14-10-24-2163NE03A Simon de Pury.jpg

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The guest speaker of Tim Hunter, the new venture's managing director, Mr de Pury gave a breakneck tour of the art investment market of the past 20 years or so as he welcomed the new art financing arm of the Falcon group, which has overseen $7bn of structured, asset-backed financing in other fields over the past five years.

The new business aims to spread that service to Contemporary, Modern, Impressionist and Old Master art largely in the $2m-15m bracket, bringing liquidity to people in the Europe and the United States who can have as much as 95% of their wealth tied up in pieces that  - in Mr de Pury's words - are "not being put to work".

Loan-to-value ratios are expected to be around 40-50%, with typical loan periods extending to three years.

According to Mr Hunter, a former director of both Impressionist and Modern art at Christie's and dealers Gurr Johns, there is around $1.5 trillion tied up in art globally.

Unlike other asset-backed financial offerings, Falcon Fine Art is not interested in selling art, nor in managing collections, says Mr Hunter, but it will be able to structure loans so that in many cases clients can keep the art they are using as collateral on their walls.

It is also not a broker, financing all deals itself, with a reported $200m backing from its parent group.