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ATC Live recruits David ‘Skully’ Sullivan-Kaplan

UK booking agency ATC Live has welcomed David ‘Skully’ Sullivan-Kaplan into the fold.

Skully joins from United Talent Agency (UTA) and brings with him an artist roster that includes Larkin Poe, Steel Pulse, Poliça, Gentleman’s Dub Club, Holding Absence, Hollie Cook, and Lottery Winners.

In addition to nearly two decades’ worth of experience booking headline tours and festivals around the world, he has also secured a range of brand partnerships for his artists with the likes of Chanel, Hermés, Aquascutum, Goose Island and Twitch.

Skully launched his career at The Agency Group in New York and later relocated to London, combining his agency role with life as a touring musician in bands such as Razorlight.

“Agents who excel at the job yet are universally liked and respected are a rare breed,” says Alex Bruford, CEO, ATC Live.

“Agents who excel at the job yet are universally liked and respected are a rare breed”

“Skully is one of the few, and his extensive experience both as an agent and as a touring musician have given him an enviable skill set. Skully’s dedication to both his artists’ careers and his craft as an agent perfectly align with our values at ATC Live, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the company.”

Skully says: “I’m absolutely delighted to be joining the team at ATC Live. It’s been an incredibly tough year for everyone in our business, but with the prospect of live shows returning this felt like the perfect opportunity to partner with such a dynamic, innovative and independent agency. I’m extremely proud to add my clients to such a high-calibre roster, and to join this outstanding team of agents.”

ATC Live currently represents more than 380 artists including Aldous Harding, Black Pumas, Big Thief, Black Midi, Fontaines D.C., Georgia, Julia Jacklin, Japanese Breakfast, The Lumineers, Mac DeMarco, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Passenger, Sleaford Mods, Stella Donnelly, Shame, Snail Mail and Squid.

In October 2020, ATC Live announced a strategic partnership with US agency Arrival Artists to facilitate dynamic global representation for shared artists.

 


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UTA sells minority stakes to investment firms

In what CEO Jeremy Zimmer calls a “transformative event” for the agency, United Talent Agency (UTA) has sold minority equity stakes in the company to Investcorp and Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments).

The Beverly Hills-based agency acquired UK music powerhouse the Agency Group (TAG) in August 2015, and over the past year has acquired interests in live speaking (Greater Talent Network), electronic music (Circle Talent Agency) and esports (Press X and Everyday Influencers). The new influx of capital will be used to “accelerate” UTA’s growth, according to a statement, “enhance UTA’s services and continue to invest in resources to support its clients and colleagues in a time of change and innovation in content creation and distribution”.

Terms were not disclosed, although UTA says its partners retain majority ownership and control of the company. PSP, one of Canada’s largest pension investment managers, with assets of US$119 billion under management, and Bahrain-based Investcorp, which manages more than $22bn in assets globally, join existing investor Jeffrey Ubben as UTA’s ‘capital partners’.

“We were deliberate about finding the right investment partners who recognise UTA as a business that puts clients first”

Zimmer, who founded UTA in 1991 alongside Jim Berkus and Peter Benedek, says: “This is a transformative event for UTA. There has never been a greater moment of change and opportunity in our industry for artists, creators and companies like ours.

“We were deliberate about finding the right investment partners who recognise UTA as a business that puts clients first, exemplifies a collaborative and diverse culture and is focused long term on capitalising on the unique opportunities that disruption and transformation provide. We found that in Investcorp and PSP Investments.”

“The entertainment industry is experiencing tremendous evolution,” adds Simon Marc (pictured), head of private equity at PSP Investments. “As demand for high-quality content is greater than ever, UTA is uniquely positioned to benefit from the transformation in the sector. We are excited to partner with Jeremy Zimmer and UTA’s world-class management team and look forward to backing UTA in the next phase of its growth.”

 


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UTA to close Toronto office

Booking agency United Talent Agency (UTA) is closing its Toronto office two years after acquiring The Agency Group (TAG), a memo seen by Billboard says.

The 23 people working at the Canadian office, including COO Jack Ross and CEO Ralph James, will lose their jobs.

The roster includes Nickelback, Alexisonfire, Billy Talent, City On Fire and Feist. UTA plans to move some artists to its offices in London and New York.

The memo from CEO Jeremy Zimmer says: “After considering where we see the strongest prospects for continued growth, we have made the decision to take additional steps to focus our global music practice in the US and UK.

“I certainly plan to continue as an agent and continue representing my clients”

“This will mainly impact our colleagues in Toronto, where we will be closing that office over the coming months. We’re taking this step after careful consideration, and we recognise it’s a tough one for our colleagues there. They are talented professionals who we’ve collaborated with for many years and who have contributed to our success. We are incredibly grateful to every one of them. But we believe this is the strongest and best strategic decision for UTA Music going forward, one that will allow us to put even greater focus on artist development and our full-service approach to our clients.”

Ross, who set up the Toronto office with TAG founder Neil Warnock, told Billboard: “I’ve been representing a core group of Canadian artists for a long time and many of our clients have been with us for decades.

“I can’t speak for everybody, but I can tell you that I certainly plan to continue as an agent and continue representing my clients, continue to grow and develop agents and music industry professionals. I’m looking at this as an opportunity to work with like-minded people who believe in artist development and agent development and who see Canada and Toronto as a great place to be in business.”

 


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