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PER Live Series: The Role of Economists in the Art Market

Wednesday, December 2, 2020, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

PER Live Series is a recurring set of discussions involving finance and business thought leaders. Topics address the important economic issues of our time.

Venue and Time:

This event will take place via Zoom meeting on Wednesday, December 2nd from 1:00PM to 2:00PM (EST). A Zoom invitation will be sent to registered attendees the morning of the event. Registration details below.

This event is open to the public, but designed for Job Market Candidates and other Columbia University graduate students in Economics.





Drew Watson
Senior Vice President, Art Services at Bank of America Private Bank
Drew Watson is Senior Vice President, Art Services Specialist at Bank of America Private Bank. Based in New York City, Drew has over 15 years of experience in art auction, art finance, and arts and cultural institutions. Drew leads client outreach for Art Services to offer art collectors, their families, and advisors a tailored suite of art banking services, including art lending, art planning, consignment services and arts nonprofit services.
Prior to joining Bank of America Private Bank (formerly U.S. Trust), Drew oversaw business operations, finance, and consignment deal structuring for various sale departments at Christie’s auction house in New York. Before his tenure at Christie’s, Drew managed UHNW client relationships in a boutique wealth management firm. He began his career as a manager and consultant for arts and cultural institutions in North America and Europe. Drew earned a Bachelor of Arts in French and Art History from Columbia University in New York City, where he also participated in a joint program with The Juilliard School. He also holds a Master’s of Business Administration from INSEAD business school in Fontainebleau, France.
Drew speaks regularly on art world-related topics at art fairs, educational institutions, professional associations, and investment conferences nationwide. He is a regular media contributor to national news organizations on the intersection of art, business, and finance, and has been quoted in The New York Times.

Li Jun Xian
Partner, Emigrant Bank Fine Art Finance 
Li Jun Xian is a Partner at Emigrant Bank Fine Art Finance, the specialty financing subsidiary of Emigrant Bank (Member FDIC, founded 1850). Emigrant Bank Fine Art Finance focuses on lending secured by art, antiques, classic cars, fine wine, stringed instruments and other passion assets. She regularly advises and structures loans for collectors, dealers and gallery owners, and institutions who are seeking liquidity from their passion assets, and counsels the financial advisors, accountants, lawyers and other professionals on whom they rely.
Prior to joining Emigrant Bank Fine Art Finance in 2007, Ms. Xian was a credit analyst at Goldman Sachs, where she was responsible for analyzing and monitoring the firm’s counterparty trading risk, and advising major public and private companies on capital structure decisions and their effects on credit ratings.
Ms. Xian was instrumental in the formation of Emigrant Bank Classic Car Finance in 2015. She began her career in the art world as an intern at Robert Miller Gallery and Christie’s, and is currently Treasurer of the Professional Organization for Women in the Arts (POWarts). Ms. Xian graduated with honors from Dartmouth College with a degree in Economics and Art History.



Sophia N. Johnson, Ph.D.
Program for Economic Research (PER), Columbia University





This event is open to the public, but is designed for Job Market Candidates and other Columbia University graduate students in Economics. This webinar will be held via Zoom. A virtual invitation will be sent to all registered attendees the morning of the event. Reach out to with any questions.

Livestream and Accessibility:

This event was livestreamed via the Economics Department’s YouTube channel. Closed captions are provided in the video. You may also read a transcript of the conversation.

Reading Recommendations:

“Why Should an Economist Look at Art?” – A Video with Professor José Alexandre Scheinkman

“When A Master Dies: Speculation and Asset Float”, Julien Penasse, Luc Renneboog and José Alexandre Scheinkman, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), March 2020

Borrowing Against Art is Growing at a Stunning Rate, The Economist, July 6, 2019

Code of Conduct:

By attending, all conference participants agree to abide by the event’s Code of Conduct.

Video and Photography Policy:
Portions of this conference will be live-streamed and all sessions will be video/audio taped. By registering, your attendance at or in participation in this conference constitutes your consent to the use and distribution by Columbia University of the attendee’s image or voice for informational live stream, publicity, promotional and/or reporting purposes in print or electronic communications media. Video recording by participants and other attendees during any portion of the conference is not allowed without special prior written permission. Photographs of copyrighted PowerPoint or other slides are for personal use only and are not to be reproduced or distributed. Do not photograph any such images that are labeled as confidential and/or proprietary.

This conference is co-sponsored by Columbia University’s Program for Economic Research (PER). Please direct all questions to

Poster Image Credit:
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London 2017. Photo credit: National Galleries of Scotland


Wednesday, December 2, 2020
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Categories:
Event Tags:


Zoom Conference
NY United States + Google Map
1022 International Affairs Building (IAB)
Mail Code 3308  
420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
Ph: (212) 854-3680
Fax: (212) 854-0749
Business Hours:
Mon–Fri, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

1022 International Affairs Building (IAB)

Mail Code 3308

420 West 118th Street

New York, NY 10027

Ph: (212) 854-3680
Fax: (212) 854-0749
Business Hours:
Mon–Fri, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
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