Sotheby’s Financial Services is the world’s only full-service art financing company. With over 25 years of experience in art lending, more than $4 billion in loans made to date, and an in-depth knowledge of the international art market, we can provide a timely and accurate valuation of your collection, then offer you a tailor-made financing solution.
Jan Prasens assumed the role of Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Sotheby’s Financial Services in May 2007. In this capacity, Jan focuses on growing the financial services business, as well as developing new credit products for Sotheby’s worldwide clients. During his tenure, Jan has overseen funding of more than $2 billion in new loans. He has been with Sotheby’s finance organization since 2000, was promoted to Assistant Treasurer in 2002, Corporate Treasurer in 2006, and assumed global risk management responsibilities in 2004. Prior to joining Sotheby’s, Jan was with Altria Group, which he joined in 1996 and where he held various positions within international treasury operations. Jan holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from New York University’s Stern School of Business.
We offer our clients, including collectors, art dealers, corporations, trusts and estates the expertise drawn from Sotheby’s offices in 35 countries around the world – an unparalleled global reach.
Jan [Prasens] and his team are the gold standard in art finance. Their years of experience enable them to structure loans to meet each client's unique needs. And because of Sotheby's global reach and deep knowledge of the art market, Jan’s group can streamline the diligence process and get deals done with remarkable efficiency.- Steven R. Schindler, Partner and Art Group Head, Schindler Cohen & Hochman LLP
During my 8 year relationship with Sotheby’s Financial Services I always felt that I could count on them to back me up with new acquisitions and investments. I never felt pressure from them of any kind, even in complicated moments like 2008. The personal contact with Jessica [Fox] is always clear and it has always been simple and easy to deal with SFS.- A European based collector of contemporary art
Sotheby's Financial Services has been great to work with in all respects. The staff is accessible, personable, and most importantly, helpful. They have always listened to my needs and responded promptly, in a manner which provided me the financial flexibility I wanted.- A NORTH CAROLINA BASED CONTEMPORARY ART COLLECTOR
I have known Sotheby’s Financial Services for some time now as they made a loan facility available to my client, secured on a large portfolio of paintings. We managed to complete the deal in record time even though it was an international transaction involving 5 jurisdictions and required thinking outside the box and providing creative solutions, all of which SFS was happy to do. In light of the large sum involved and the very tight timescale, it was a very challenging transaction, but Jan Prasens never lost his sense of humour or his willingness to find solutions.- Claire Wheatley, Partner, Banking and Finance Group, Hill Dickinson LLP
Quick, uncomplicated, reliable and above all flexible to adjust to change. A highly valued and solid partner for over 5 years and counting- A leading Swiss based collector of Contemporary Art
Strategic lending goes hand in hand with strategic buying. There is no better partner than one that understands that combination. Sotheby’s Financial Service’s flexibility has been important to me to maneuver quickly when I needed to. It's that first hand relationship with the art market that clearly makes the difference. That is why I have been with SFS for over 25 years.- A New York based collector of Chinese Contemporary Art
I first borrowed money from Sotheby's Financial Services in the late 1980's, and have repaid and drawn down my various lines many times since. Sotheby's responsiveness and flexibility has been a consistent hallmark of our relationship. Especially in the current bank regulatory environment, where asset-based lending to high net worth individuals has become increasingly complicated and difficult, it is refreshing to deal with people who understand the value of art and antiques as collateral.- A New York based collector of Contemporary Art and Furniture
We provide a wide range of tailored financing solutions to our clients. All of our loans are secured by art, whether fine art, decorative art, or jewelry and are mostly in the form of term loans or short-term advances against a client’s consignments with Sotheby’s.
The loan amount is determined as a percentage of the total low auction estimate of the collateral (as advised by the relevant Sotheby’s specialists). Generally, we lend about 40-60% of the estimated total low auction estimate of the art proposed as collateral.
Any item or art that Sotheby’s has the ability to value can be considered as collateral. This includes such items as paintings, photographs, jewelry, sculptures and other works of art, furniture, books and classic cars.
No, not at all. While we provide advances against auction and private sale consignments for Sotheby’s clients, this is not a requirement. In fact, more than two thirds of loans provided by Sotheby’s Financial Services are term loans with no commitment to sell any collateral. To the extent a client decides to consign any of the collateral for auction or private sale, we are able to combine the consignment and financing terms to achieve the most appropriate solution.
With over 25 years of experience in art lending, an in-depth knowledge of the international art market, and an in-house world-class roster of art specialists, we can arrange truly bespoke financing solutions for our clients. Assisted by Sotheby’s offices in over 35 countries, we are at your disposal wherever you are in the world. Our unparalleled market expertise and unique underwriting approach enable us to offer loans discreetly and with unmatched speed. Unlike conventional lenders, we are focused primarily on your art and not your financial circumstances. This significantly reduces the amount of information needed from you to process the loan and allows us to fund the transactions on a timetable that traditional financial institutions cannot compete with.
Our clients have access to Sotheby’s in-house network of several hundred specialists around the world. Sotheby’s world-class specialists make comprehensive appraisals by considering the quality, condition, provenance, and market for each individual item of art. We do not charge our clients for the appraisal of the proposed collateral.
Yes, in most instances. We believe the exhibition of collateral can have a very positive impact on the value of your artwork and, as such, we try to accommodate exhibition requests to the extent possible. We have established relationships with museums all over the world, which allows us to set up the necessary arrangements in an efficient and expedient manner.
The client is responsible for maintaining insurance coverage on the artwork pledged as collateral. Sotheby’s Financial Services must be named as additional insured party and loss payee (to the extent of its interest in the collateral) under the borrower’s insurance policy.
Most of our loans are structured for two years and tend to be renewed at maturity. Relationships with some of our clients date back as far back as 20 years.
We aim to make funds available to our clients within one to two weeks after deal terms are agreed.
We first ask our prospective clients to provide us with details on the property intended for collateral. Details should include full descriptions, medium, dimensions and high-resolution images so that our specialists may produce the most comprehensive initial appraisal of the artwork. Our experts will need to physically inspect the artwork prior to closing, but, in most cases, we can provide preliminary valuation and financing terms based on high-resolution photographs.
As our underwriting and diligence focuses mostly on the art itself, we require documents that allow us to verify the provenance and ownership for the art proposed as collateral. The related proof of ownership is usually in the form of a purchase invoice or bill of sale. To the extent the proposed borrower is a corporate entity, legal documents establishing the authorization and existence will be required for such corporate borrower.
The collateral must be held in the United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland or Hong Kong at the time the loan is disbursed.
This will depend on each particular circumstance. In certain jurisdictions, we may allow the client to remain in possession of the pledged art but the option may not be available in other locations.
A Sotheby’s Financial Services expert can be reached at any of the following phone numbers: New York +1 (212) 894-1130, London +44 (0) 207 293 6006, Hong Kong, +852 2822 8188. We will also respond to any inquiries sent to the following email address: email@example.com