An untested company helmed by alittle-known art dealer might have trouble getting traction in the reputation-obsessed art world, advisors suggest. “In theory, it sounds like agood idea. But how can they guarantee the property owner comfort?” asks Jeff Rabin, co-founder of art investment ﬁrm Artvest Partners. “I don’t know what they own or the scope of their guarantees. But if all their clients try to cash in at once, they might be forced to go into bankruptcy and liquidate. And if that happens, what happens to all the people they guaranteed?”
“It’s not unheard of in the auction business, when clients run into cash problems, for auction houses to take property in lieu of payment,” said Michael Plummer, the cofounder of Artvest, a New York-based ﬁrm that provides investment advice for the art market and a former chief operating ofﬁcer of the ﬁnancial-services unit at auction house Christie’s.
Michael Plummer comments on the art finance landscape as a growing number of wealthy individuals are turning the art on their walls into cash via art loans.
As an offshoot of the growing acceptance of art as an asset class, there is increased interest and activity in art financing (collateralized lending with art as the underlying asset). In consultation with several industry leaders, Artvest estimates the current size of the pre-dominantly US-based art financing market to be in the range of US […]