Who wants a piece of the Mona Lisa? aShareX to launch fractional bidding platform

Rick Steves

“Our highly experienced executive team has built an industrial-strength execution that intends to address SEC requirements, including two FINRA-registered Broker-Dealers for the primary auction and secondary trading platform, a custodian, and an SEC-registered transfer agent.”

aShareX, Inc. has announced that, this summer, it will launch Art Share Exchange, the first auction-based universal trading platform dedicated to democratizing ownership of high-value alternative assets.

The online exchange features transparent market-based pricing, investor control over asset disposition, and lower costs than other intermediary platforms.

The patent-pending auction system enables fractional bidders – individuals or institutions bidding for partial ownership of an asset – to compete against each other as well as against bidders who desire 100% ownership of the asset.

Fractional bids are aggregated into single bids that compete with 100% bids in a traditional auction format. When fractional bidders win an auction, they will be issued securities in an SEC-qualified Regulation A offering representing their ownership interests in the underlying asset. When a 100% bidder wins, they take possession of the asset with no securities issued.

“Fractional investing is the future of finance”

aShareX is led by chief executive and founder Alan Snyder, who was also founder of Answer Financial, one of the largest online insurance marketplaces in the U.S., now owned by Allstate.

Alan Snyder, Founder and CEO of aShareX, commented: “Fractional investing is the future of finance. We take an investor-centric approach. Investors decide how much to invest at a market-determined price and control the timing of the asset’s sale. By combining direct control with lower costs of ownership, our system generates a compelling opportunity for investors.

“aShareX empowers self-directed investors to control their own destinies. We aren’t a biased intermediary that dictates at what price an asset should be purchased or when it should be sold. Rather, we provide investors with the information necessary for making better decisions. With us, they can continue to use current financial advisors without incurring duplicative costs.

“Our highly experienced executive team has built an industrial-strength execution that intends to address SEC requirements, including two FINRA-registered Broker-Dealers for the primary auction and secondary trading platform, a custodian, and an SEC-registered transfer agent.”

aShareX platform plans to launch with auctions of blue-chip art

The aShareX platform plans to launch with auctions of blue-chip art, a $1.7 trillion market that enjoys $65 billion-plus in annual turnover according to art market research firm ArtTactic, and returns of 8.5% annually since 1950 as reported by Sotheby’s Mei Moses Index.

As many investors look towards tangible assets as potential hedges against inflation, fine art’s strong historical performance and low correlation to traditional investments has drawn particular attention in recent years.

aShareX allows institutional investors unlikely to buy and maintain the physical asset the opportunity to purchase a security that controls the underlying asset at market prices. At last, pension plans, foundations and endowments with this execution can reap the same benefits as other investors in a way that fits how they invest.

Leslie Wright, Chairman North America at Bonhams, said: “This is a game-changer for institutions seeking uncorrelated alternative investment vehicles.”

Test your auction skills with Test Drive an AuctionTM

Research shows many participants in traditional auctions are uncomfortable with the format. When buying a car, most test drive it first. Now, people can test drive an auction and develop bidding strategies that apply not only to aShareX, but to any auction.

aShareX created a gamified version of its auction system that allows prospective bidders to hone their auction skills against hundreds of computer-generated bidders in a risk-free environment.

Test Drive an AuctionTM is available at the firm’s website and lets participants experiment as a fractional or 100% bidder in this real-time simulated auction to deliver knowledgeable confidence when engaging in a live auction with actual money.

aShareX is in partnership discussions with global auction houses interested in leveraging the platform to attract a large new cohort of buyers into their auctions.

aShareX will facilitate a secondary market for the buying and selling of fractional shares

The company further explained how the platform works:

  • Interested individuals, businesses, trusts and institutional investors complete an online registration process.
  • Fractional and 100% bidders participate in auctions via the online aShareX platform, with minimum fractional investments of $5,000.
  • 100% bidders can also participate in-person or by phone.
  • When fractional bidders win an auction, shares in the underlying asset are issued to the winners and aShareX stores, insures and maintains the asset in a professional secured storage facility or museum. When a 100% bidder wins, aShareX coordinates collection or delivery of the asset with the winner.
  • aShareX will facilitate a secondary market for the buying and selling of fractional shares, providing a convenient way for fractional investors to potentially access liquidity without needing an outright sale of the underlying asset.
  • Fractional investors vote (by simple majority based upon number of shares held) to determine whether they want to sell the underlying asset.
  • The first aShareX auction will be announced in the coming months subject to completion of regulatory requirements.

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