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Agency trio bound for UTA

WME agents Marissa Smith, Matthew Morgan and Buster Phillips have reportedly left the company and are set to join former colleague Scott Clayton at UTA.

All three were previously based in Nashville with Clayton, who was unveiled as UTA’s latest co-head of global music earlier this month, forming a powerhouse leadership trio with existing co-heads Sam Kirby Yoh and David Zedeck, spanning UTA’s New York, Los Angeles and Nashville hubs.

The agency veteran was previously a partner and co-head of the music division at WME, and has guided the live careers of artists including John Mayer, Zac Brown Band, Kings of Leon, Dead & Company and Train.

The development follows a series of major moves by UTA’s music division

Smith had served as an assistant to Clayton and was responsible for booking concerts at colleges and universities along the US East Coast. She was also the company’s first social action music agent and headed up the music department’s virtual appearance group.

Both Morgan, who has worked with the likes of Lizzo, and rock agent Phillips came over to WME from CAA with Clayton in 2017. News of the trio’s departure from WME and impending move to UTA was first reported by Variety.

The development follows a series of major moves by UTA’s music division, where recent hires include agents Jeffrey Hasson, Brett Saliba, Matt Korn, Matt Meyer, Robbie Brown, Rebecca Prochnik, Carlos Abreu and Max Lee.

In March, the firm also acquired UK-based Echo Location Talent Agency, founded and led by Obi Asika, who now serves as co-head of UTA’s UK office alongside Neil Warnock.

 


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Scott Clayton joins UTA as co-head of global music

UTA has confirmed the appointment of renowned music agent Scott Clayton, who joins as co-head of its global music division and as a partner.

The move will see Clayton and existing co-heads Sam Kirby Yoh and David Zedeck form a powerhouse leadership trio spanning UTA’s New York, Los Angeles and Nashville hubs.

“Scott is the epitome of what we look for in a leader at UTA: he is a strong advocate for artists and has a long history of supporting and mentoring colleagues,” says UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer. “Sam and David have done a great job building a world-class team and we are very excited for Scott to join us as we continue to grow our music practice.”

Nashville-based Clayton was previously a partner and co-head of the music division at WME and has guided the live careers of artists including John Mayer, Zac Brown Band, Kings of Leon, Dead & Company and Train.

Kirby Yoh and Zedeck jointly add: “We are excited to have Scott join us as a co-head of the music group. He is a relentless champion for his clients, and we know that he will bring that same energy to UTA. He is a dedicated leader who has played a significant role in building so many people’s careers and we look forward to collaborating with him as we continue to build our team and do great work for our clients.”

Over the past few years, I have witnessed the incredible job UTA has done to expand and elevate the music department

Prior to his four-year WME stint, Clayton worked at CAA for 17 years as a co-head of their Nashville office, served as co-chair of the city’s Music City Music Council and is a member of the Nashville public radio board of directors.

“Over the past few years, I have witnessed the incredible job UTA has done to expand and elevate the music department,” says Clayton. “Sam, David, and the team have shown true innovation and leadership during this unprecedented time and have really delivered for their artists across all genres. I am very excited to be joining a company that has built a culture that is grounded in transparency with colleagues and in service to clients.”

Clayton’s hire follows a series of major moves by UTA’s music division. New hires include agents Jeffrey Hasson, Brett Saliba, Matt Korn and Emily Wright, who are based in Nashville; Los Angeles-based agents Matt Meyer and Robbie Brown; director of creative strategy Rebecca Prochnik and London-based agents Carlos Abreu and Max Lee.

In March, the company also acquired UK-based Echo Location Talent Agency, founded and led by Obi Asika, who now serves as co-head of UTA’s UK office alongside Neil Warnock.

 


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UTA hires Erika Savage, CAA taps Mark Bennett

Following a raft of promotions at both agencies, UTA has appointed Erika Savage as SVP of global music operations, while CAA has bolstered its music touring department with the hiring of agent Mark Bennett.

