Connector

Lawrence M. Shindell

Lawrence Shindell is the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of LMI Group International, Inc. LMI Group is a specialty firm that provides investment bank-like services to the international art industry primarily in the form of underwriting the market release of major orphaned artworks. Orphaned artworks lack the typical forms of documented history but are surrounded by substantial credible evidence suggesting that they are authentic works attributable to what the market calls a blue chip artist. LMI Group serves the interests of owners of these artworks and third-party investors participating in returning these important pieces of lost history to the world while simultaneously realizing attractive investment returns. Lawrence is a trial and appellate litigation lawyer by background, holding licenses in a number of U.S. jurisdictions including admission to the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. Previously and sequentially between 2000 and 2017, Lawrence co-founded, corporately organized and served as the chief executive officer of a U.S.-New York-headquartered title insurance company, ARIS Title Insurance Corporation (a National Association of Insurance Commissioners member company), which became a global brand in the art industry and was acquired by a leading international specialty insurance and reinsurance company (NYSE:ARGO) in 2010. As a leading authority on asset and transactional integrity in the art industry, Lawrence has provided expert testimony of first impression before the United States Tax Court on the interrelationship among legal title, valuation and tax questions involving high value fine art and expert testimony before the United States Congress, House Financial Services Committee, regarding terrorism financing through the looting of cultural objects and related issues surrounding financial integrity and money laundering in the international art industry. Lawrence received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his law degree Emory University School of Law.

Describe the Impact of a Project you’re focused on.

Viewing time from a metaphorical distance, art has always been humankind’s record of its existence which is why art has always been collected and rigorously protected. Owners of orphaned artworks face daunting challenges in today’s world as they attempt on their own to have these important pieces of lost history validated and returned to a market that is inherently dismissive [“what we don’t already know (think we know) (don’t already own) can’t be right”] and under attack from increasingly sophisticated fakes and forgeries in a now $67B annual sales global market. One outgrowth of LMI’s activities – beyond our solving an immediate problem for the owner of a major orphaned artwork and providing attractive risk-based returns to investors – is that we are leading the art industry in the development of new forms of quantitative valuation data and analytics. These include artificial intelligence, machine learning and other aspects of computational science, which will broadly support better economic, social-curatorial and scholarship behavior in the international art field. To us, this gives LMI Group an important social and corporate impact both in its role and responsibility.

What results do you hope for when the impact is amplified?

As an institutional-grade transparent enterprise, LMI Group is bringing comprehensive, objective, data-driven behavior to an insular industry that has been largely unregulated and historically seen as opaque and untrustworthy.

What do you have to offer as a connector? What can you give as expertise to others?

With a focus on asset and transactional integrity in a particular market sector, Lawrence’s network spans the uppermost echelons of the art trade, scholarship and scientific communities, the financial integrity and international trade regulatory communities, to an extent the SFO community, and the international insurance, reinsurance and legal communities.
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