Event report: Art x Finance – Vol.3 , Perspectives of a financial center, a bank and an artist

2024.01.23 (Tue)

We were pleased to welcome Maestro Masato Suzuki, Mr Dai Sugiyama from SMBC Trust Bank Ltd. and Ms Aisha Al Sahlawi from the DIFC to our discussion on art and finance.

Thank you Jochen Biedermann of World Alliance of International Financial Centers (WAIFC) for opening it and setting the scene by introducing an interesting story on how the English Theatre in Frankfurt was preserved.

DIFC gave a fascinating account on how art is flourishing in their financial district. Their initiative straddles across many different facets; art events, galleries, art-lovers and artists (including many art-lovers who became artists themselves). A great demonstration of a financial center embracing art! Maestro Suzuki presents Bach across the globe as keyboard player, conductor, stage director. Interesting to hear that Handel brought classical music closer to the citizens by introducing ticket sales for concerts. He suggested the need for introducing dynamic pricing in concert ticketing in Japan as vital for making performing arts more accessible.


SMBC Trust Bank’s engagement arises from a wealth management angle but it is much more than that! The “art trust” business which is rooted on their trust business unlocks the potential for art as it helps the preservation of art and also it enables leasing to museums. It can potentially be used to develop art as an asset class and enable art secured loans. We loved Mr Sugiyama’s art ecosystem diagram which provides a useful framework to approach this rather abstract subject of art and finance.


Kunihiro Ishibashi who joined JIAM recently as a Board Member gave a closing speech. We hope we can work with Bloomberg soon to explore this topic further.

We would like to thank all the speakers for their fantastic input and all our attendees. We look forward to continuing our Art and Finance series.