The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have added two more ‘entertainment’ companies to their growing business empire in tax haven Delaware.
Prince Harry, 37, and Meghan Markle, 40, who are currently living in their $14 million mansion having stepped back from royal duty last year, are currently setting up a complex network of companies all based in the opaque tax haven state of Delaware.
Last week, state filings revealed Meghan’s longtime lawyer and business manager have incorporated 11 companies and a trust for the couple since April 2020, including a firm apparently set up for Harry’s multi-million-dollar memoir book deal.
And according to The Telegraph, two further companies were also registered on the same date, including Cloverdale Inc – which bears the same name as the street that the Duchess lived on with her mother in Los Angeles as a child.
It is currently unknown what the meaning is behind the name of the second company, Riversoul.
Both companies are set up explicitly in the ‘entertainment’ space, meaning the couple now have seven separate firms in the industry.
The companies are all headquartered in the Beverly Hills offices of attorney Richard Genow, who has worked with the Duchess for years.
Also appearing on company filings for the firms is her business manager Andrew Meyer, a well-connected money guru whose clients have included Jon Chu, Anna Kendrick, Adam Driver, Kathryn Hahn, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Ellen Pompeo.
The Duke, 37, and Duchess of Sussex, 40, have added two more ‘entertainment’ companies to their growing business empire
It means the couple now have seven separate companies specifically in the entertainment industry and could mark a return to showbusiness for actress Meghan Markle (pictured in Suits in 2011)
One of the Duke and Duchess’ new businesses is Cloverdale Inc – which bears the same name as the street that the Duchess lived on with her mother in Los Angeles as a child (pictured her childhood home on South Cloverdale Avenue)
Meghan went to live with her mother in a top-floor apartment on S. Cloverdale Ave, Mid-Wilshire, after her parents got a divorce in 1983.
It was once the garage and loft space for the main front property.
Other companies inked by Meyer and Genow are two publishing firms. The first, Peca Publishing LLC, was set up in September 2020 and used by Meghan to hold the rights for her children’s book The Bench.
The same day a second company was incorporated, Orinoco Publishing LLC – though it didn’t register its status in California until December 22, 2021.
Among the companies inked by Meyer and Genow are two publishing firms. The first, Peca Publishing LLC, was set up in September 2020 and used by Meghan to hold the rights for her kids book The Bench. Peca is Spanish for freckle, and appears to be a reference to a book Meghan wrote in eighth grade titled A Face Without Freckles… Is a Night Without Stars
In September 2020 Orinoco Publishing LLC was incorporated– though it didn’t register its status in California until December 22, 2021. It is unclear what the couple will use Orinoco for, though it is likely it was set up to hold the rights for Harry’s blockbuster book deal with Penguin Random House for his memoir, due for publication later this year
It is unclear what the couple will use Orinoco for, though it is likely it was set up to hold the rights for Harry’s blockbuster book deal with Penguin Random House for his memoir, due for publication later this year.
Taking care of the Sussexes’ business
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have a high-powered team of agents, lawyers and publicists that spin up companies, hash out multi-million-dollar deals and try to cultivate their image in the public eye.
Meghan’s business manager Andrew Meyer is known among Hollywood’s elite as a top money manager, whose clients have included Ellen Pompeo, Anna Kendrick, Adam Driver, Kathryn Hahn and Alexander Skarsgard.
Andrew Meyer (second right) and Richard Genow (right) posed with Kamala Harris’s husband Doug Emhoff and fellow lawyer Patricia Wheeler in 2019
The LA-raised partner at Freemark Financial was among the 600 guests at Harry and Meghan’s wedding.
Meyer works hand in glove with Meghan’s long-time lawyer Rick Genow, who has also repped Sir Ben Kingsley and Greg Kinnear, and is named in company documents for all of the former royals’ new firms.
Genow is a partner at Beverly Hills law firm Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smekinson & Christopher, LLP.
He told the Hollywood Reporter last year that he has known Meyer professionally and as a friend for more than 15 years, adding that Meyer ‘elevates business management to an art form. He doesn’t miss a detail and truly cares about each and every client.’
Heading up the couple’s public relations is former Pinterest communications chief Christine Schirmer. The Duke and Duchess scooped up Schirmer two months after she left her Pinterest role in July 2020.
Schirmer is one of Harry and Meghan’s most senior aides, overseeing PR firm Sunshine Sachs’s representation of the Sussexes as well as their UK publicist James Holt.
Holt handled the couple’s press relations in the UK, but was also promoted last year to Executive Director of the Archewell Foundation.
Meghan is said to have dropped her long-time agent Nick Collins last year. Collins, Gersh Agency’s co-head of talent, had represented her since her role in legal drama Suits, and has also repped actors Taylor Kinney, Courtney B. Vance and Mandy Moore. Though relieved from his former role, he reportedly still consults for the Duchess.
The word ‘peca’ means freckle in Spanish, and appears to be a reference to a book Meghan wrote in eighth grade titled A Face Without Freckles… Is a Night Without Stars, a copy of which currently sits in the Congressional Library.
Harry’s company Orinoco Publishing LLC may be a reference to one of his mother’s favorite songs.
In an interview for the 2017 ITV documentary Diana: Our mother, Her Life and Legacy, the prince recalled a fond memory of sitting in the passenger seat while his mother drove her BMW with the top down, listening to popular 1980s artist Enya.
