Jordan Tabach-Bank is the owner and chief executive officer of three, soon-to-be-four, pawn stores in the U.S., including Beverly Loan Company, which has been a member of NPA since 1990.
National Pawnbroker (NP): Tell us about your company.
Jordan Tabach-Bank (JTB): I am a third-generation pawnbroker; my grandfather founded Beverly Loan Company in Beverly Hills, CA, in 1938. I, along with my partners, also own New York Loan Company in New York City, NY, Jewelry-N-Loan in Costa Mesa, CA, and the forthcoming Chicago Loan Company in Chicago, IL. Jewelry-N-Loan is a more traditional jewelry-focused pawn shop catering to retail clients. The other three businesses are financial institutions located in the upper floors of AAA office buildings to ensure the confidentiality and safety of our clients and their collateral.
NP: What is your title and primary role?
JTB: As the owner and chief executive officer, I am responsible for every facet of the business. The buck stops here. While I run rather low volume shops, the average loan amount is significant and the collateral is often complicated.
NP: What makes your stores different from other pawn stores in the area?
JTB: Many shops lend against diamonds, gold jewelry, and fine watches, but we also have expertise in auction-worthy contemporary art, handbags, and memorabilia. Further, we are entrepreneurial, quick to act, highly discreet, and there is virtually no limit to the amount we can lend. How many pawnbrokers can say they have made a 6-figure loan against cases of Domaine de la Romanee Conti (arguably the world’s finest wine) or a 7-figure loan on a red diamond? Not many!
NP: In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges facing pawnbrokers today?
JTB: I have always believed that the stigma of pawn is our biggest challenge. If lawmakers really understood that we are not predatory and that our loans are nonrecourse, we would be treated very differently. I have made it a personal goal to debunk the myths associated with pawn and to improve the industry’s tarnished reputation. With the help of the NPA, I think we are well on our way.
NP: What is your biggest challenge as a business owner?
JTB: Running businesses 3,000 miles apart is certainly a challenge, but I think we are managing it very well. Being absentee owners took some growing pains, but by now we are a well-oiled machine with lots of frequent flyer miles.
NP: What advice would you give someone just entering the business?
JTB: Run every penny through the company’s books. Having clean financials will allow you to secure a banking relationship, and access to capital is a game changer in our industry. I treat my business as a highly regulated financial institution that happens to see a lot of beautiful, tangible personal property, not as a retail jewelry store that happens to lend out dollars.
NP: What is your favorite thing about being a pawnbroker?
JTB: I have attended dinner parties with A list actors, politicians, scientists, hedge fund managers, and professional athletes …but by the end of the meal, what I have found is that people are most fascinated with my line of work. There is no doubt I have a desk job, but it’s never boring!
NP: What changes would you like to see in the industry in the next 10 years?
JTB: I’d like to see our reputation continue to improve, so that we will no longer be considered a regulatory risk by banks and a predatory lender by lawmakers. It is all about educating the public about non-recourse, asset-based lending, or pawn lending. And despite being on the high end, I do not fear the term “pawn”. Rather, I embrace “pawn”, and I genuinely hope that over the course of the next decade, others will feel the same way.
NP: Why are you a member of NPA?
JTB: I am not only a member of the NPA, but I also sit on its Board of Directors and I am the co-chair of its government relations committee. I believe that all of the hours and money I have given to the NPA have been returned tenfold by providing my business with government advocacy and education. On account of my membership, I have personally built lifelong friendships with fellow pawnbrokers from across the country. You can’t put a number on that.
NP: Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.
JTB: A loan made by Beverly Loan Company helped fund a very famous dot-com. Which one? You’ll never know, but many of you have used it. There is a reason that our clients have trusted us for 80 years. We never name names!