Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Rupert zu Löwenstein

Prince Rupert zu Löwenstein - President of the British Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta; London Based Merchant Banker; Chief Financial Adviser to the Rolling Stones

Mick Jagger's secret divorce

He's outlasted Jerry, Bianca and Carla and helped the Stones earn £1 BILLION. But now the man they call Rupie The Groupie has quit, what will the famously frugal Mick do without him?

Guests couldn't believe their eyes. There he was, Mick Jagger, one of the most famous rock stars in the world, chasing his manager round London's Savoy hotel, screaming: "Where's my money? Where's my money?"

The Rolling Stone could not believe that after making massive international hits such as Satisfaction and Jumpin' Jack Flash, he and the rest of his band were stony broke.

Not only that, they owed massive back taxes and, worse still, had signed away the rights to their songs.

Rolling in it: From left, Keith Richards, Prince Rupert Loewenstein and Mick Jagger

Jagger blamed one man for the mess: the Stones' manager Allen Klein. To this day, he resents the fact that Klein holds the rights to all their recordings before 1970.

"From Brown Sugar onwards, the Stones get a reasonable amount of royalties if you hear a song on the radio," says one Stones source.

"But for the records before that, they get something like half a penny. Mick still regards it as a complete rip-off."

The man he brought in to sort out this financial mess was Prince Rupert Loewenstein - an impeccably well-connected Catholic banker, with a cut-glass accent and a fondness for sombre, yet expensive, suits.

Ever since, this jovial character has made an incongruous addition to the Stones' entourage - holding court quietly backstage and at parties -unfortified by so much as a sip of alcohol.

Jerry Hall nicknamed him "Rupie The Groupie" because she mischievously guessed that it would affront the genteel Loewenstein's dignity.

But despite the good-humoured teasing, he has long been an integral part of the Stones family.

Indeed, some would contend that the partnership between Sir Mick and Prince Rupert has shaped the band every bit as much as the combustible relationship between Jagger and Keith Richards.

But all that is now to change, and the seemingly unstoppable Rolling Stones moneymaking machine will no longer be in control.

Last Friday, the band announced that, after 37 years as their manager, Rupie The Groupie was stepping aside.

He won't be replaced, and will continue to give advice on stocks.

Now well into his 70s, this is effectively a retirement - but no one is using the word for fear of offending Prince Rupert.

Yet it's very much the end of an era - and also the end of a partnership which made rock 'n'roll as a profession lucrative in ways that were revolutionary at the time.

Back in 1970, when Prince Rupert took the Stones on, no one imagined that these Sixties symbols of the counter-culture would become, as they aged, multi-millionaires many times over.

But with Prince Rupert's financial acumen and Mick's abiding interest in making and keeping his fortune, that is just what has happened.

The maths is mind-boggling. Their last tour, A Bigger Bang, took an astonishing £220million.

Prince Rupert Loewenstein with Jagger's second wife Jerry Hall

Other tours were equally lucrative: 1997's Bridges To Babylon made £197million.

Three years earlier, Voodoo Lounge made £186 million. Even back in 1989, the Steel Wheels tour earned £100million.

Under Rupie's eye, the Stones are believed to have made £1billion - most from touring and merchandising.

There has been nothing like it in the history of modern music.

No wonder Keith Richards says: "As long as there's a smile on Rupert's face, I'm cool."

Popular legend holds that Prince Rupert had no idea who the Rolling Stones were when he was introduced to Jagger at a party in 1970.

A scion of the royal house of Wittelsbach, a dynasty which ruled Bavaria from 1180 to 1918, Prince Rupert Loewenstein was an obscure merchant banker - albeit with great social connections.

He had begun his career working for an independent bank, Bache & Co, before buying a rival, Leopold Joseph and Sons, in 1963.

Josephs specialised in private clients who earned money in several countries and had a reputation for being hyper-discreet.

Mick, the grammar school boy from Dartford, was immediately impressed.

Prince Rupert certainly appealed to Mick's fiscal sharpness, and perhaps, also, to his love of social climbing.

