9 March 2022

Generation Now - Episode Two: Auction Collective founder Tom Best on reinventing the art auction

Katherine talks to Tom Best, the founder of The Auction Collective which aims to simplify the auction process, making art accessible for more people.

They’re joined by Laura Neal, Senior Associate in the Private Client team and Art specialist at Forsters.

To continue the conversation on social media, use #ForstersGenNow.

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Take 5 with Laura Neal

In this five minute interview Laura provides an honest review of talking to Tom Best, as well as sharing her own career journey. What did she learn, what surprised her the most and what advice does she provide to next-gen clients?

What did you enjoy the most about interviewing Tom Best?

Hearing about Tom's passions for auctions. Sometimes founders of businesses lose their love for the initial concept when they get bogged down in the administrative burdens and financial pressures which are inescapable parts of running a business. However, it was clear that Tom still has a real love for being an auctioneer and sees auctions as the best type of retail experience.

What is your key takeaway from the episode?

Businesses need to pivot to survive. During the pandemic, when live auctions could no longer take place, The Auction Collective created a platform for online auctions which any type of business could use. This is now a major part of The Auction Collective's revenue stream and may not have developed, or at least developed as quickly, if the business model had remained static in a rapidly changing market.

What kind of advice/ legal services do you provide to next-gen clients?

I advise on succession planning for next-gen clients. This includes preparing wills and lasting powers of attorney and advising on structures which hold personal wealth, such as trusts, companies or partnerships. Often the need for advice is prompted by inheriting wealth (which could be a landed estate or family business), buying a house, getting married or starting a family.

What piece of advice would you provide to next-gen clients?

I act for a number of next-gen clients who feel a strong sense of obligation to live the lives or follow the careers their parents expect of them. My advice would be: there is nothing wrong with not wanting to follow in your parents' footsteps but you should let your parents know that sooner, rather than later!

Tell us a bit about your career journey

Whilst reading History at the University of Edinburgh, I did a number of vacation schemes at various different law firms in London, thinking that it could be the career for me. After attending (and thoroughly enjoying) the vacation scheme at Forsters, I was offered a training contract. After completing the GDL and LPC in London, I joined Forsters as a trainee in 2013 and qualified as a member of the Private Client team in 2015. I am very lucky to be part of a fantastic team of people which has grown exponentially over the last seven years.

What is the biggest difference between gen x (baby boomers) and gen y (millennials)?

Gen Y are more willing to see the benefits of new technology, rather than become irritated or frightened of it.

What is your millennial stereotype pet peeve?

That we all hide behind our phones and don't like meaningful face-to-face conversations!

Related links

Episode Three: By Rotation founder Eshita Kabra on transforming fashion rental

Katherine talks to Eshita Kabra Davies, the founder of By Rotation - the world’s first fashion rental social app. Dubbed as the ‘Instagram of fashion rental’ it’s where people can lend and rent contemporary designer fashion from each other.

Generation Now - Disrupting Perceptions: Episode 3

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