Meet Francesca Casiraghi- CEO and Co-founder of London Trade Art, an innovative art investment service to buy shares of high value artworks in the form of NFTs.
Francesca introduces herself as the CEO and the co-founder of London Trade Art– she has been working in the art industry for the last 6 years. It has always been her passion and her wish to deepen and fully understand this industry, and after some international job experiences in the sector, in 2015, she decided to move to London to write her Master’s dissertation in Art Market and to also study the financial market. After an internship at a hedge fund, she then founded London Trade Art with an ambitious aim of democratizing and modernizing the art market, through the creation of an Art Exchange which combines art and finance.
Talking of her humble background, she grew up in the Italian countryside near Milan. Her father runs a small family business in the woodworking industry, while her mother is a dedicated homemaker. After finishing her studies, Francesca tried to find her place in the world, like many others in their early 20s, where she wasn’t even sure if she wanted to build a career in the art industry until the last day of subscription at her University. “I was passionate about art and business and ambitious, of course, but still confused, trying to find something that fitted me in the art world. My husband, instead, always knew that he would have worked in finance. He certainly played a major role in my decision-making process, until I gained more self-confidence and I made my goals and mission clearer,” she says.
The idea for London Trade Art came when she made a deep comparison between the art market and the financial market, which are thought to be very different, but that in the end evolved in a very similar way during history- with the only difference that the art market has always been reluctant to adopt technological advancements. She says:
“For more than 5 years, we have been providing a diversified art investment service, both online, through our marketplace, and offline, through our art consultancy service dedicated to both privates and corporates. Just recently, we have finally launched our fractional ownership model, which has always been our original goal, of both digital and physical artwork, allowing our clients to purchase just one or more shares of art. Each Art Shares has been associated with a unique and irreproducible NFT, which guarantees the authenticity and ownership of the shares and which is accessible to the buyer through their own wallet. Very soon we will also provide a secondary market, the Art Exchange, which will allow all the co-owners to trade, so to buy and sell, the NFT Art Shares available on the platform.”
The services by London Trade Art are dedicated not only to art lovers and traditional art collectors, who can finally afford the co-ownership of their favorite artworks but also to those who are not familiar with art collecting yet and don’t want to invest a considerable amount of money in one single artwork, as well as for corporates or privates who are looking to diversify their portfolio of investments through innovative solutions.
When Francesca started London Trade Art, she was 25 years old and recently graduated, living in a foreign country, which made her struggle at the beginning to make her voice heard. She didn’t have a particularly prestigious curriculum, strong connections in the field or relevant economic capacities, so she was very often mistaken as just a young dreamer. It was challenging to communicate an innovative trading system that would have potentially revolutionized a very traditional market, like art. “Art players, private collectors, and the general audience were reluctant to buy art online and even less to buy it in shares. Thanks to the most recent rise of the new technologies applied to the creative industries, and undeniably due to the pandemic which forced the art market to a necessary digitalization, also the art fractional ownership is getting more digested and people are starting to recognize the great benefits of this model,” she says.
Francesca and her team finally launched their first projects of co-ownership through NFT Art Shares of digital and physical art a few months ago which went sold out in less than 24 hours. They also launched their first blue-chip art by the Italian conceptual artist Alighiero Boetti. The total value of £125.000 was split into 1.000 shares and just after a few weeks, 90% of the NFT Art Shares have been sold. It marked great success to both her and her team.
She works with the strong belief that work ennobles man. She has always felt a great sense of responsibility towards her duties and the consequences of her actions. Having established a company has influenced her professional path in a positive way according to her. “It makes me constantly grow, both professionally and personally. I feel very privileged because I had the opportunity to choose the people I work with and to build a proactive and stimulating working environment,” she gushes.
As a woman, she advises about the importance of building something relevant every day which brings us a step closer to the final goal and pushes us to do better. She believes that we must embrace the challenges, not feel like a minority and use it as a fundamental strength. She quotes Stacey Cunningham, President of NYSE, to express this piece of advice: “Focus on your skills, whether it’s working in a kitchen, working on a trading floor, running a household. You can go do anything.“