Former Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver bassist Duff McKagan has opened his own wealth management firm, Meridian Rock, for musicians. In an interview with Fortune, McKagan explains he was inspired to pursue finance after his pancreas exploded due to years of drug and alcohol abuse in 1994. While recovering, the bassist looked through financial reports for Guns N’ Roses and realized he had no idea what anything meant. Determined to educate himself about how to manage his newfound wealth, McKagan enrolled in a basic finance course at Santa Monica Community College, which led to full-time course work at Seattle University’s Albers School of Business.
McKagan eventually developed a reputation for his financial knowledge among other musicians and was bombarded with questions from friends and acquaintances about how to manage their money. This gave him the idea to open Meridian Rock along with British investor Andy Bottomley.
Photos: Velvet Revolver New Year’s Eve 2008
According to McKagan, one of the goals of Meridian Rock is to be brutally honest with its clients. Whereas many bankers and managers overestimate the window of time when an artist will be guaranteed income, he hopes to give artists more realistic expectations and prepare them for the possibility that they may not be hot forever.