Deutsche Bank Taps Art Finance Veteran John Arena to Head Art Lending

Deutsche Bank has named John Arena, a former executive at Bank of America, as director for fine art lending. In his new role, Arena will be be tasked with structuring complex art loans for the bank’s ultra-high-net-worth clients. He will report to Bill Lordi, head of lending at Deutsche Bank’s international private bank in the Americas. Arena begins in his role this month, and will be based in Florida.

For the past 16 years, Arena has served as national credit executive for fine art product at Bank of America, where he focused on art finance–related roles. He has previously worked at Citibank in the firm’s private banking division where he focused on art loans. He has also held roles at Chase Manhattan Bank and the Bank of New York.

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“The art lending space has grown in importance to the financial profile of our Ultra High Net Worth clients due to the amount of money they spend for the art as well as the appreciation in its value,” Arjun Nagarkatti, head of Americas at Deutsche Bank, said in a statement. He added that Arena has an adept understanding of art as a, “uniquely valuable asset class.”

Globally, the art lending market has reached a total estimated between $24 billion and $28 billion and is expected to reach $31.3 billion this year, according to a Deloitte survey. As the value of art collections continues to rise, private banks are tapping into art lending services to advise clients on how to leverage those assets to unlock capital for funding new acquisitions and financing other business ventures.


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