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Primary Talent finance chief Peter Maloney retires

Primary Talent International finance director and ILMC stalwart Peter Maloney has announced his retirement.

The Limerick, Ireland-born executive spent 32 years with the agency and was an influential figure in ILMC history, running the conference alongside founder Martin Hopewell for a number of years. His contribution was recognised with the Medal of Honour at the 2014 Arthur Awards, which he received alongside the late ILMC producer Alia Dann Swift.

“Peter has been my adviser and friend for over 30 years,” says Primary agent Hopewell. “He’s probably also the straightest man I’ve ever known. I completely relied on his professionalism during years that I was running both Primary and the ILMC – and I have a feeling that at least one of the two wouldn’t still be here if it wasn’t for his involvement. Everybody who has been involved either over the last three decades owes him a debt of thanks.”

Qualifying as an accountant with Price Waterhouse Ireland in 1982, Maloney moved to London and joined Deloittes (then known as Touche Ross), providing accounting services to actors and musicians.

“With a keenness to work directly in the actual music business, I joined a management company client of mine in 1987 where I gained extraordinary experience working for Steve Weltman,” Maloney tells IQ. “Over a two year period I was exposed to such areas as live touring, merchandise, publishing, record companies , producers, recording studios and collection societies. Steve was a great mentor and prepared me for a long and lasting career in the business.”

“It is hard to compress and summarise those 32 years. The company means an awful lot to me and always will”

During his management days, Maloney first crossed paths with Martin Hopewell at The Manor recording studio in Oxfordshire in 1988.

“It was also my first introduction to clay pigeon shooting, something that Martin was extremely good at,” remembers Maloney. “Martin represented one of the acts that we were managing at the time though on this occasion we were both at the studio to see a band called Walk on Fire.

“By 1989 I was ready for my next challenge and answered an advert in Music Week for an accountant at The Station Agency run by Steve Hedges. I got that job and ‘the rest is history’. Steve is one of the most incredible people I have ever worked for and I truly thank him for supporting me in so many ways that allowed me to flourish and find my niche.”

Primary was formed a year later and opened its doors in October 1990, initially made up of the staff and clients from The Station Agency (Steve Hedges with Andy Woolliscroft and Ian Huffam), World Service Agency (Martin Hopewell with Dave Chumbley, Paul Franklin and Nigel Hassler) and Foundation (David Levy with Richard Smith).

“It is hard to compress and summarise those 32 years,” reflects Maloney. “The company means an awful lot to me and always will. Primary runs through my veins. I was humbly proud of every success that we achieved and personally saddened by every failure.

“I got to work with some amazing artists and their managers and accountants. I consider myself very lucky to have seen so many live concerts and event: Oasis at Knebworth , INXS at Wembley Stadium and the Spice Girls at Wembley Arena were particular highlights.”

“I could write a book on my ILMC reflections alone!”

Maloney describes Hopewell as an “incredible mentor” and “major influence in my development”.

“The ILMC had been going for two years before we started Primary,” he notes. “I subsequently worked with Martin on the ILMC for the next 25 years. That was an amazing, unique and fulfilling experience. I could write a book on my ILMC reflections alone!

“I also got to work with some extraordinarily talented people at Primary, and not just agents. We have to remember those in the engine room that propel the company forward such as Lisa Briggs , the face of Primary on reception for over 27 years, our IT manager Robin, the bookers , the unsung assistants, Tina the cleaner, and my fabulously loyal and hard working accounts team of Kerri, Elaine and Nik.

Thanks too, to the Primary board of Andy, Ben, Matt and Pete – a very unique collection of individuals. We had to make a lot of very hard decisions over the years , particularly during the Covid pandemic. Letting go of ‘our baby’ and selling to ICM was a decision that we took very seriously.”

On a poignant note, Maloney also pays tribute to his former colleagues Dann and Primary director and booking agent Dave Chumbley, who both passed away five years ago.

“For all the great things that happened at Primary over the years, 2017 was a very bleak year when we lost both Alia Dann and Dave Chumbley,” he says. “I worked with Alia for so many years at the ILMC . She was a great support and confidant to me, as I was to her.

“Dave was a gloriously unique and flamboyant character. The productivity of the office rose dramatically once he breezed through the door each morning! A force of nature , an action man with a big generous heart. Still sadly missed. When dealing with various scenarios in recent years I would often ask myself ‘what would Dave think?’”

Maloney reveals that, now he has retired, he plans to continue to travel and take longer holidays, as well as maintaining his fitness.

“I have been running for over 50 years,” he adds. “It has kept me sane and I intend to run until I am no longer able to do so. I am more of a speed merchant than a long distance runner and have a few Parkrun age category course records that I am jealously guarding!”


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