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The Crowd: Local art investors gather at Irvine Museum

If you caught CBS’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday, one of the news magazine’s segments reported on the phenomenal rise in investment value in the world of contemporary art.

For reasons not explained in the broadcast, the contemporary art market has exploded in the last 20 years, outperforming other investment instruments including the traditional ones like stocks, bonds, commodities and currency markets.

Last week in Irvine, a local gathering of art investors came together under the banner of First Foundation, Inc., which arranges loans on art for high net worth clients. The foundation launched its services in Orange County by hosting an event at the Irvine Museum, which featured a private tour of the museum and a speech by James Irvine Swinden, its president who is the son of Irvine family matriarch Joan Irvine Smith.

Also on hand for the tour was Dave Rahn, a banking executive who also happens to be an artist himself. He shared with the crowd his point of view on the rising art market, including factors such as tax-efficient art exchanges and estate planning.

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Attending the event were Dennis O’Neill, Barbara Holloway, Diana Martin, Mark Tomaino, Tom Giddings and John Hakopian. Also present were Cynthia and Thomas Coad, Richard Burns, Dwight Griffith and the Sorel Reismans.

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HPM Partners opens O.C. office

In another arena of wealth management, one of America’s most successful private investment partnerships, New York-based HPM Partners LLC, opened this week on a high floor of Costa Mesa’s premier office building at 600 Anton Blvd.

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HPM’s O.C. office will be under the leadership of four of the region’s preeminent financial advisors. Joining HPM Partners Inc. are Gerald Larr, Douglas McCrea, Stephen Nielander and Craig Wells.

The SEC-registered advisory firm provides investment advisory, wealth planning, and tax and private capital finance services. To learn more, call (714) 415-4990.

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Fashionistas, take note

International designer Zang Toi is coming to Nordstrom in South Coast Plaza next week for a personal appearance with clients, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on April 12 and 13.

Toi will share his spring 2012 collection with informal modeling in-store of his acclaimed line. This very special visit by designer Toi will be held in the Collections Gallery.

Fashionistas are encouraged to schedule an appointment by calling (714) 549-8300.

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One of the most anticipated charitable events in Costa Mesa, which also happens to be one of the most delectable, is set to unfold April 19 at the Share Our Selves soup kitchen, located at 1550 Superior Ave., Costa Mesa. It’s the 19th annual SOS " Wild and Crazy Taco Night.”

Twenty-six incredible and generous local chefs will prepare and serve the most unique tacos on the planet. The party will begin with a VIP reception, with flowing margaritas and the opportunity to meet all the chefs, prior to the onslaught of local guests expected to attend.

Tickets to the “Wild and Crazy Taco Night” are available online. For more information, go to https://www.shareourselves.org or call (949) 270-2134.

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CHOC gala coming

The Children’s Hospital of Orange County Glass Slipper Guild has set the date of May 5 for their 2012 fundraising gala to be held at the posh Shady Canyon Golf Club.

The Glass Slipper Guild is one of the long-standing charitable support groups assisting CHOC, which is in the final phases of a major addition and remodel that will open to the community some time in 2013.

The enormous expansion and technological upgrade of the facility will place CHOC among the most advanced medical centers catering to children in the United States. To find out more about the Glass Slipper Gala and how you can support Children’s Hospital, check out their website at https://www.CHOCGlassSlipperGuild.com.

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THE CROWD runs Thursdays and Saturdays. B.W. Cook is editor of the Bay Window, the official publication of the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.


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