AEFI Lead Underwriters

Underwriters of the Aspen Institute Artist-Endowed Foundations Initiative/AEFI’s work represent some of the foremost firms providing services to philanthropy, the arts, and education. We are proud to count them as partners in realizing AEFI’s mission to strengthen the charitable impact of the emerging artist-endowed foundation field.

AEFI Lead Underwriters

Chief among our partners are AEFI Lead Underwriters, who provide core support to sustain AEFI and also share their intellectual capital by collaborating in the development and dissemination of educational information to assist the artist-endowed foundation field.


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ARIS TITLE INSURANCE CORPORATION. ARIS is the world’s leading art title insurer, the only market-neutral, government-regulated entity managing transaction risk by guaranteeing clear legal ownership of art, cultural objects, and high-value collectibles. Headquartered in New York, ARIS is a division of NYSE-traded Argo Group (ARGO), an international specialty insurance company.

By writing title insurance, a form of insurance originated in the real estate industry, exclusively for the global art industry, ARIS assists each of the market’s stakeholders—from artists and their estates, collectors, museums, foundations, and the traditional art trade, to the capital markets monetizing this asset class, as well as governments focused on trade regulation, cultural heritage protection, money laundering, and terrorist financing via looted cultural objects.

Ownership is critically important in art transactions and the stakes are high. How can a buyer be certain the sculpture they want to buy is actually being sold by its legal owner? Without protection, a buyer can lose a piece of art or an object – and the money paid for it – if someone makes a successful title claim. Insuring title to a piece of art is a practical move that helps ensure the integrity of art ownership for years to come. ARIS’ policy covers theft, import and export defects, liens and encumbrances, and illegal or unauthorized sales for lifetime ownership and extends to heirs-at-law, ending only when the piece is sold or donated. A risk transfer solution, the policy covers defense and provides full indemnity.

Learn more at
Read “Artist-Endowed Foundations: Effective Practice in Assessing and Managing Title Risk“.

DEWITT STERN | A RISK STRATEGIES COMPANY. Established in 1899, DeWitt Stern is the premier name in insurance and risk management for fine art, entertainment, media and private clients with a standard of exceptional service. From its inception, DeWitt Stern has been an innovation leader in insurance for the arts, from protecting Albert Einstein’s violin to pioneering a myriad of unique insurance products covering private collections, galleries, dealers, auction houses, museums, exhibitions, warehouses and foundations as well as feature film, television commercial production, Broadway shows and cultural institutions.

The diverse assets and activities of artist-endowed foundations – from stewardship of collections to managing charitable programs and operating specialized facilities – creates a range of complex, nuanced risk issues and insurance needs too often addressed in a piecemeal manner.

DeWitt Stern’s risk management leadership in the arts community stems from a conviction that people with deep knowledge and passion will be more effective in the service they deliver. DeWitt Stern marries the ardent expertise of its professionals with an approach based on a comprehensive evaluation of each client’s unique risk exposures.

For the rapidly emerging field of artist-endowed foundations, access to knowledgeable innovation in risk protection is crucial to fulfilling their unique mission in cultural philanthropy and arts stewardship.

Learn more at DeWitt Stern – Fine Arts.
Read “An Insurance Handbook for Artist-Endowed Foundations

UOVO. With a with a mission to transform the art storage and services experience, UOVO offers a holistic approach to collections management that has established a new paradigm for the stewardship of art, design, fashion, and archival collections.

UOVO’s purpose-designed facilities, managed by a team of industry-leading experts, guarantee that precious works are safeguarded with the highest caliber of security, discretion, care, and professionalism. Clients’ needs are seamlessly met with a flexible range of climate-controlled spaces and services tailored to support collections of any scale. A dedicated account manager acts as a personal registrar to coordinate packing, transportation, and installation services, executed by experienced art handlers trained to work with a variety of media.

As a partner to artist-endowed foundations, UOVO safeguards the artworks and archives that comprise an artist’s creative legacy and supports a foundation’s art stewardship activities throughout its lifecycle. UOVO has secured collections during estate settlement, organized collection inventory and digitization projects, provided tailored spaces for archivists, conservators, and photographers to work on-site, facilitated curator viewings for museum exhibition loans, and coordinated complex moves across cities and countries.

UOVO is committed to helping artist-endowed foundations fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities and advance their charitable missions as stewards of artworks committed to the public benefit.

Learn more at UOVO.
Read “Collection Storage and Management: Effective Practices

U.S. TRUST. With a 200-year history helping charitable organizations invest to support their missions, U.S. Trust is one of the nation’s most reputable investment management institutions and prides itself in understanding the unique needs of its nonprofit clients.

Artist-endowed foundations play an increasingly important role in cultural philanthropy and in stewarding significant art collections for public benefit. Due to their distinctive bequests, however, they often encounter special challenges in developing the financial capacity needed to fulfill their artists’ charitable intentions.

We understand these challenges. With deep experience navigating the complexities faced by nonprofits, U.S. Trust works with each client to build an effective plan designed to meet its needs. Our comprehensive investment management solution includes:

  • Assessment of financial needs and design of an investment strategy to help fund operational and programmatic objectives
  • Guidance on board members’ governance responsibilities with respect to endowments
  • Direction on regulatory matters that bear on foundations’ assets
  • Technical assistance on grant-making and strategic program planning
  • Delivery of custom workshops to educate board and staff on these matters
  • Management of investable assets

A fiduciary focused on clients’ best interests, U.S. Trust is one of the largest trustees of charitable assets in the country and is committed to helping artist-endowed foundations make the artist’s charitable vision a reality.

Learn more at U.S. Trust – Solutions for Nonprofit Organizations.
Read “Artist-Endowed Foundations