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From COVID-19 chaos to streaming shifts, income uncertainty may be at an all-time high in Hollywood. THR’s annual list of Power Business Managers highlights those keeping finances afloat in uncharted waters.
Profiles written by Trilby Beresford, Evan Nicole Brown, Clara Chan, Mia Galuppo, Katherine Kilkenny, Pamela McClintock, Sydney Odman, Rebecca Sun, Georg Szalai, Alex Weprin and Abbey White.
This story first appeared in the Nov. 10 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
Reggie Gooden, Josh Martin and Justin Stiegemeyer (818 Management)
After teaming up in 2018 to build out a boutique, this firm reps clients across music, film and TV like Ashley Benson, Benicio Del Toro, Alexander Ludwig, Bella Thorne, Abigail Spencer and Harv, who produced Justin Bieber’s “Peaches.” Gooden and Martin note that more clients are putting their money into alternative investments involving crypto, on top of the tried-and-true real estate purchases. “Our clients want to jump right into NFTs without sometimes having a solid plan,” says Gooden. “So we try to do our best analyzing opportunities and telling them either green light or red light.”
Pandemic habit I hope people keep Gooden: “I advise all entertainers, no matter what your primary field is, to look for opportunities outside of your primary field and to find ways to monetize your brand and your skill set.”
Martin: “We have some clients that are emerging actors who are starting to do really well and have good followings on social media, like Instagram, who we’ve encouraged to meet with social media managers and pick up some brand deals. Some of them can make $20,000-30,000 per post. That really adds up, and that could be your monthly overhead.”
Belva Anakwenze (Abacus Financial)
Amid industry disruptions, Anakwenze has been focused on staying on top of production accounting and advising her clients — including Jay Ellis and Entertainment Tonight hosts Kevin Frazier and Nischelle Turner — to have cash reserves available. “The pandemic taught us a lot about being prepared for anything,” she says. “We’re ensuring our clients are keeping enough funds liquid so that they can be as financially nimble as possible.” Many of her clients are “first-generation high-earners,” which means knowledge-sharing and language-building is part of the gig. “So much of what I do is not financial.”
If I weren’t a business manager, I’d be … “A psychiatrist or a sociologist. I love studying people. So much of money is emotional, and very heartbreaking for a lot of people. I think because of that I’m really drawn to that part of what I do, and just helping people overcome the fear around money or the uncertainty.”
David Altman, Anthony Bonsignore, Tom Carr and Frank Selvaggi (Altman Greenfield & Selvaggi)
Sarah Jessica Parker, Donald Glover, Timothée Chalamet and Sterling K. Brown are on the star-studded roster of the bicoastal boutique company, which was founded in 1986 and a few years ago became part of Focus Financial Partners. It takes pride in getting to know clients in order to make sure it can be proactive. The team says clients lately have been particularly interested in purchasing property, whether for a change of scenery, a desire for more space or as a second home.
How do you relax/recharge? Altman: “There isn’t much downtime, but a simple recharge is spending quality time with our family and friends.”
Pandemic habit I hope people keep Bonsignore: “A focus on work-life balance.”
Evan Bell and Liza de Leon (Bell & Co.)
The COVID-19 pandemic not only changed how Hollywood evaluates how it operates, but it also changed how talent live their lives. De Leon explains that some of Bell & Co.’s clients are, “in a major way … upgrading their primary residence.” But the company, which represents the likes of directors Steven Soderbergh and Robert Eggers as well as actor Lachlan Watson, is nothing if not honest to its clients. Says de Leon, “If you are moving to a tax-free state from a place you love only to save the taxes … you are making a mistake.”
Hollywood’s biggest financial concern de Leon: “Increase in taxes.”
If I wasn’t a business manager, I’d … Bell: “Own a bagel store.”
Christopher Fank (Christopher Fank, CPA)
Fank’s Hollywood roster now includes a merry band of foreign actors, primarily from Australia and the U.K., who have relocated to Los Angeles to partake in the streaming production gold rush. “They look to you for everything,” he explains, whether that means building credit or buying a car or house. Fank now also reps Haitian-American actor and rapper Da’Vinchi, and he continues to assist the likes of producer Jessica Rhoades and actors Shia LaBeouf and Brie Larson.
