KISS: Dead Or A’ Life
Gene Simmons and KISS introduced the world to the KISS Kasket in 2001, and now frontman Simmons is pitching life insurance that presumably could help pay for its purchase – at least if one is wealthy enough to qualify.
Simmon’s new group, Cool Springs Life Equity Strategy, launched in March and is marketed to entertainers, sports stars and others with a net worth of $20 million or more who need life insurance policies of at least $10 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The company’s founders reportedly tapped Simmons to give the Franklin, Tenn.-based Cool Springs some fire-breathing cachet. And given Simmons’ acumen as a salesman of everything from those aforementioned caskets to condoms, it seems a reasonable choice.
Cool Springs offers enormous insurance policies to the wealthy who would purportedly not have to spend a dime of their own money on the annual premiums, which can top $300,000 for older people.
It relies on a couple of assumptions: that Congress will reinstate the currently lapsed estate tax, and by arranging loans for the buyer to cover the premiums, that the policy will outlive the policyholder. In other words, the loan can be repaid from policy proceeds when it comes time to buy that Kiss Kasket.
Simmons, according to the paper, isn’t just a founder – he’s a client. Simmons told the Journal he is taking out a $10 million policy.
The blood-spitting salesman reportedly met Cool Springs exec Samuel Watson about three years ago through a Wall Street firm where they had mutual business connections.
“I felt like the best way to get the word out was through Gene,” Watson told the WSJ.
“I’ve been in the business my whole career, and life-insurance executives do not have audiences,” adds Cool Springs co-founder David Carpenter, formerly of industry giant Transamerica. “Gene has audiences. Gene has the reputation [as] a genius merchandiser and marketer. He has great ways of conceptualizing products.”
Cool Springs has hosted a party in Simmons’ honor in Manhattan, and will soon do the same in London and at Cannes following the European leg of the current KISS tour.
Joshua Rubenstein, a New York attorney skeptical of the idea of borrowing money to pay insurance premiums, probably won’t be invited. But in the interest of keeping an open mind on the plan, he told the Journal to “Tell me when Alice Cooper comes out with one.”