When I was a young kid, growing up in the 1970s, Kiss was more than just a rock band. It was almost an urban legend, a thing of myth. They weren’t just one of the world’s biggest rock bands, but because their members were never seen without their outlandish makeup and costuming, they took on a weird kind of superhero persona.
This was the point, according to Gene Simmons, the band’s bassist and in many ways, the most iconic member of the band. Sporting what can only be described as a demonic mullet/topknot, monstrous makeup and an unusually large tongue that he liked to waggle at the crowd, Simmons was the living embodiment of what Kiss was trying to achieve with its stage show. Nobody knew that he was just a regular kid from Israel who came to America, fell in love with both rock and roll as well as comic book superheroes and sought to fuse the two.
There was always a cagey entrepreneurial nature to Simmons, who seemed to know how to make the best of the band, how to reinvent it in the 1980s, and how to reinvent himself as he aged out of rocker status and into the role of one of reality television’s reigning patriarchs on the hit reality show Gene Simmons Family Jewels. Now, Simmons is looking to reinvent himself one more time in what might be his most unlikely metamorphosis: selling life insurance.
Last year, Simmons helped form Cool Springs Life Equity Strategy a boutique firm that provides very high-end life insurance premium financing for very high-end clients. One immediately gets the notion that with a personal network as extensive as his, he won’t have to look to hard to find clients.Plus, Simmons has always been a savvy businessman. Just as he’s getting into the insurance business, he’s also partnering up with an online translation service to let fans connect with celebrities across the world, regardless of language. And that is just one of many irons he keeps in the fire. Like I said, savvy.
On the face of it, this really does not seem all that different than any other agency startup; working the people one knows to sell them a product that everybody really needs but few seem ready to procure without a little encouragement. What makes this story a bit different for me is just the financial scale of it.
Here we have a very rich guy (presumably; there are plenty of high-flying celebrities who are actually broke, but it doesn’t look like Simmons is one of them) who is making sure that his equally rich friends and associates take the steps necessary to preserve their wealth across generations. It is a core function of life insurance nowadays.