Pre-purchase due diligence that saved the client $30m

The principal beneficiary had negotiated what he thought was a great deal with a gallery for a work by an established artist. The asking price was over $30m so the trustee turned to Cadell for a second opinion before signing.

Cadell’s sector expert quickly established that the work was not from the sought-after series the comparable examples had suggested, but rather from a much later period. The estimate of $4m from the Cadell expert was supported the following week by the sale of a similar work in Hong Kong for $3.6m. The trustee didn’t purchase the work.