Brussels Philharmonic Foundation announces first investors

A unique collaboration between private bank Puilaetco Dewaay, law firm Delboo Deknudt and the Brussels Philharmonic has received its first series of investments.

The Brussels Philharmonic Foundation was established by the three companies as a means of purchasing high value string instruments for the orchestra.

Music-lovers and classical music investors can buy an instrument through the foundation. And while the orchestra will use the instruments, any increase in their value (expected at 15 per cent) will belong to the investors. Instruments must stay within the orchestra for five years, after which time the investors can sell them.

The initial cost of the instruments is between €40,000-80,000, and minimum investment in the project is €50,000.

It’s hoped that the scheme will have more of a financial impact than ‘friends’ clubs, through which orchestras only receive instruments after several years of support.

Flemish investment firm PMV is one of the first companies to invest in the foundation.

Piet Callens, senior investment manager at PMV, said: ‘The Brussels Philharmonic depends for more than 80 per cent of its funds on government subsidies, but is searching intensively for new business models.’

He continued: ‘This approach testifies to the entrepreneurial spirit in the cultural sector.’

In addition, Puilaetco Dewaay and Delboo Deknudt have identified several private investors, bringing the total raised so far to €1m. The foundation’s target is to purchase 10 new instruments in 2014.

Mark Delboo of Delboo Deknudt law firm said: ‘The private foundation has no members, but it does have a board of directors who take all decisions, such as to approve an investor or decide which musician should get to play which instrument.’

He continued: ‘In order to find a high quality instrument, advice is sought from the foundation’s advisory board, made up of top musicians from the orchestra. The instrument’s market value is guaranteed by a recognised violinmaker.’