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The "Bowie Bond" Rocked the Financial World Too

The "Bowie Bond" Rocked the Financial World Too

David Bowie will be remembered for his innovative music career and, as The Washington Post explains, he deserves credit for transforming an esoteric corner of Wall Street.

In 1997, Bowie became the first artist to raise money through an asset-backed security bond – also known as a "celebrity bond." He packaged his songs for investors and raised $55 million by selling a 10-year bond backed by the royalties from hundreds of his songs.

"It was really groundbreaking in a lot of ways," said White & Case partner Stefan Mentzer, who specializes in copyright and intellectual property.

The uncertainty in the music industry makes such bonds a tougher sell now, said Mentzer. "With the growth of the Internet, the economics of music royalties have been upended. It makes it more difficult to have these types of transactions," he said.