Art Futures Groupthis is a statement pertaining to an article previously published and subsequently retracted by bloomberg news

F Jul 11, 2019 Review updated:

Correction and Apology

On 7 March 2018 I authored an article published on which contained various claims about Art Futures Group.

Bloomberg has retracted the article because my reporting failed to meet its editorial standards for fairness and accuracy.

The article wrongly suggested that Art Futures Group induced investors into overpaying for art. I acknowledge that I d I'd not have evidence to support that claim. I also acknowledge that other aspects of the article were inaccurate.

I unequivocally withdraw the allegations made against Art Futures Group and unreservedly apologize to Art Futures Group for any harm the article may have caused.

Frederik Balfour


  • Lu
    Lucette d'Angelique Feb 24, 2020

    Whilst many of Art Futures Group clients, commenting on this website, hoped that the Bloomberg article referred to by Freddie Balfour would help expose this scam and somehow get our money back or have Hong Kong police or other relevant government agencies take action, not ONE has and somehow it has all turned against us and we ended up more victimised than before...NONE of us have had any luck trying to sell our art as at the time of writing...NONE of the rental contracts 'already in place' at time of purchase, were renewed with the alleged corporate client supposedly displaying our art pieces in their offices (any business who rented from AFG/Maceys and others raise your hand if you did enter into this rental deal).
    Incentives offered to us the 'naïve art' clients were extensive with PROMISED returns of 20%/annum, rental contracts at 6%/annum, five years free storage/insurance (supposedly including the 2 years of the rental period) and the end to end service of buying and then selling the art. NOT ONE OF THESE INCENTIVES/GUARANTEES/PROMISES have fructified. NOT ONE SINGLE EFFING ONE.

    How can this not be understood to be lies, and how can a reputable media outlet like Bloomberg's not get this investigation right???!!!

    Deliberate evasive action was taken by AFG to stop Bloomberg's using a professional camera, insisting that only phone pics were allowed (when Balfour tried to arrange to take photos at the storage facility for the purpose of publishing with the article) - explain that one. Fear of the actual artwork being exposed for what we all believe to be the truth - works wholly or partly completed by the artists' students at rapid rate, low price and then hard sold talked to us, the naïve art clients (one of the first questions asked of us by the 'specialist' art brokers, 'have you bought art before') at EXHORBITANT prices.

    If this is not an art scam, then it would behoove the CEO's of these businesses to simply provide evidence of the art transferring to the client and back again at the end of the lease (requests for such documentation has NOT been provided). The actual artists themselves knowing of these articles damning their works would surely want to protect their reputations but publishing their own statements - not ONE has to date. How about the so called corporate clients (touted by AFG as lawyers, bankers and financiers) posting to the web that they have indeed rented these pieces. Again not ONE.

    How bout leading auction houses who won't take the art without reasons given except 'this art does not suit our clientele' when auction results from them show that these artists have indeed been sold through them. It's interesting to note that auctions outside of China/Hong Kong have not realised the same high prices attained locally - perhaps seeding the auction rooms with cross bidding is easier to do in the same geographical area then flying overseas.

    Police reports, HKCC reports, legal briefs and general content published all over the internet still has not stopped this rental art scam. Dozens and dozens of us from here and Facebook are still being contacted by Macey's with promises of selling any art you buy from them, within 2 years, if you're willing to buy more of their art.

    We all thought something would come of the investigation and reporting by Balfour, but now our art is so exposed out there, everyone is steering very clear of any of it..just the mention of AFG to auction houses results in a deathly silence.

    At the time of writing this, I have again contacted a leading auction house, who did show interest in one of my pieces, for the online auction only, but with an estimated value of 1/30th of what I paid for it (i.e. bought for hk$288, 000.00, auction estimate hk$10-20, 000.00) - explain that one, oh, wait a minute, Douglas Lucas did explain it by stating 'auction houses think they are a force unto themselves'...oh dear oh dear oh dear, words from the specialised art expert. Just where did all of you get your art education, huh?

    To summarise, sociopaths are abundant in fly by night businesses world wide...Jeremy Kasler, original CEO of Art Futures Group dumped the business on Jonathan Macey, an ex employee of AFG, to hightail out of Hong Kong, rumoured to be heading to Australia with his new venture CityYield, another rental back type of (property) business with guaranteed return...yeah right..wonder if he shipped his Maserati or Porsche or whatever high end car he bought with our money along with his contented wife and child.

    A fact I can tell you, someone is going to be rotting in hell, and it won't be me..


    8 Votes

Post your comment