HRD Antwerp and Gem Lab, a division of Malca-Amit Group, are pleased to announce a new collaborative service whereby Gem Lab becomes an authorized ‘HRD Antwerp LabDirect Program’ participant. Gem Lab will serve as the point of contact for clients in their network who wish to obtain an HRD Antwerp grading report. They will handle all logistics and administration, allowing HRD Antwerp to focus solely on grading. Thanks to this Take-In service, more clients will have fast, consistent and convenient access to HRD Antwerp laboratories around the world.
Why Malca-Amit Fine Art?
My career in the art world began 23 years ago as an Exhibition Organiser at the Royal Academy of Arts. During my five years arranging loans from all over the world, the biggest headache was co-ordinating the various transport agents, scheduling packing, flights and deliveries to suit the lenders within our tight window of installation.
Which is why I ended up in fine art logistics. The global art market does not have a global, secure, door to door solution for shipping, handling and storing fine art. It is a fragmented service delivery platform comprising thousands of logistics companies and a sub-contracted network internationally.
My dream was to create a truly nail to nail service with one company. I went from being the client to being the service provider with a true understanding of the challenges of moving precious, fragile and irreplaceable artefacts – the care required with handling, the considerations of packing and crating, the onerous costs associated with shipping, the complexities of customs.
Nir Matalon was overwhelmed. "I've received so many emails and Whatsapp messages since I announced that I was ending my tenure at Malca-Amit! Here, look at this one!" and hands me his his smartphone: Nir, I will very much miss you at Malca…you and your team have done me great service…given me excellent support and you were always there for me. Good luck with everything you [will] do…
Matalon smiles and says: "Note those last sentences. It goes to the heart of Malca-Amit's mission – to always be there for clients, to give them the service they specifically need, offer solutions, and when needed troubleshoot their logistic problems."
After 21 years at Malca-Amit, almost exclusively at the helm of the firms' Antwerp operations, Nir Matalon, 62, is not retiring. He is moving on the next chapter of both his professional, as well as his personal life. Recently married to a career woman who is a professional opera singer, he expects to be playing a supportive role within his young family. And he also hopes to be spending more time sailing, a passion he has pursued since his early youth.
Malca-Amit is not a company to beat its own drum, or to reveal the inner workings of its very sensitive work and methods. An exception to the rule, within reason, was recently made by Malca-Amit UK’s Operation Manager Kevin Miles, who is about to retire after many years of service. During an insightful interview, Kevin described the many challenges a logistics provider like Malca-Amit UK has met during his years with the company.
The expression "time flies'' is often used by people who are looking back on their lives, wondering how the years have gone by, at a time they are about to sit back, relax and smell the flowers. There is little chance, however, Kevin Miles, the outgoing Operations Manager of Malca-Amit UK, intends to sit back after his 18 years with the company. "While I am retiring from this position, I certainly am not done yet. I will most probably do some consultation on preparation of customs documents. as there are so many other challenges 'out there, with Brexit looming,'” he said.
In terms of leisure, travel will always be on his agenda. Having been in the industry for over forty years, Kevin loves to get away and see the world. He also enjoys the garden, insuring that the flowers indeed will be blooming…“I doubt I will have or take much time to reminiscence and ponder my past achievements," he adds. But that is exactly what we asked Kevin to do, as he will be officially leaving his position at the close of October 2017, during an interview at the Malca-Amit offices at Heathrow Airport.
By Melissa Smet, director, the Belgian Diamond Manufacturing Association.
Gem Lab Services, a Malca-Amit Group company, established a solid reputation as a fine logistic service provider in Antwerp. Boaz Lev, General Manager of Gem Lab Services, spoke in an exclusive interview with De Belgische Diamantnijverheid, the quarterly magazine of the Belgian Diamond Manufacturers Association (SBD), about the importance of logistics, diamond grading, the future of his company and the future of Antwerp's diamond business in general.
Why and when did you decide to start in the diamond industry?
“I started out in the diamond business after a previous other career and higher studies in Law and Accounting. I felt, at my former role, that there was not enough room for creativity. It made me feel limited. That’s why I took the decision to leave. At that moment, I didn’t have one specific direction of what to do yet. And not long afterwards, I found myself in the diamond business because something about diamonds as well as jewelry seemed very attractive to me. Diamonds go beyond the commodity of crystallized carbon. People, emotions and sensitivity are part of the product. The transformation from rough to polished as well as the diamond trade have to do with fashion and feelings. Different cultures work together, sharing the same passion for stones. All these elements pulled me into the diamond industry and now, I have been working for ten years in this sector.
As an intern in a big diamond company I learned the most important steps of the diamond supply chain (rough, cutting, sorting, trading…). But I realized that I didn’t fit in the structure of the company. After finishing my grading education with GIA I left and joined Malca-Amit. With my background, I found myself better suited in Malca-Amit, a company that is, on one hand, a service provider and on the other hand very much oriented on security.
Soon afterwards, I moved to Belgium because Malca-Amit had a vacancy there. Still one thing was missing: creativity. That’s why I started with Gem Lab. Gem Lab Services are a division of the Malca-Amit Group. I loved setting up a building, developing a platform and creating a new service that could add value for our loyal Malca-Amit customers and attract new ones.”
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