Pandemic habit I hope people keep “Respecting other peoples’ space and maintaining a heightened cleanliness.”
Douglas Cammarano, Arnie Herrmann, Wayne Mejia, Matthew Segreto and Sharon Sullivan(Citrin Cooperman)
The Jurassic World franchise, starring Bryce Dallas Howard, has been shot around the globe, as was No Time to Die, co-starring Ana de Armas. Both actresses are clients of this group, which increasingly is spending more time navigating foreign tax laws and other rules. “There is a level of complexity beyond the normal compliance issues,” explains partner Segreto. The firm’s clients also include filmmakers Martin Scorsese, Damien Chazelle and Sam Mendes.
If I weren’t a business manager, I’d be … Cammarano: “A lawyer.”
Herrmann: “A summer camp director.”
Mejia: “An architect.”
Sullivan: “An environmental lobbyist.”
Shane Glass (The Colony Group)
Glass works with music moguls, Grammy winners and chart-toppers as well as with Hollywood icons. “Clients have been more conscious of excess spending and more open-minded about adhering to budgets rather than out-earning their problems,” says Glass, who also notes that there’s a greater focus on digital content creation as his clients look to diversify their streams of cash flow.
Pandemic habit I hope people keep “Recognizing the value of family.”
David Weise (David Weise & Associates)
“If you lost live entertainment, you had to do things unconventionally and expand those opportunities,” Weise says of how his clients adapted to the pandemic. Based in Encino and a division of NKSFB, his firm works with music artists like Coldplay, Marshmello, The Weeknd, Usher and Carole King. Weise is optimistic for the future of live entertainment, as touring starts to pick up in the music industry. He says, “The world is getting back on its axis.”
Pandemic habit I hope people keep “Don’t take for granted our freedoms.”
David Levin (DL Business Management)
Levin started DL Business Management in 1984 — mostly focusing on musicians and entertainers. “But as the world changed, we changed our firm,” says Levin. “So we work in multimedia — anything from branding and licensing and television and film to photographers and brand managers.” His clients include John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, Jessica Simpson, Hailey Bieber and Wyclef Jean, many of whom he’s worked with since the earliest days of their careers. “When you’re working with two-digit numbers of people versus three and four, you run more of a boutique shop versus a department store. That’s always worked for me.”
If I weren’t a business manager, I’d be … “Dream world: I would have been a singer-songwriter, sitting at the piano or with a guitar. In reality, I’d say I would be a writer.”
Pat Dunn and Tony Peyrot (Dunn Pariser & Peyrot)
Dunn and Peyrot pride themselves on looking out for their clients and their mental health — especially during the pandemic, when many found their work drastically affected. “We’ve been able to make a big impact, and we feel grateful that we are in that position,” Peyrot says. The two, who rep Giancarlo Esposito, Randall Park, D.J. Caruso, David Permut and Tiffany Boone, also see a silver lining: With meetings shifted to Zoom, the firm has been able to reach and attract clients from around the world.
How do you relax/recharge? Dunn: “I work out [for] stress relief. I keep telling myself that I’m a golfer, but I’m really not because I don’t find as much time as I need to get out to play.”
Peyrot: “I’m fortunate to be a member of one of the Santa Monica beach clubs, where I work out three days a week religiously, and then I play beach volleyball, paddle tennis. That rigorous sport of bocce ball is another one. That becomes a good source of relief.”
Julie Boos, Jamie Cheek, Mary Ann McCready and Carmen Romano (Flood Bumstead McCready & McCarthy)
The Nashville-headquartered outfit with offices in New York and L.A. has been going strong since 1990 and has continued to expand beyond its core base in country music, with clients reportedly including The Black Keys, Alanis Morissette, Diplo, Rage Against the Machine and Kelly Clarkson. “Everyone wants to talk about selling intellectual property assets,” says Boos. “With so much private-equity interest and currently favorable tax laws, clients are definitely interested in assessing the opportunity.”
Pandemic habit I hope people keep Boos: “Being appreciative and grateful for the live music experience.”
McCready: “Being even more mindful of liquidity.”
