Talent companies Flip Management and Select Management Group are merging to create one of the digital space’s largest representation firms.
The all-stock deal will see longtime managers Lisa Filipelli, Scott Fisher and Adam Wescott join forces as partners under the Select Management Group banner. Together they will oversee a team of 25 employees and a roster of 60 clients, including vlogger and LGBT activist Tyler Oakley, beauty guru Gigi Gorgeous and top lifestyle personalities LaurDIY, Eva Gutowski and Ingrid Nilsen.
“We really view the business the same way,” says Filipelli, who spent several years at Awesomeness-owned management firm Big Frame before striking out on her own last spring. Fisher, who founded Select predecessor Foreground in 2011, adds, “our goal is to empower entrepreneurs and help everyone grow.”
Merger conversations between the companies, which were each earning eight-figure annual revenues and had not brought in outside investors, began in 2017 but heated up earlier this year. As part of the deal, Select is creating parent company Third Act to expand the business further into content production, venture building and investing. The Los Angeles-based firm also plans to open a New York office by the end of the year.
Already both independent companies have made moves into producing. Through their SelectNext production arm, Fisher and Wescott executive produced documentary This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous and YouTube original comedy Me and My Grandma. Filipelli, meanwhile, has served as an executive producer on projects such as Oakley feature documentary Snervous and Daytime Emmy-nominated Zac & Mia.
“Because our roots are in traditional [media], we have a unique ability to understand how both sides of the business work,” says CAA alum Filipelli. She shares a mission with Wescott and Fisher to provide opportunities to clients that span both digital and traditional. “Our goal is to bridge the gap,” says Fisher, adding that the company should be a “hybrid” just like the the talent they represent.
The formation of the new Select is a notable move for a digital industry that has long lacked the same talent infrastructure as traditional Hollywood. The last sizable stand-alone digital talent management firm was Big Frame, which sold to Awesomeness in 2014 and now operates as the company’s influencer marketing arm.
“There’s a lot of shady uncles and brothers that work with young talent,” says Wescott, who joined Fisher as a partner and co-founder at Select in 2015. “We’re hoping to correct that as we scale the management side of the business.”