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Guns N' Roses Vet Forms Advisor for Rockers
Former Guns N’ Roses bass player Duff McKagan is launching a wealth management business that will cater to musicians. So reports Fortune.
The firm, Meridian Rock, will be managed by McKagan and Andy Bottomsley, a U.K. investor. McKagan says he plans to educate musicians frankly about their finances instead of lie to them or become another “yes man” in their entourage.
McKagan, 47, began incubating the plan when he was sidelined with a ruptured pancreas in 1994. It was then the rocker realized he was a “30-year-old millionaire” who didn’t have a clue about his fiscal health. He tells Fortune he feared reaching age 60 and finding himself a charity case, despite making millions of dollars in his 20s.
He started his financial education at Santa Monica Community College, before moving to Seattle and taking classes at a local community college. He was eventually accepted into Seattle University's Albers School of Business, and started actively participating in the management of his own portfolio.
The budding academic, however, took a break in his last year of business school to tour with Velvet Revolver, the group that included GnR's guitarist Slash and Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland.
McKagan never did take it to the end of the line and return for that last semester. But word was getting around that he knew a thing or two about managing money, and musician friends started to turn to him for advice, Fortune reports.
However, McKagan, who wrote a regular finance column for Playboy called “Duffonomics,” never claimed to be a financial planner. Fellow rockers simply found him easier to talk money with than the “suits.” McKagan says his understanding of the music business is what will set Meridian apart from other players in the jungle.
McKagan met former banker Bottomsley about 18 months ago. Bottomsley was running an early stage venture firm, Imprimatur Capital, which numbers Tudor Investment among its investors. They’re now interviewing money managers in both Europe and the U.S.
McKagan tells Fortune that Meridian’s advisors will deal directly with the talent, offering advice with a little patience and guidance in terms that are both clear and understandable.