Savage led strategic development at Interscope Records prior to becoming SVP of partnership development at beauty firm Forma Brands.

Based in Los Angeles, she will play a key role in the agency’s strategic planning and business development across its music division.

Bennett, meanwhile, joins CAA from MBA Live, the agency he founded and that worked with a diverse roster of artists such as KSI, Polo G, S-X, Digital Farm Animals, Deco, BRYN, and The Paper Kites.

I could not be more proud of what was achieved with MBA Live

Prior to forming MBA Live, Bennett spent five years at The Agency Group for five years, where he nurtured emerging talent including Arizona, Fickle Friends, Fletcher, Jain, Milburn, Saint Motel, The Regrettes, Willow and Zella Day.  

“I am incredibly excited to join CAA’s team of hard-working agents, many of whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with for years,” says Bennett. “I could not be more proud of what was achieved with MBA Live, and look forward to the opportunities that CAA will provide for my artists and I, as we continue to grow, develop, and learn from some of the greatest minds and people in this industry.”

Bennett, who will be based in CAA’s London office, began his music industry career more than a decade ago as a tour manager.

The news comes days after UTA announced 50 promotions across 20 divisions, including three in its music department, and CAA promoted nine employees to agent/executive within its music touring team.

 


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UTA promotes trio of music agents

Leading agency UTA has announced 50 promotions across 20 divisions in multiple offices, including three in its music department.

The promotions encompass employees at various levels of the company and represent a wide range of backgrounds and experiences across gender and ethnicity. In addition, more than 90% of those promoted to agent and over 80% of those promoted to coordinator started their careers in the Agent Training Program, and over 80% of those promoted to executive started as assistant. 

Nikos Kazoleas, Alaina Latona and James Osgood have been elevated to music agents, with Brennan Duffy, Shaq Millington and Jamie Waldman becoming coordinators.

We are grateful for our colleagues’ dedication and resilience as UTA continues to succeed in an evolving business landscape

“We are grateful for our colleagues’ dedication and resilience as UTA continues to succeed in an evolving business landscape,” says UTA co-president David Kramer. “We look forward to seeing all of the great achievements this group will continue to accomplish in their new roles as the company innovates, expands and flourishes.”

The promotions have arisen during a period of significant growth for the company. Most recently, UTA and its partner company Klutch Sports Group established a full-service base of operations in Atlanta. UTA also plans to establish a second UTA artist space gallery in its new Atlanta offices.

The agency also announced the opening of its new Nashville headquarters earlier this year.

 


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CAA ups nine music employees to agent/executive

Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has announced a raft of promotions within its music touring division.

Los Angeles-based Zack Borson, Alex Douma, Omar Garcia and Brad Pophal, Nashville-based Kaitlyn Bruce, Kara Enos and Ariel Happe, New York-based Brian Greenwood and London-based Jamie Shaughnessy have been elevated to the ranks of agent/executive.

The agency has also recently welcomed prominent music agents Matt Galle, Carly James, Mike Marquis, Mike Mori, Rachel Pestik, and Adam Voith, who have brought high-profile acts to the CAA roster, such as Shawn Mendes, Mumford & Sons, Bon Iver, Vampire Weekend, Janet Jackson, My Chemical Romance, Bleachers and Girl in Red.

“Given what our industry has been through over the past 20 months, we’re incredibly proud of the touring department’s accomplishments, and are blessed to have an amazing team that stayed focused and diligent throughout. We have also been fortunate to have fantastic agents and executives join us over these past months,” says CAA’s head of music Rob Light.

Each of the nine people joining our agent and executive ranks has earned their place among our talented colleagues

“The entire team has worked tirelessly on behalf of our clients – their creativity and teamwork continues to serve the passions, needs, interests, and dreams of the incredibly talented artists we work with. Each of the nine people joining our agent and executive ranks today has earned their place among our talented colleagues and we look forward to their many successes ahead.” 

