David Bowie, who has died aged 69 - just two days after releasing a new album, will be remembered as a visionary musician. But, as Grace Pascoe reports he was also a visionary financier.
He'll be remembered globally as a musical pioneer. Famous for being a pop chameleon and working across music, art and film. But David Bowie, who has died aged 69 was also a financial pioneer. As Justin Urquhart-Stewart of Seven Investment Management explains. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SEVEN INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, PARTNER, JUSTIN URQUHART STEWART, SAYING: "He locked onto Bowie Bonds very quickly indeed. And that was to take his first 25 albums and to package that so the income from that, the royalties from that into a bond and to be able to sell that. And that would then mean that he effectively got 58 million dollars straight away and then people who bought the bonds would then hold those and get roundabout, over 7.9 percent yield on that which is pretty generous stuff." He was the first recording artist to sell bonds against his intellectual property, backed by future earnings of his music. His 'Bowie Bonds' let him retain ownership of his work rather than selling the copyright. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SEVEN INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, PARTNER, JUSTIN URQUHART STEWART, SAYING: "The model eventually failed, but it was of course when Mr. Bowie by that stage had already benefitted from it. It was a classic bit of initiative and the very fact that someone like him locked onto that as a mechanism being able to get some finance out of what he had already done, being able to buy further assets back and to be able to then make sure, using the financial services industry to help the music industry." Bowie released his 25th studio album "Blackstar" just two days before his death. With his producer calling it Bowie's "parting gift". The critically praised swan song is now expected to top music charts in Britain and the U.S.