the world. You have a voice to be heard across continents. Use it! Speak up! You are better connected to the rest of the globe that any generation has ever be</p>
Mint Greens founder James Rogers: How corporate golf is changing
Lifestyle
<p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Golf has always been synonymous with business. But now other sports, as well as a general lack of time, have contributed to a 30 percent decline in golf in the last decade. Seeing the evolving trend, James Rogers decided to found a golf concierge service in London, Mint Greens, to cater to the new corporate way of the sport.<br /> Mint Greens has a confidential agreement with some of the top clubs around London. As they have a portfolio of partner clubs, they can usually find tee times for their clients even during the peak golfing season.<br /> “We are also in a position to help our clients when they are traveling as we have over 200 golf course partnerships overseas,” said Rogers.<br /> Before founding Mint Greens in 2010, Rogers dabbled in law, medical research and software development, as well as advertising.<br /> “I was destined to be a lawyer, did a placement at a big city firm and decided it wasn’t the career for me. I then worked for a medical research organisation and then a software business, where I cut my teeth in marketing.<br /> “My dad was a keen golfer and I have been playing since I was ten years old and realised I could apply my marketing skills to my passion for golf,” he said.<br /> Rogers had the idea of a golf marketing company in 2010 and launched an online service called iSpyGolf.<br /> “Our new business, Mint Greens, has now developed alongside this but is an entirely different service that’s aimed at corporate and executive golfers here in the city. We’ve looked to create a new kind of solution in partnership with top clubs around London that sets new standards of service and value,” says Rogers.<br /> There has reportedly been a 30 percent decline in golf in the US, UK, and Europe since 2004.<br /> “There’s no question that golf is under pressure in the UK, as it is in Europe and the US, though some of our partner clubs are reporting positive noises again from the corporate market. It’s traditional memberships that have suffered in recent years. There are a lot of reasons for this, though I think demand on people’s time these days is the main cause,” he said.<br /> “A lot of people would like to play more golf, but time just doesn’t allow it. But this dip isn’t a phenomenon that’s confined to golf and clubs are beginning to adapt to the changes. For companies like ours, there are opportunities to help the industry by identifying new and more flexible approaches,” said Rogers.<br /> Golf still remains the sport of business, he believes. According to Rogers, recent research still has 97% of senior executives considering golf a great way to establish closer relationships.<br /> But while business still gets done on the golf course, Rogers concedes that corporate budgets are under intense pressure now which makes it difficult for companies to entertain clients on the golf course. New regulations following the banking crisis have had their impact too. Corporate golf days have been scaled back and many companies are opting to spend their time on the golf course in the company of just their key clients.<br /> Amongst Mint Greens’ clients, the financial services sector is the most heavily represented, with other clients drawn from across a broad range of industries including insurance, media and advertising.<br /> The average annual service is £2,500 per year with the flexibility of use within a corporate or executive team. They also have a private executive service for individuals.<br /> “We only launched Mint Greens last summer but we’ve made healthy progress and have a 100 percent renewal rate with our clients so far, so we know we are doing something right,” Rogers says, before explaining that the arrangements are good for the clubs too, delivering extra business and giving them the opportunity to showcase their venue to some influential people.<br /> Gerard Kenny, CEO of Mansion House Consulting, said he would recommend Mint Greens and “their simple, but very effective business model.”<br /> “I have been using Mint Greens for the past year and have been continually impressed wit
Diamond's are a 7-year-old girl's best friend
Lifestyle
