Monday, January 13, 2014

Private Banking Reinvented

In the wake of the Great Recession, obtaining loans from one's banker has become more and more difficult and time-consuming. The wealthy set is turning to a quicker, easier alternative, Paul Sullivan reports: high-end pawnbrokers.

Hock shops for asset-rich but liquidity-restrained borrowers are springing up both online and in bricks and mortar. Suttons & Robertsons, an English firm founded in 1770 and catering to the "blue chip, wealthy crowd," opens a New York store this month.

Objects pawned aren't limited to Rolexes, jewelry and the family silver. One borrower parted with
one of his two Bentley GTs. (Your humble blogger probably will never realize his dream of a Bentley convertible. But if he does, he promises not to pawn it. Never!)

Marketers of investment services learn to follow the money. High-end pawn shops could offer promising opportunities. If a need for funds arises from divorce, for instance, one man's liquidity problem should lead to one woman's liquidity event.

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