London-based, wealth advisors' Citywealth Interviews Kaya Morgan, Principal at Island Connections, Angel Funding by Karen Jones, Editor
In this issue, we caught up with Kaya Morgan whose angel funding business located in Las Vegas offers valuable insights into working with celebrities and high net worth individuals.
Kaya, tell us who you are and what you do?
Basically, my work revolves around the ultra-rich and famous. In my angel funding business, we consistently work with high net worth individuals searching for unique projects that might be of interest for investment. Additionally, I work as a freelance journalist, writing about my rich or famous friends, and as a publishing consultant with prestigious lifestyle publications such as Millionaire, Millionaire Homes, Wine & Dine, 944, Palm Springs Life, Ritz-Carlton, Trump, Tycoon, Fortune-China Edition and St. Charles magazines. I also perform business development and act as publicist for a variety of private clients. Last but not least, one of my clients creates private parties and fund raising events at Kensington Palace that can be quite exciting to work on.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
At any given time, there are a variety of projects and deals on my desk. Currently, I am working on one of Mel Gibson's projects and a series of movies with Fox Studios, as well as marketing a Hollywood celebrity dress collection for a private client. Of course, I am always looking to squeeze in that great celebrity story! I presently have the West Coast exclusive cover story on the Eagles in M Lifestyle , the MGM-owned magazine distributed in their hotel/casinos on the Las Vegas Strip including the Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, New York-New York, Monte Carlo, Mirage, Excaliber, Circus Circus and the MGM. My next cover story is an exclusive coming up with Sir Paul McCartney.
Tell me about ‘Island Home' magazine?
Coming from a lengthy tenure in the publishing industry, my former luxury lifestyle magazine, Island Home , launched my love affair with the rich and famous. With the editorial content focused on world-class architecture, interior design, celebrity homes, top-class travel and fine dining, it was a great opportunity to meet and work with some of the highest net worth individuals in the world all while giving them the publicity they love. To my delight, it was a match made in heaven.
And the Celebrity Sports Invitational?
Working with that organization has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. Aside from working on a variety of valuable charities, the large number of celebrity supporters and first-class sponsors is tremendous. It has no doubt been a key factor in many of my on-going relationships with the rich and famous. The fact that it rotates around the globe to great locations coupled with it being a 3-4 day event allows participants to spend quality time together in a fun, leisurely atmosphere. I don't think I have ever attended any event that was more top-class which certainly helps attract the A-List celebrities on a regular basis.
How do you spend most of your time day-to-day?
Each day varies depending on existing deadlines and client needs. There is never a dull moment that's for sure. Having the advantage of living in the entertainment capital of the world, evenings are spent attending the multitude of events, grand openings, parties, charity events and celebrity functions that go on at the Las Vegas Strip. It's as close to a dream job as you can get.
Why do you think celebs seek publicity?
Let's face it, publicity is what keeps them an A-List actor as well as raising their box office draw and subsequent income potential when it comes to films. Unfortunately, it's always a double-edged sword. They do have to give up certain rights to a private life but at the same time, they experience perks and advantages that many of us will never have.
What is the greatest myth about celebrity status?
That fame or money brings happiness. I know many celebs personally and although it doesn't make for good print to paint them as regular ‘Joes' like the rest of us, they have many of the same problems with relationships, kids, or even work as we all do. Sometimes it's harder for them because everything they do is under the microscope while the rest of us can slide by under the wire if we choose.
Who are the nicest three celebrities you've dealt with?
I have to admit that Donald Trump is fabulous to work with! Although I wouldn't want to be on his opposition, he is charming, thoughtful and sharp as a whip. The list of his accomplishments is enormous. Touting the wisdom of Trump with his do-whatever-it-takes attitude, he clearly understands the key elements in dealing with people, “Over the years I've watched people who are successful, and I've watched people who have failed. And, the one thing that I see more than any other trait in successful people is that they never give up. They never stop," he told me. Yet he delights in the kind of elaborate negotiations and impenetrably complex deals that frustrate the most conscientious efforts to ascertain a person's true worth. Beyond that, he considers a basic principle in any deal should should include the premise that, "You always have to let the other side think that they are also getting something out of the transaction. And, it's often true that the best deals are the ones that everybody benefits from.”
Pierce Brosnan is an absolute heartthrob and as nice a person as you could ever hope to meet. Sean “P. Ditty” Combs is not only an dynamite businessman but a wonderful humanitarian as well. And, speaking of celebs that go out of their way to make a difference on the planet, Angelina Jolie is one of the best human beings around.
What is one of the main reasons a celebrity would select one advisor over another?
Everything is personal relationships and reputation. We all want people we can trust and rely on and even more so for the rich and famous. So many people around them are always furthering their own agenda. Therefore, an advisor with a sincere interest in what might be beneficial to them is highly prized. No one wants to feel like little more than a meal ticket.
Some advisors feel it's better to keep a low profile and shun publicity. What would you say to them?
The rich and famous like to work with people they feel are at a similar success level. Of course, those of us who are lucky enough to work with them on a regular basis will never have their same level of exposure in the press. Yet, they know that success breeds success and they would rather work with someone well known than an unknown. So to have earned a stellar reputation is something not only to be proud of but tooting your own horn and garnering your own publicity can be a good thing that may even help land a new celebrity client. It's the advisor that has become a household name that can be the first one on a celebrity's mind as well.
If you had one top tip for those advising celebrities, what would it be?
Get to know them personally and make sure that whatever project you bring them has lots of pizzazz. If you get to know their personal likes and dislikes, then when you call they will trust that it is something they will probably like. Don't waste their time with merely a good investment – the kind offered to them at every turn. Only bring them something unique or special that has a great dog and pony show - something that will give them the warm fuzzies.
Download the November 14th issue, or subscribe to this London-based wealth advisors publication, click on: CityWealth or go to: http://www.jonespartnersconsulting.co.uk/Citywealth/Citywealth141105.pdf
To read more about Kaya Morgan including a selection of her published works click the link.
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