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The Crowd: Local art investors gather at Irvine Museum

April 04, 2012|By B.W. Cook
  • ART AND MONEY: James Irvine Swinden and Dave Rahn introduce the crowd to First Foundation, Inc., a financial arm for investment art purchases.
ART AND MONEY: James Irvine Swinden and Dave Rahn introduce…

If you caught CBS' "60 Minutes" on Sunday, one of the news magazine's segments reported on the phenomenal rise in investment value in the world of contemporary art.

For reasons not explained in the broadcast, the contemporary art market has exploded in the last 20 years, outperforming other investment instruments including the traditional ones like stocks, bonds, commodities and currency markets.

Last week in Irvine, a local gathering of art investors came together under the banner of First Foundation, Inc., which arranges loans on art for high net worth clients. The foundation launched its services in Orange County by hosting an event at the Irvine Museum, which featured a private tour of the museum and a speech by James Irvine Swinden, its president who is the son of Irvine family matriarch Joan Irvine Smith.

Also on hand for the tour was Dave Rahn, a banking executive who also happens to be an artist himself. He shared with the crowd his point of view on the rising art market, including factors such as tax-efficient art exchanges and estate planning.

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Attending the event were Dennis O'Neill, Barbara Holloway, Diana Martin, Mark Tomaino, Tom Giddings and John Hakopian. Also present were Cynthia and Thomas Coad, Richard Burns, Dwight Griffith and the Sorel Reismans.

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HPM Partners opens O.C. office

In another arena of wealth management, one of America's most successful private investment partnerships, New York-based HPM Partners LLC, opened this week on a high floor of Costa Mesa's premier office building at 600 Anton Blvd.

HPM's O.C. office will be under the leadership of four of the region's preeminent financial advisors. Joining HPM Partners Inc. are Gerald Larr, Douglas McCrea, Stephen Nielander and Craig Wells.

The SEC-registered advisory firm provides investment advisory, wealth planning, and tax and private capital finance services. To learn more, call (714) 415-4990.

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Fashionistas, take note

International designer Zang Toi is coming to Nordstrom in South Coast Plaza next week for a personal appearance with clients, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on April 12 and 13.

Toi will share his spring 2012 collection with informal modeling in-store of his acclaimed line. This very special visit by designer Toi will be held in the Collections Gallery.

Fashionistas are encouraged to schedule an appointment by calling (714) 549-8300.

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