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Insurance & Risk Management
Speaker(s): Dennis M. Wade, Laura Patten, Lawrence M. Shindell, Mary Pontillo, Ronald Fiamma

Insurance & Risk Management

In today’s complex art industry, all stakeholders should consider whether solid risk management should now weigh in favor of using third-party risk transfer tools versus continuing to self-insure against such a risk adopt new ownership standards. This session will look at modernizing risk management in the art market and how the industry should apply forensic due diligence to transactions and ensure they view all business activities through a lens of strategic risk and reputation.

Talk Details

The panel will discuss:

  • Applying a holistic data-driven approach across art work, counterparties and business practices
  • The risk will never be zero but what is an acceptable and achievable level?
  • Designing and implementing a business-wide risk management methodology
  • Detecting, investigating and triaging anomalies
  • Adopting best practices and lessons learnt from criminologists
  • Reducing risk in art transactions
  • Dealing with a conflict of interests and unbiased expert advice
  • Dealing with different auction values: Insured value Vs fair market value
  • Analyzing the litigation on loss and value issues
  • Damage to work of art – how is this assessed?
  • Mitigating the risks in provenance and titles in museum management & curatorship

This talk was originally filmed during The Inaugural Business of Art Observed.

   

Speaker Details

Ronald Fiamma

Based in New York and with AIG since 2002, Ron Fiamma manages the firm’s global insurance portfolio for client collections of fine art, jewelry, vintage automobiles and wine. Among his responsibilities are the maintenance of underwriting and risk selection standards, reinsurance negotiations, new business development as well as oversight of the portfolio P&L. Prior to joining the Private Client Group and Consumer Lines, Ron spent five years in the Financial Institutions division of AIG as an underwriting manager of professional liability coverage for hedge funds, family offices, investment advisors, and securities broker/dealers. He first joined AIG after twenty years in the financial services industry as a broker, trader and analyst. Ron received bachelor’s degrees in Art History and Philosophy from Vanderbilt University and continued his graduate work in Rome and Florence, Italy in art history, archaeology and art restoration.

Mary Pontillo

In her current position as Senior Vice President and National Fine Art Practice Leader at DeWitt Stern/Risk Strategies, Mary handles and produces Fine Art accounts including Fine Art dealers, private collectors, and museums, artist foundations among others, along with the Property & Casualty policies associated with these accounts. In addition Mary consults on client Fine Art exposures firm-wide. Before joining DeWitt Stern in May 2006, Mary worked at Huntington T. Block Insurance Agency/Aon for over three years as a Fine Art Insurance Underwriter and Account Manager, handling large line Fine Art accounts. In addition, she taught art in Norfolk, VA, for two years and served as a docent at the Smithsonian Institute’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. Mary earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Art and Masters in Art History from James Madison University. She also completed the Appraisal Studies and Art Business certificate programs at New York University. In 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018 Mary was recognized as Power Broker: Fine Art category by Risk & Insurance magazine, as well as the Enterprising Achiever Award from NAIW. In addition, in 2011, Risk & Insurance magazine awarded Mary the Responsibility Leader designation.

Dennis M. Wade

Dennis M. Wade is a founding partner of WCM. For more than 20 years Dennis has handled fine art and specie matters for domestic and international insurers. His cases have taken him across the United States and to many parts of the world. Recently, for example, Dennis successfully defended a major art insurer against a 42 million dollar claim. That defense took Dennis from a New York Trial Court, to the Appellate Division, to the Court of Appeals (New York’s top Court), and ultimately, to the United States Supreme Court. Beside defense and coverage work in these areas, Dennis has recovered stolen art and diamonds throughout the United States and has collaborated with counsel to achieve recoveries in Europe and elsewhere in the world. Dennis is an experienced trial and appellate attorney in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Dennis enjoys the highest legal rating, “AV Preeminent,” reflecting confidential opinions solicited from the Bar and Judiciary. Dennis was elected to membership in the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC). DCC is composed of leaders in the legal community who have achieved professional distinction as recognized by peers and clients in a highly selective nomination process. Before entering private practice, Dennis devoted his energies to the investigation and prosecution of organized crime cases as the Deputy Chief of the Rackets Bureau of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. During his six years as an ADA, Dennis prosecuted high-level members of the Gambino and Bonnano crime families, violent felons from gangs such as The Ghost Shadows and Flying Dragons and corrupt public officials.

Laura Patten

Laura Patten leads Deloitte’s Art & Finance practice in the United States. She is a committed internationalist who advises C-suite clients in cross-border industries, and is an authority on risk management as a creator of value and source of competitive advantage in the global marketplace. Laura works closely with Deloitte’s tax, strategy, research, and technology experts, to provide integrated and impactful business services to the artworld. Laura previously served in the Executive Branch of the U.S. government, first as a CIA Operations Officer and later as the head of intelligence for the FBI’s Art Crime Team. She holds a Master’s in International Affairs from Columbia University, and a Master’s in Art Business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

Lawrence M. Shindell

Mr. Shindell heads LMI Group, an investment bank-like firm that underwrites the market release of major orphaned artworks. A lawyer by profession, Mr. Shindell holds licenses in a number of U.S. jurisdictions including admission to the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. Mr. Shindell served as the chief executive officer of U.S.‐New York‐headquartered ARIS Title Insurance Corporation (acquired during his tenure by Argo Group (NYSE: ARGO)). Mr. Shindell has provided expert testimony before the United States Tax Court on the interrelationship among legal title, valuation and tax questions involving fine art and before the United States Congress on financial integrity and money laundering in the international art industry. At ARIS, Mr. Shindell helped to launch of the art industry’s first institutional‐grade, non‐recourse art lending platform supported by property insurers, reinsurers and a leading North American pension plan capital provider and to secure, in partnership with the Lloyd’s syndicate market, approval from Lloyd’s Corporation of the industry’s first full suite of credit-risk coded insurance products to support art collateralized lending meeting Basel III/IV and Solvency II/III compliance requirements. Mr. Shindell formerly practiced law as a trial and appellate litigation attorney. He holds the highest rating for professional standards and ability by the legal profession’s leading peer review rating organization (Martindale‐Hubbell) and holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin and Emory University School of Law.

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