Georgina Adam finds a new money man hanging out his shingle in art finance:
A new art financing service has been launched in New York by the aptly named James Hedges, a hedge-fund specialist and art aficionado. The personable, self-assured Hedges is an enthusiastic believer in the commoditisation of art and its place as an alternative asset class. His newly created firm, Montage Finance, will finance art purchases for collectors and dealers – from $500,000 up to $20m – at rates he claims are better those elsewhere in the market.
He also offers loans to collectors against their holdings, and says he has “a large, fresh base of capital to put to work”.
“No one is helping collectors and galleries as I want to,” he said during the Art Basel Miami Beach fair, describing his venture as a private bank for the art world. It can provide finance at interest rates of 12-14 per cent, based on 30-50 per cent of the value of the art.
Hedges says he has at least eight clients and has already made transactions involving works valued at about $750,000 up to approximately $4m.
The Art Market: Records by the Book (Financial Times)