Marianne Faithfull once talked about the way Jagger would accept invitations from "any silly thing with a title and a castle".

The Prince's first piece of advice was that the whole band should become tax exiles, as the Inland Revenue was in pursuit at the time over unpaid income tax.

Similarly, Rod Stewart, Elton John and David Bowie all left Britain to escape Prime Minister Harold Wilson's top tax rate of 90 per cent.

France was the destination of choice for the Stones in 1971.

Bill Wyman ended up becoming friends with the surrealist artist Marc Chagall; Richards rented a Gothic chateau where the band recorded the album Exile On Main Street.

Jagger, meanwhile, led an itinerant existence.

Bianca, his wife at the time, said they paid illicit visits to London, crawling around their Chelsea house on their hands and knees in an effort not to be spotted.

She later said in court papers during their 1980 divorce: "Throughout our married life, he and I literally lived out of a suitcase in a nomadic journey from one place to another in his quest to avoid income taxes.

"On numerous occasions (when Jagger was in America), he told me he had to keep secret the fact that he was making recordings in Los Angeles, so as not to be forced to pay United States income tax."

Meanwhile, Prince Rupert set about restructuring the Stones as a blue-chip company, with four individual firms set up in Holland, each dealing with a different revenue stream.

That remains the basis of the Stones' financing to this day.

Their early tours used VW camper vans - but this haphazardness quickly became transformed into a professional enterprise on a scale which no other band ever attempted.

The result was an immense entourage, including immigration lawyers and fleets of business managers. All of them, until Friday, answered to Prince Rupert.

What the Stones have done - perhaps in the absence of the massive revenues which other stars get just from their songs being played, thanks to the incompetence of former manager Allen Klein - is to have taken the rock tour to unprecedented levels of profit.

They were the first to spend millions on spectacular staging, and the first to slog around the world for years at a time.

Without the guiding hand of Prince Rupert, surely the band would have folded years ago.

Instead, the Stones have proved innovators in their field.

They were the first to add product sponsorship, doing multi-million-dollar deals with Jovan perfume, Budweiser beer, Volkswagen and the Chase Manhattan Bank.

They reputedly got £6 million for allowing Bill Gates to use a snatch of Start Me Up to promote his Windows software.

Add to this the money from tickets (which are always more expensive than for other groups), record sales and merchandise, and you can see how Sir Mick has amassed his £150million fortune.

Prince Rupert has always been there to advise him on what to do with this money.

Jagger is said to have around £40million in stocks, which Loewenstein manages.

Then there is a £30 million art collection and an impressive property portfolio.

For the most part, business is conducted with discretion - but every now and again there is an unavoidable eruption.

For example, there was uproar when the Stones postponed the four-concert British leg of their Bridges To Babylon tour, complaining that Labour's new tax regulations would have made the shows "uneconomic".

The rules stated that Britons living abroad lost their tax-exempt status if they did any work in the UK.

So, once he discovered that it would cost them £10 million, Prince Rupert advised Jagger to scrap the tour.

But Prince Rupert is, despite his retiring personality, very much at home on tour and, contrary to what Jerry Hall thought, revelled in the "Rupie The Groupie" nickname.

During their long professional association, he has witnessed many of the more dramatic chapters in Jagger's life; watching his marriage to Bianca collapse as he fell for Jerry Hall and being there when, in 1991, Hall, in turn, discovered that he was still seeing the model Carla Bruni.

A furious Hall joined a party thrown by Prince Rupert, before giving Mick an earful and flying back to London.

No one knows, though, just what Loewenstein has made of it all.

He deliberately flies under the radar - hardly ever giving interviews and is rarely photographed, preferring instead the seclusion of his £10million Richmond mansion.

He's happily married to his blonde wife, Josephine - indeed, the couple celebrate their golden wedding anniversary this year.

They have two sons - Rudolf, 49, and Konrad, 48 - who have both devoted their lives to serving God.

Rudolf is a priest, while Konrad became a monk.

This dedication to religion can be seen in their father's status as a high-ranking Knight of Malta - one of the most eminent of all Catholic societies.

