Olyvia Kwok recently featured in the 53rd issue of Spear’s Magazine with an introduction to her new smartphone app, Live Auction Art, which provides transparent and real-time art auction data to its users.
Willstone Management was launched in 2010 when Kwok, a former gallerist in St James’, switched to providing art investment portfolios for HNW’s and family offices. As a gallerist, she had been responsible for introducing London collectors to Chinese contemporary art, emerging markets art, and the revival in Pop Art from the US.
Born in Beijing, she was brought up in Hong Kong until the age of twelve and educated in the UK thereafter, gaining a degree in statistics from Queen Mary, University of London, followed by an MA in 15th-century Chinese art. She was in her mid-twenties when she was asked to create an art collection as part of a hedge fund owned by a Geneva private bank. She sold about 25 per cent of her holdings to Lehman Brothers in early 2008 and then 60 per cent to individuals, generating an IRR of over 100 per cent. In recent years she has concentrated on acquiring Modern and Impressionist works for Chinese museums and billionaires.
Kwok, 32, has also developed her Live Auction Art app, which offers individuals greater transparency of auction pricing.
“We can analyse and integrate live auction results instantaneously to show how they reflect on the market as a whole” she explains. “We are already like CNBC/Bloomberg, as we have the “winners” and “losers” picks each auction, and then the percentages of price realised against the pre-sale estimate.”