David Bowie has ensured that his wife and children will be well taken care of after he is gone. Indeed, although the rock star passed away from liver cancer last Sunday, he has left behind £135 million in assets that will keep his family, and likely his family’s families, secure for generations to come.
The musical innovator was also a financial innovator. In 1997, he created “Bowie Bonds” to give investors the right to profit from royalties generated by his music for 10 years. Then the music ownership returned to him. This gave him sufficient capital to buy the rights to certain songs, which were still held by an ex-manager.
Bowie Bonds worked, too. Prudential Insurance paid 337 million to hold the rights to the artist’s first 25 albums. Ten years later, the scheme paid off the bonds and Bowie kept his rights. During those 10 years, the bonds paid a handsome 7.9 percent interest to investors. Bowie’s heirs include his wife Iman, 15-year-old daughter Alexandria and 44-year-old son Duncan Jones.
The banker who put the deal together says that he thinks Bowie was planning for his eventual death when he put together the Bowie Bonds plan. The banker said that Bowie wanted to finalize the deal before he turned 50, and that Bowie started estate planning from a relatively young age. He said that Bowie wanted his estate to own all of his back catalog of music.
We do not know the specifics of what each relative will receive. But according to the banker who set up Bowie Bonds, everything Bowie had was going to benefit his family after he was gone.
Source: The Hamilton Spectator, “David Bowie was ‘financially astute’,” Jan. 13, 2016