One of her hits was called Orinoco Flow.
Its chorus includes the repeated refrain ‘sail away’, and one line even mentions his new home of California: ‘From Bali to Cali, far beneath the Coral Sea.’
Orinoco is also the name of a South American river, which flows through Venezuela and Colombia.
Some of the Sussexes’ Delaware firms were set up to hold the trademarks for their charity Archewell and its associated companies.
In a complicated structure, Harry and Meghan set up Cobblestone Lane LLC as the holder of the Archewell logo, but lodged another trademark filing for a second logo, with just the letters ‘AW’ on top of each other, under a different Delaware firm, IPHW LLC.
Cobblestone Lane LLC was incorporated in Delaware in February 2020 and five days later was used as the applicant to file for the Archewell trademark.
Though both Archewell and Cobblestone are based in California, there were no filings for the LLC registered with the California Secretary of State.
According to legal site UpCounsel: ‘Before any business can conduct and transact interstate or intrastate business in the state, the company must register and qualify with the California Secretary of State until this month, almost two years after it was set up on the east coast.
On January 2, 2022 the company filed an ‘application to register as a foreign limited liability company’, noting it was incorporated on February 27, 2020 in Delaware. Unlike Harry and Meghan’s other companies, it shares a business address with the British Consulate-General in Los Angeles, rather than being based at Genow’s offices.
According to legal site UpCounsel: ‘Before any business can conduct and transact interstate or intrastate business in the state, the company must register and qualify with the California Secretary of State.
‘This means that if you plan to do business in California, your business must be registered.’
The couple’s lawyers did not respond to questions over why Cobblestone had not filed documents in California for almost two years.
Delaware-based IPHW did register with the California Secretary of State on July 16 2021.
Companies that have already drawn international attention over the Sussexes’ high-profile entertainment deals with Netflix and Spotify include Archewell Audio LLC and Archewell Productions LLC.
But Meghan’s money men also incorporated Baobab Holdings LLC in February last year, writing in company documents that the firm was for ‘investments’.
The companies are all headquartered in the Beverly Hills offices of attorney Richard Genow (left), who has worked with the Duchess for years. Also appearing on company filings for the firms firms is her business manager Andrew Meyer (right), a well-connected money guru
The companies are in the tax haven of Delaware, despite the couple living and doing business in California. Their Montecito mansion is pictured
One of the couple’s companies is named for a Japanese term meaning the informal process of quietly laying the foundation for a project
The baobab is a distinctive tree native to Africa and Australia.
Two ‘entertainment’ companies founded by Genow and Meyer in January last year were Bridgemount LLC and Hampshire LLC.
The latter’s name may be a reference to Harry and Meghan’s memorable holiday at a Hampshire five-star 18th century Georgian mansion where they had a three-night stay in the final weeks of Meghan’s pregnancy in Spring 2019.
A friend told the Sun at the time: ‘Meghan is only a couple of weeks away from giving birth, so Harry really wanted to treat her.’
Nemawashi Holdings, LLC was set up September 2020 and was described only as a ‘holding company’ by Genow and Meyer. Nemawashi is a Japanese term meaning the informal process of quietly laying the foundation for a project.
The distinctive baobab tree is native to Africa and Australia
Another inscrutable company set up a month earlier is called RPV Holdings, LLC.
Genow told the Hollywood Reporter in November that he has known Meyer professionally and as a friend for more than 15 years.
Meyer, a certified public accountant and founder of Beverly Hills entertainment wealth management firm Freemark Financial, lives with his wife Stephanie in a $6million, six-bed, 6,000 sq ft property in the exclusive neighborhood of Holmby Hills, Los Angeles.
Even before 2020 Meghan’s financial team already discreetly made a significant move involving the Duchess’s company Frim Fram Inc – the firm behind her popular lifestyle blog The Tig.
According to Delaware business records, on December 30, 2019, Frim Fram Inc was registered as a new corporation in the state.
Meghan thanked her now-estranged father Thomas in her book A Face Without Freckles…Is A Day Without Stars, written when she was in eighth grade
Harry and Meghan had a getaway weekend at Heckfield Place Hotel in Hampshire, England, just before son Archie was born. It could be the inspiration for naming one of their companies Hampshire LLC
The following day, according to California business records, Frim Fram Inc California was ‘Merged Out’ and incorporated with the Delaware company.
This is significant because Delaware is known as a haven for firms seeking extreme corporate secrecy.
Registering a company in the Mid-Atlantic state does not require the disclosure of the identities of the owners and for as little as $50 the owners can hire a registered agent to represent them.
All financial information relating to the company is kept confidential. The move appeared to show that Meghan planned to keep her and Harry’s business as opaque as possible – and stuck to their plans, incorporating every one of their following companies in the secretive state.
Almost 65 percent of Fortune 500 companies are incorporated in Delaware, making it the state with more corporations registered within its borders than people.
Nemawashi Holdings, LLC was set up September 2020 and was described only as a ‘holding company’ by Genow and Meyer. Nemawashi is a Japanese term meaning the informal process of quietly laying the foundation for a project
Companies that have already drawn international attention over the Sussexes’ high-profile entertainment deals with Netflix and Spotify include Archewell Audio LLC and Archewell Productions LLC