However, his daughter, Dora, has worked alongside her father in his West End offices before starting her own PR firm - and even edited a book on the Rolling Stones.

A thoroughly old-school charmer who disdains those sections of society he thinks of as "parvenu" or "nouveau riche", Loewenstein counted Princess Margaret as a close friend, even lending her his Caribbean home as a holiday refuge when her health was worsening.

He is not afraid to issue harsh words about the modern worship of celebrities, which is ironic given his dedication to his famous clients.

But Rupie is terrifically grand, don't forget - he worships at London's Brompton Oratory with his close friend General Sir Charles Guthrie, who was the Chief of the Defence Staff until 2001.

He also likes to lunch at Harry's Bar in South Audley Street, Mayfair, and is believed to be a member of the gentlemen's club Whites.

He was a guest at Imran Khan and Jemima Goldsmith's wedding, as a family friend of the Goldsmith clan.

But surely the defining relationship in his life has been his unlikely alliance with Sir Mick Jagger, the snake-hipped, penny-pinching graduate of the London School of Economics.

Mick's rackety personal life - seven children by four different women, the Balinese marriage with Jerry that never was, and so on - must seem utterly alien to his blueblooded financial adviser.

But the friendship has endured longer than any of Mick's romantic liaisons.

Perhaps it's because of the two men's mutual love - of money.

The British Association

In Great Britain the Order has a long connection with the Hospital of St. John and St. Elizabeth which is in St. John's Wood, London, and is so named because it was an ancient manor of the Order. Founded in 1875, the British Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (BASMOM), as part of the OSJCT (Orders of St John Care Trust), participates in the operation of homes for the aged, in Lincolnshire, Wiltshire, Arundel and Oxfordshire. Currently there are some 2200 residents, the Order being part of the organisation which is the largest provider of protected accommodation in the UK. The Delegation of Scotland and the Northern Marches provides mini-buses for the Order of Malta Dial-a-Journey Service for the disabled. BASMOM also sponsors a leprosy centre in Uganda and a medical centre in Tanzania. The various Associations cooperate in organising pilgrimages to Lourdes and Fatima as well as to other places.

The Order has some 240 British members, many of whom are descended from recusant Catholic families and martyrs. Membership is by invitation, usually after work for the Order. The President of the British Association is Prince Rupert zu Loewenstein (shown here).

In Britain the Order has two auxiliary bodies, the Order of Malta Volunteers in England and the Companions of the Order of Malta in Scotland. They are closely associated with the work of the Order, organising pilgrimages to Lourdes and Walsingham and various fund raising events.

The Grand Priory and offices of the British Association are at Brampton House, The hospital of St. John and St. Elizabeth, in St. John's Wood, London NW8.

http://www.orderofmaltafas.org/britishassociation.cfm (Proof Positive)


The Rolling Stones, reports Serwer, are a private and secretive organization, and many of their executives, such as chief financial officer Joe Rascoff, tour manager Michael Cohl, and Prince Rupert Lowenstein, a London-based banker who has been the band's business advisor for over 30 years, stay out of the public eye. But they are crucial when it comes to "interlocking" the various businesses linked to the band: touring, merchandising, publishing rights, etc. They oversee a group of four companies--based in the Netherlands, which has a more favorable tax code than the U.K.--each dedicated to a particular side of the business


On 5th December 2006 in a ceremony in the London Oratory, H.S.H. Prince Rupert zu Loewenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg, Count of Loewenstein-Scharffeneck, Vice-President of the Deputation and President of the British Association of the Order was invested as a knight commander with star of the Pontifical Order of St Gregory the Great, in recognition of his services over many years as President of the Friends of the London Oratory, President of the Latin Mass Society, and Chairman (now Chairman Emeritus) of the British section of the Latin Mass society.

Prince Rupert zu Loewenstein has been elevated to the rank of Bailiff Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta; Prince Rupert is president of the British Association of the SMOM.

http://www.constantinianorder.org/english/n...ewenstein_20071205.html (Proof Positive II)



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