Limato joins WMA; brings A-list roster

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Just 72 hours after emancipating himself and his impressive client list from ICM, former co-president Ed Limato has inked a multiyear deal with WMA.

Limato, who joins former ICM colleagues Jim Wiatt, George Freeman and his own one-time assistant Troy Zien, brings with him an A-list roster that includes Denzel Washington, Mel Gibson, Richard Gere, Steve Martin, Michael Biehn, Thomas Jane, Derek Luke, Sam Neill and Adrian Lyne. The move dramatically bolsters WMA's talent department, which already boasts such high-earning clients as Russell Crowe, Eddie Murphy and Catherine Zeta-Jones, and narrows the distance between WMA and industry leader CAA.

"I can only speak for what it does for us," WMA CEO Wiatt said. "Ed is a great inspiration. There were standing ovations when he walked down the halls."

Last month, Limato left ICM after a nearly two-decade marriage, creating an acrimonious split between the uber agent and the recently revamped agency.

In the wake, Limato loyalists Matt Eskander, Richard Konigsberg and DJ Talbot were shown the door. Sources predict they might land at WMA.

"There was no rhyme or reason to (ICM) firing those (three) agents who were terrific except to harm me," Limato said.

On Monday, an arbitration judge said that Limato could move his client base to another agency, sparking multiple agencies to vie for his services.

Limato's WMA contract, which was ironed out Wednesday night, calls for the agent to have no title and no managerial duties.

"I will now do what I do best: being an agent," said Limato, who doesn't have an office yet in WMA's Beverly Hills headquarters and is working out of a temporary space.

Added Limato, who spent a decade at WMA from 1978-88: "Jim (Wiatt) and (president) David (Wirtschafter) have really brought this company back to its eminence. They have returned it back to what it was when I was here. I am so invigorated by this move."
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