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Thanks to the government’s hard-won portfolio disclosure laws, Cbus has given its brickies and navvies the first collection valuation update in 15 years, in which savers of most Cbus options are invested. .

The new $8.6 million rating shows beauty is in the eye of the listener, we guess.

In a world where companies’ flimsy reconciliation action plans seem largely filled by stuffing C-suite offices with as many dot paintings as possible, many private companies hold large art collections.

Indeed, the National Australia Bank recently sold some of its more than 2,000 works of art worth around $10 million, providing a $2 million windfall to its NAB foundation.

At least, to our knowledge, the Cbus paintings, which include works by Arthur Boyd, John Coburn, Lindy Lee and Brett Whiteleyare not hung in the salons of the fund’s executives, but exhibited in regional galleries, thanks to the fund’s contract with Latrobe Regional Gallery, which manages the collection.

The affiliation of the art fund is apparently unlimited. Along with fellow industry fund HESTA and choice labor law firm Maurice Blackburn, Cbus recently won a copyright infringement case brought by global indexing giant State Street after the industry funded the ‘artist Kristen Visbal to create a replica fearless girl statue for Melbourne’s Federation Square.

In this way, the Cbus art collection is also a rip-off from a global peer, having followed in the footsteps of the British Rail Pension Fund, which in 1974 invested £40 million (equivalent to around £440 million in today’s price) in 2400 pieces. of art. When he sold these works between 1987 and 1999, the portfolio returned a compound annual return of 11.3%, with most of the gains attributable to just two dozen Impressionist paintings.

When Cbus was in talks with Brown and Smith, the duo argued that Australian art was undervalued and that overseas collectors were buying up major works they thought should stay in Australia.

But time is driving us all crazy, and the Cbus Art Collection, based on the latest valuation, is posting a less salubrious annual return of just 4.7%, half the annualized rate of return of 9.55% for the whole of the fund over the past 10 years. years.

Oddly enough, a day after we asked about the gallery, the Cbusartcollection.com.au website went down. Luckily, it’s now been restored, so, uh, everyone can enjoy the art.