<p>Hong Kong billionaire Joseph Lau is showering his daughters in diamonds.</p> <p>Lau is the latest owner of a 12.03 carat Blue Moon diamond, which he has renamed "Blue Moon of Josephine" for his 7-year-old daughter, reports Newsweek. The gem cost the billionaire nearly $48.5 million at a Sotheby's auction, a new record price for a blue diamond. Just the night before, Lau also bought a 16.08 carat pink diamond for $28.5 million at Christie's, renamed "Sweet Josephine," reports U.S. News.</p> <p>These are just the latest for the Lau daughter's collection. Josephine already has another blue diamond, a 7.03 carat "Star of Josephine."</p> <p>Lau's 13-year-old daughter Zoe wasn't left out. She already has a 9.75 carat blue diamond worth $33 million and a 10.1 carat ruby-and-diamond brooch worth more than $8 million.</p> <p>Lau is worth about $10 billion, and in 2014 was convicted of bribery and money laundering in Macau. The former CEO of real estate development company Chinese Estates Holding of Hong Kong stepped away from his company, and avoided his more than five year prison sentence by staying out of Macau. Hong Kong doesn't have an extradition treaty with Macau.<br /> Photo: Fancy Diamonds</p>
Steve Cohen sells ‘Mao’ for $47.5 million
Lifestyle
<p>Cy Twombly’s “Untitled (New York City)” may have shattered records at Sotheby’s contemporary art auction, but Steve Cohen – noted patron of the arts and owner of New York’s most unwanted penthouse – didn’t do too shabby himself, as the Financial Times reports:<br /> “A 1972 Andy Warhol portrait of Chinese leader Mao Zedong sold for a hammer price of $42.2m, beating its estimate of $40m. Including fees, the telephone buyer will pay $47.5m, the top price for a Warhol this season. The work came from the collection of hedge fund manager Steve Cohen, according to people present at the auction. Four of the seven Warhols on offer went unsold.”<br /> According to the New York Times, Cohen bought the painting for just $17 million back in 2007 from Kering boss François Pinault. Not bad Stevie, not bad.<br /> Photo: jaime.silva</p>
Frank Underwood goads Chinese consumers to participate in Singles' Day ecommerce lollapalooza
Lifestyle
<p>Kevin Spacey resumes his role as Frank Underwood, the diabolical political operative in "House of Cards" to goad Chinese consumers into participating in Singles' Day, the biggest internet ecommerce event anywhere.</p>
Billionaire spends more than 10% of net worth on painting
Lifestyle
<p>Eccentric Chinese billionaire Liu Yiqian spent more than 10% of his net worth on a Modigliani painting Monday.</p> <p>Liu purchased Modigliani's Nu Couche, or Reclining Nude, at a Christie's auction for $170.4 million, the second highest price ever paid for art in an auction, reports BBC.</p> <p>Liu is a self-made man and former taxi driver now worth about $1.4 billion. After making his fortune trading stocks in the 1980s and 1990s, Liu became an ambitious art collector. He and his wife have opened two art galleries in Shanghai, one of which will display Nu Couche for its fifth anniversary, reports the New York Times.</p> <p>In the past, Liu has spent his money flippantly. Last year he drank from an ancient ceremonial cup he purchased for $36 million. Liu reportedly purchased both the cup and his new painting with an American Express credit card, earning himself millions of rewards points. Whatever he spends those points on will certainly be another attention grabber for Liu.<br /> Photo: Rodney<br /> &nbsp;</p>
Movie producer gets inside Buffett's 'Beautiful Mind'
Lifestyle
<p>Warren Buffett says his greatest triumph is tomorrow.</p> <p>The Oracle of Omaha had plenty of witty quips for movie producer Brian Grazer during an interview Friday, reports the New York Post. Grazer, the producer behind "A Beautiful Mind," conducts weekly "curiosity conversations" with successful strangers. For Buffett, Grazer did the interview in front of 1,500 NetJets shareholders, one of Berkshire Hathaway's companies.</p> <p>Buffett also told Grazer that he's "a book with legs" when it comes to reading. And for investing, "I know in 15 seconds if I can add value to a company...Then I have to see passion and love," Buffett said.</p> <p>&nbsp;<br /> Photo: David Shankbone</p>
Danny Yong donates S$5 million to the National Gallery Singapore
Lifestyle
<p>Looks like American hedgies aren’t the only ones eager to be patrons of the art world. According to the Straits Times, Singapore's Danny Yong has been doing his share for the arts as well:<br /> “The National Gallery Singapore has received a $5 million donation from hedge fund manager Danny Yong, its largest individual cash donation to date.</p> <p>The gallery announced this yesterday, ahead of its opening on Nov 24. The amount will help to fund the art acquisitions for the national collection.”<br /> The 43-year old Yong is chief investment officer of Dymon Asia, one of Asia’s largest – and most successful – global macro funds, and interestingly, he isn’t that big on art collecting:<br /> “He said he is ‘not big into collecting art’ but has enjoyed viewing art in a museum since he was a young boy. He added: ‘I’m constantly amazed at how artists can translate their imagination into visual form so magically. I think art is great for stimulating our creativity.’”<br /> Either way, the National Gallery was “deeply grateful” for his donation and has dedicated Forest Fire, a painting by Indonesian artist Raden Saleh, to the Yong Hon Kong Foundation in recognition of his gift.<br /> Photo: GokuPhoto</p>