Independent art dealers, as many of them will testify, frequently find themselves in need of fast access to cash. Making a killer purchase on behalf of a client who loves the style or artist that’s just become available sometimes necessitates raising extra funds quickly. On these occasions, many art dealers unfortunately find that cash flow limitations restrict their room for manoeuvre.

At Unbolted, we believe that smaller, independent art dealers should have the same ease of access to short-term borrowing enjoyed by their huge, institutional counterparts, many of whom borrow from big institutional lenders against their (considerable) assets. The ongoing success of smaller art dealers, sometimes even their survival as independents, hinges on it.

Unbolted’s unique secured asset loan model allows art dealers to place a high-value work of art that they own under our control for the duration of the borrowing (usually six months). We keep it in safe storage, and our expert partners accurately gauge the value of the work on a secondary market. When the loan matures, the borrower can settle (or settle early, if they prefer, with no penalty), or use the collateralised asset to pay upon sale at auction.

As lovers of high-end art, these dealers also love many of the other finer things in life. Let’s illustrate what we mean with the example of Colette, an independent art dealer whose other passion in life is fine wines. Colette wants to buy a painting she estimates to be worth over £6,000 and she has the chance to buy if for £4,000. She knows a regular client who would love it and snap it up instantly.

How do you raise £4,000 almost immediately? In Colette’s instance, there is a ready solution sitting in her cellar: a coveted 12x75cl case of 2009 vintage Chateau Lafleur Bordeaux. Unbolted uses expert valuation partners (such as Live-ex, The London International Vintners Exchange) would value this sought-after case of lusciousness at over £6,000 on a secondary market such as an auction - more than enough for the £4,000 that Colette needs.

Because we can make an indicative offer within hours of a photograph of the loan being uploaded onto our website, which usually occurs shortly after the asset arrives in our offices via our next-day courier delivery service, Colette would be a mere day away from securing the money she needs for her not-to-be-missed bargain painting. 

Not only can money be released from our pool of peer-to-peer lender investors as soon as we’ve collateralised the asset – digital platforms such as Unbolted are far faster than traditional lenders – we’re also different from most of the p2p lenders in the UK in another very important respect. We don’t subject our borrowers to intrusive and potentially damaging credit searches; we don’t need to, because the asset placed under our control is all the security we need to meet the borrowing requirements of our customers.

No credit searches, no reports of failure to settle and no intrusions into privacy are necessary - just expert evaluations of our borrower’s assets and fast electronic delivery of the needed cash. If you’ve got fine wine cases sitting in a cellar, and you need fast access to extra cash, you can release the value locked up inside them with an Unbolted loan.

Unbolted Blog
20 Jan 2016
Unbolted Team