Marc Sonnenthal is Paving the Way for Alternative Banking

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Recent economic growth has put the focus back on growing small businesses and creating new opportunities. But what does that mean for the banking industry? As a leader in luxury pawn and lending, we spoke to Marc Sonnenthal, who is leading a new movement in alternative banking.

Based in Beverly Hills, Sonnenthal serves as the founder and director of Beverly Hills Pawnbroking & Lending, an exclusive and private space catering to many types of elite clientele looking to trade in luxury items for cash. From Warhol prints to Cartier watches and exotic cars, Sonnenthal prides himself on being able to help people, whether he's lending $1,000 or $1,000,000.

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"One of the things I love about my job is helping people reach their goals and being a support to them," says Sonnenthal. "When you are trying to finish a new project and funding has run out, and you know you need to get that job done, that's where we come in. Usually, within 15 minutes you have your money and you are back to business."

Sonnenthal believes that the secret to a successful pawnbroking company is honesty, knowledge, and discretion... and his roots run deep! Hailing from the U.K., he started his 25+ year career focusing on jewelry, watches and fine arts in the infamous London Hatton Garden jewelry quarter and the Diamond Bourse - quite the expert on all things luxurious.

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"We pride ourselves in our knowledge and ability to give the highest loan amount on your asset whether that be jewelry, watches, art, or cars. In addition, the speed and fluidity of the transaction is unparalleled - we work with maximum sensitivity and discretion, making the entire process stress-free."  

Beyond The Interview sat down with Marc to find out more about his business and what he sees for the future of alternative banking.

BTI: How did you get into the pawnshop business? 

Marc Sonnenthal: It was a family business in the UK , and my brother and I worked in the shop initially during the school holidays and both fell in love with it. Today, my brother runs the UK shop in Mayfair/Bond Street and my business is based in Beverly Hills. My background is in jewelry - manufacturing volume and making one off beautiful pieces. My initial trade was actually diamond setting and sorting, so diamonds, jewelry and art are my life. The best part of the family business was learning from the bottom up. I’ve always been surrounded by this industry in certain ways and it’s amazing that it has come full circle and I now own Beverly Hills Pawnbroking and Lending today. Providing people with alternative banking solutions is something I love with a passion!

BTI: When did you see the shift to alternative banking? Has there been one? Why or why not?

MS: The shift is happening more and more because there is no red tape, time restraints or credit checks. Our services do not feel like such an invasion of privacy - both personal and financial because there are no risks to your finances other than the personal asset itself. By working with us, you should be able to finance any asset within one hour and sometimes as quickly as 15 minutes, however, once you have used our services it only takes 5 minutes to get a loan on the same item thereafter. A loan from Beverly Hills Pawnbroking & Lending is fast, secure, simple, confidential and designed for clients to release the maximum amount of capital and cash on their luxury goods, whether it is a loan on jewelry and diamonds, loans on watches, loans against fine art or loans on cars, we offer minimum hassle and immediate funding.

BTI: What kind of clients do you typically see?

MS: We see everyone from movie directors, entrepreneurs, and businessmen & businesswomen, to athletes, doctors and lawyers. We love working with a variety of people because that's what keeps it interesting! Right now, many people are launching new business ventures so we fund a lot of start-ups. We understand that resources can be tight so we love being able to help our clients who may need to make payroll, for example. We are here to help all those that need it and have an asset to fund it.

BTI: For what assets do you typically loan money?

MS: Diamonds, watches, jewelry and art, all day long. But the satisfaction truly comes from helping people reach their dreams and goals.

BTI: Where do you see your business going in the future? Do you think alternative banking will become the norm?

People want instant cash without having to sign their life away and with speed, ease, and discretion. They want to feel less pressured when working to achieve their goals and to have a flexible working relationship. We just want them to succeed. I think for many people it is already the norm.

BTI: Sounds like alternative banking is becoming popular. What sets you apart from your competition?

MS: We want our customers to succeed and we do everything in our power to serve them and make them feel comfortable. It's not just a transaction for us. We care about sustaining relationships. Due to our expertise, we also give the highest loan value on assets with discretion and speed and NO credit checks!

We also buy. We have purchased watches such as a Breguet Tourbillon Platinum (over $100,000),  A Lange and Sohne Rose gold single time zone ( approximately $40,000 new), a Rolex Sky Dweller Rose Gold (approx $41,000 new) and a Vintage ladies Patek Phillip, just to name a few.