The promotions come on the heels of CAA’s agreement to acquire ICM Partners and follow notable client signings for the company including Zac Brown Band, The Weeknd, JoJo Siwa, Arcade Fire, Miguel, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chvrches, Charli XCX, Stormzy and Playboi Carti.

Borson, Douma, Enos, Garcia, Greenwood, Pophal and Shaughnessy have been upped to agents, with Bruce and Happe both now serving as executives in CAA’s in-house music marketing and brand partnerships divisions respectively.

 


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Scott Clayton set to join UTA after WME exit

WME has confirmed the departure of music co-head Scott Clayton, who is expected to join rival agency UTA.

Clayton, has worked with artists including Kings of Leon, John Mayer, Dead & Company, Train and the Zac Brown Band, was co-head of CAA Nashville prior to switching to WME in 2017.

At WME, Clayton was partner and co-head of its Nashville office and also led the Beverly Hills-headquartered agency’s rock division, working with its global music team to identify new rock signings and support its existing clients.

He was one of three music co-heads at the company, alongside UK-based Lucy Dickins and US-based Kirk Sommer, who remain in their current roles.

We appreciate all of Scott’s contributions to the agency

“We appreciate all of Scott’s contributions to the agency over the past four years and wish him all the best,” says a WME statement.

WME’s worldwide head of music, Marc Geiger, left the agency after 17 years in 2020, while co-head of music Sara Newkirk Simon moved into a consultancy role in the wider Endeavor business..

UTA has not commented on Clayton’s rumoured appointment, which has been reported by Variety.

 


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Rebecca Nichols joins Mother Artists as agent

Rebecca Nichols has departed FKP Scorpio’s UK business to join artist management and live agency Mother Artists as an agent.

Former CAA agent Nichols will build her own roster at Mother and be charged with growing the live side of the business alongside co-founder Natasha Gregory and agent James Tones.

Nichols was most recently head of live coordination at FKP, where she helped set up multiple UK shows and tours for artists such as Ed Sheeran, The War on Drugs and Self Esteem. She also worked on special events and festivals for the European promoting giant as it established a footprint in the UK.

“I’m really grateful to FKP Scorpio for the fantastic year I’ve spent with them but very excited to be returning to the agency side where my passion for working with artists and being a part of building their careers can flourish,” she says.

Mother Artists was founded in late 2020 by ex-Paradigm agent Gregory (nee Bent) and her brother, Mother Artist Management boss Mark Bent.

“I have huge respect for what Natasha and Mark are building at Mother Artists, their commitment to the artists is at the heart of everything they do alongside a strong company ethos of integrity, inclusivity and empowerment, which really connects with me,” adds Nichols.

It’s amazing and humbling that Rebecca is joining us

“They care and they want to make a difference whilst creating a supportive and empathetic environment which is mirrored in the culture at Mother Artists. These values are important to me and how I connect with people and are what I will offer to the artists that I work with too.”

Earlier in her career, Nichols worked for over a decade as an agent at CAA with acts such as Lianne La Havas, NAO, Villagers and Charlotte Day Wilson amongst others.

“It’s amazing and humbling that Rebecca is joining us,” says Gregory. “She is quite simply a wonderful woman; kind, smart, personable, universally liked and respected and is just going to fit into the Mother Artists ethos and culture perfectly. I have personally wanted to work with Rebecca for a while and we are all just excited to learn from her and continue building Mother Artists as a team. Let’s go!”

Kelly Chappel, Live Nation SVP, touring, international, adds: “Beck is an absolute diamond, she loves new music and has exceptional ears. Most importantly she’s very easy to deal with, she listens and has a vision of where the artist should go and you’re part of that.

“I’m so excited to see her grow and flourish as part of Mother Artists ‘family’.  They are building such an exciting culture and team.”

Mother Artists (live) currently works with Idles, First Aid Kit, Tom Misch, Cate Le Bon, Fever Ray, Foster The People, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, RY X, CMAT, Thomas Headon and Do Nothing, while Mother Artists (management) represents the likes of Idles, Heavy Lungs, Mouth Culture and Blair Davie.

 


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