Friday, August 8, 2008


Who are the top 10 collectors of Art in this world ? Well, it is simple : they are billionaires. Having said that there are different sorts of billionaires, even if they are very often unsurprisingly into the finance world as well and Americans.

Alphabetically speaking, the top one of the 10 biggest is the investment banker Leon Black (left) and his wife Debra, from New York who collect Old Masters, Impressionists, modern painting, contemporary art and chinese sculpture. Black's estimated net worth was $4 billion in 2007.

Black is followed in the collectors train by the founder of Kaufman &Broad and financial giant Sun America, Eli Broad (right below) and his wife Edythe, from Los Angeles who collect Contemporary art. Broad's wealth is estimated at some $ 5.8 billion making him the 42th -richest person in America . The Broads created an Art Foundation in Los Angeles whose goal is not only collecting art works but helping people in education as well. Eli Broad is very well known as a big philanthropist.

Then comes the legendary Steven Cohen from Greenwich (CT) who owns and manages the SAC Capital Partners hedge fund and collects Impressionists, Modern and Contemporary art. His net worth is estimated at $ 6.8 billion.

Cohen is followed by founder of private equity firm, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, Henry R. Kravis and his wife Marie-Josée from New York (right). They collect Old Masters, Impressionists, 20th-century art and French furniture. Kravis' s net wealth is estimated at $5.5 billion. In 2007 Henry Kravis was the reluctant star of a film highlighting corporate greed and the riches earned in private equity. Directed by Robert Greenwald, the film started by tallying Mr Kravis's income: $450 million last year which comes out to $1.3 million per day, or $51,369 per hour, every hour of every day. For Mr Kravis and his collegues Cohen, Broad and Black buying a 1 million dollars work of Art is like you taking a friend to lunch....

Then come the Lauders, Ronald S. and his wife Jo Carole from New York, whose inherited wealth is estimated at $3 billion. Ronald is the heir of cosmetic empire Estée Lauder and a very nice man : he created a Foundation whose philanthropist goal is very well known and appreciated notably in Central Europe. The family originates from France and Hungary. The Lauders whose real name was Mentzer collects late 19th and early 20th century art, especially German and Austrian and decorative art.

The Lauders are followed by French businessman Francois Pinault (left) , owner of PPR, a multinational holding company specializing in retail shops (Printemps) and luxury brands (Gucci) and of auction house Christie's. Pinault is the biggest art collector in the world and his fortune is estimated at $ 14.5 billion. He collects Contemporary art.

Behind Pinault, always alphabetically, comes the Ukrainian Viktor Mykhaylovych Pinchuk from Kiev, founder and main owner of the Interpipe Group, one of Ukraine's leading steel industry groups. His fortune is estimated at $ 1.5 billion and he collects Contemporary art like Pinault.

Then we have Mitchell Rales from Potomac (Maryland) who owns a manufacturing corporation Danaher Cy. and his worth $2.8 billion. Rales collects Modern and contemporary art. The ninth biggest collector of art is the Mexican telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim Helu (left below) from Mexico city who is the second richest man in the world with a net worth of around $60 billion through his holdings (Telefonos de Mexico and America Movil). He collects Old Masters, pre-columbian, colonial Mexican art and modern art, especially Rodin.

Finally the tenth alphabetically art collector is Sheik Saud bin Mohammad bin Ali Al-Thani, one of the founders of the UAE oil and gas giant Danagas who lives in Doha (Qatar) and London and collects Antiquities, Old Masters, rare books, photographs and Islamic art. His wealth is not known but it is certainly in the billion of dollars.

Other famous Art collectors are the Japanese school books publisher Soichiro Fukutake who collects Impressionists and Contemporary art and holds a fortune of $ 1.2 billion ; Iraqui born publicist Charles Saatchi from London who collects Contemporary art, especially British and the Sainsbury family from London who enjoys a collection of Impressionists, modern and contemporary paintings.

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