Tuesday 26 September 2017

German-born McGuinness (64) managed U2 for 35 years and made a fortune in the process. He retired two years ago, which is why he is now counted separately in the Rich List. The Clongowes-educated impresario was a rock 'n' roll innovator and a savage negotiator.

He managed to secure a deal with Island Records which not only saw U2 retain ownership of their catalogue but also got 25pc of all records sold - it was one of the highest royalty deals ever inked. Later when Island Records were struggling to pay the cheques, McGuinness got a 10pc stake in the company instead. When Island was sold to Polygram in 1989, McGuinness and the band shared €40m.

It wasn't the only brilliant deal McGuinness did for the band, also signing landmark agreements with the likes of Blackberry, a 12-year touring deal with Live Nation and most recently the $100m marketing accord with Apple. McGuinness initially earned 20pc of the band's income as a fee, although this was later renegotiated. On his retirement, McGuinness sold his management company for €30m.

He lives on a sprawling country estate in Wicklow and has had a number of investments ranging from Ardmore film studio and TV3 to tech start-ups like Kevin Godley's jamming app WholeWorldBand, Rapidshare and Soundwave, which was bought by Spotify in January.

Online Editors

Also in Business