|By Peter Delevett, San Jose Mercury News|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Guinness officials said the figure more than doubles the previous record set in 1990 for a policy on the life of an unnamed "entertainment industry figure." In this case, too, the name of the buyer is being closely guarded.
"We don't want hit men running around
Actually, make that more than two dozen policies, underwritten by 19 different insurers. Frances said if any single company had to pay out such a lavish benefit, it could be crippling.
He wouldn't say how much his client will pay in annual premiums -- "the insurance companies will kill me" -- but he allowed that it's in the single millions of dollars.
Frances won't be hauling in a percentage of the sale. His firm,
Guinness, Frances said, spent six months determining the policy was real before awarding the world record.
Although SG has offices in
SG's LinkedIn page notes that it's an investor in venture capital funds run by
A spokeswoman for Musk, the man behind PayPal, Tesla and other high-flying startups, declined to say whether or not her boss was the mystery buyer. An email seeking comment from
Frances wouldn't even hint how old the buyer is, although he said his client was hoping to offset federal estate taxes that could take 45 percent bite out of his heirs' high-end inheritance.
Perhaps most remarkably, Frances' firm won the client's business via a direct mail campaign. Who knew that valley billionaires open mass mailings?
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