Steves Rodriguez (Freemark Financial)
Rodriguez works alongside co-founder Andrew Meyer — this year’s THR Business Manager Icon — serving such clients as cinematographers Greig Fraser (Dune) and Linus Sandgren (No Time to Die), Accenture Interactive CEO David Droga and companies like Pretty Bird and Smuggler. “Tax has never been more relevant than it is today,” says Rodriguez of the current financial climate. “With the ability to be remote, the conversation about moving to lower-tax states is front of mind in a way that seems feasible much more than ever before.” He notes Austin, Nashville and Atlanta as popular hotspots for Hollywood transplants.
How do you relax/recharge? “Travel wherever I can go in the world. My wife loves to travel, as do I.”
(Andrew Meyer of Freemark Financial is THR‘s 2021 Business Manager Icon. Read his profile here.)
Eric Fulton, Matthew Gilbert-Aranoff and Elizabeth Ricin (Fulton Management)
Instead of taking a percentage, this firm always has charged its clients by the hour, a practice that “allows us to take on up-and-coming talent early on and have a very diverse clientele,” says Fulton, who represents Taika Waititi and Shailene Woodley. Gilbert-Aranoff (whose wedding this year was attended by client Conor McGregor) adds that the company has spent the past eight years adapting to cultivate digital talent, such as Rhett and Link. Ricin’s roster includes Chris Hemsworth and Mayim Bialik.
Hollywood’s biggest financial concern Fulton: “I’m not sure this has changed much over the years: overspending, bad investments, egos getting in the way of good financial decisions continue to be something that Hollywood will always have to tackle. Perhaps the hype around cryptocurrencies and the potential pitfalls have come up more in the past year or so for my clients.”
Gilbert-Aranoff: “[A few weeks ago,] it was a possible IATSE strike. Now it is potential tax increases that seem to be at the top of everyone’s mind.“
Tyson Beem, Andrew Crow, Todd Gelfand and Melissa Morton (Gelfand Rennert & Feldman)
Beem says his team has faced “lots of challenges and lots of successes” as the firm, trusted by clients including Will Smith, Christina Aguilera and Jordan Peele, heads into its 55th year of business. Notable trends this group noticed this past year were moves toward crypto and catalog sales, real estate transactions and impact and sustainable investing. Says Crow, “Clients have been very reflective in the last year and a half. … They’ve been thinking about how they can make an impact socially and environmentally.”
If I weren’t a business manager, I’d be … Beem: “I would go with a chef.”
Crow: “Even though it will never happen, a shooting guard for the Lakers or a featured star on SNL.”
Gelfand: “The P.E. coach of an elementary school.”
Morton: “I’d like to be a teacher.”
Harvey Gettleson, Seth Gettleson, Randy O'Connor and Larry Witzer (Gettleson Witzer & O’Connor)
The firm is seeing more clients (its roster includes Ava DuVernay, Reservation Dogs creator Sterlin Harjo and OBB Media’s Michael and Scott Ratner) play the long game: “Participating in an equity round of a startup is much better than being paid for a commercial,” says Harvey Gettleson. Meanwhile, setting up a production company means owning your own projects and potentially cashing in. Says O’Connor, “Everyone is lining up for the next Hello Sunshine sale.” What not to do? “Don’t invest in anything that eats!” cautions Witzer, who serves as COO and CFO of late client Johnny Carson’s foundation.
Pandemic habit I hope people keep H. Gettleson: “Driving less. It would be nice to keep to better traffic in L.A.”
S. Gettleson: “Pop-up restaurants.”
O’Connor: “Watching countless episodes on streaming services.”
Witzer: “Wearing sweatpants to work.”
Laura Gordon (Gordon & Associates)
As a third-generation entrepreneur, Gordon’s mission is to help build generational wealth for her clients and for the African diaspora at large. While her firm works on behalf of a roster that includes Mike Epps, Amandla Stenberg and TV producer Yvette Lee Bowser, its corporate foundation Gammy’s House serves and supports Black-owned businesses from California to Uganda. “We’ve always been a part of this movement,” says Gordon, who adds that she also has seen corporate America devote more resources to the cause as a result of “inequities exposed during the pandemic and protests in 2020.”
Hollywood’s biggest financial concern “COVID-19 has changed how Hollywood works. Amid production halts and delays, unexpected extended periods of hiatus for cast and crew, saving money and having overall intermediate savings strategies are crucial. Healthy savings not only enhances security during times of uncertainty, it also empowers clients to be selective about the projects they choose, rather than feeling pressed to take work just to keep the lights on.”
Howard Altman, Corey Barash and Warren Grant (Grant Tani Barash & Altman)
Always quiet about their A-list clients (Tom Hanks and Brad Pitt are among the names reported over the years), Altman, Barash and Grant are some of the best respected business managers in the industry. One characteristic that sets them apart, Grant says, is their proactiveness: “We don’t just wait to hear from [clients]; we take the initiative to send them information and keep them engaged.” Proud that they were able to maintain their full staff without payroll or benefits changes during the pandemic, Grant adds that the past year has been especially rewarding because, in helping clients invest, “We’ve hit a couple of the really top-performing sectors of the real estate market: industrial properties and studios with soundstages.”
If I weren’t a business manager, I’d be … Grant: “A real estate agent.”
Marie Ambrosino (Gursey | Schneider)
An avid traveler — she has been to Africa four times — Ambrosino was grounded during the pandemic but otherwise felt equipped to handle the challenge, describing herself as a “very self-sufficient person.” She adds: “There are a lot of things we depended on in our business that we can’t depend on.” Ambrosino declined to speak about or confirm any clients, but THR has linked her to prolific talent including Mindy Kaling, Jenji Kohan and Seth MacFarlane.
How do you relax/recharge? “If I can do it, I try to get myself on a vacation where I can spend time with as much wildlife as possible.”
Mara Hofman (Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt)
Hofman focuses her work on “a lot of financial planning and forecasting,” along with answering her clients’ questions “surrounding upcoming tax legislation that’s not yet decided.” Lately, Hofman’s clients (who are actors, producers and high-net-worth individuals with family offices) are most interested in venture capital opportunities and becoming involved with early-stage companies by investing in them directly. She counts a spirit of collaboration and transparency as a top priority and credits those values as being key to the success of her business.
Hollywood’s biggest financial concern “Having people feel comfortable to get back out and enjoy the theaters, enjoy the concerts. The challenge is just getting everyone back out.”
Elizabeth Kenney (L&L Business Management)
The pandemic brought so much unknown that it automatically creates fear,” says Kenney, who is proud of the “24/7” full service that her small, Burbank-based firm is able to provide to clients, who include Awkwafina, Tiffany Haddish and Dustin Lance Black. Her prescribed response? The three R’s: “Let’s research, regroup and redirect as needed.” She adds that clients are increasingly interested in putting their resources into sustainability and protecting the planet by “investing in anything that reduces the carbon footprint. Most feel that is the place that will grow the most over the next 10 years.”
Pandemic habit I hope people keep “I like that clients shifted from material things to more kindness and what truly speaks to them. ”
Mark Cattalini, Charles Clancy, Mark Friedman, Matt Lichtenberg and John Rigney (Level Four Business Management)
The L.A.-based quintet’s roster reads like a Hollywood who’s who: Samuel L. Jackson, Molly Shannon, Will Ferrell, Jim Carrey, Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Miller, Phil Lord, Matt Rosen and Jeff Silver. Among the pandemic changes, his real estate deal activity has “probably doubled,” with many moving or buying new or second homes, Rigney says. Increased working from home also has affected the profession “dramatically because we have to figure out how to work again when people are remote, and I can’t go to somebody’s office and look him in the eye and figure out what to do.”
How do you relax/recharge? Lichtenberg: “A glass of very good red Burgundy.”
Pandemic habit I hope people keep Cattalini: “Enjoying the outdoors and all it has to offer.”
Clancy: “Acknowledging that the unexpected can happen.”
Friedman: “Staying home when you are sick, and when you go out (when you are sick) you wear a mask.”
Rigney: “It seemed like during the pandemic people were more grateful.”
Humble Lukanga (Life Line Financial Group)
Lukanga’s self-described protective nature makes his clients feel safe, which is important to those who typically hire him — the underdog. “That person who wasn’t supposed to be here; that person that doesn’t look like status quo, who the rules weren’t set up for, but they still find a way to succeed,” says the Beverly Hills-based business manager. It’s also been an advantage for his clients — including Issa Rae, Charlamagne Tha God, Robin Thede and Terry Crews — who are increasingly bucking industry culture and putting their health before their careers, which he hasn’t “seen in 16 years” in this business.
If I weren’t a business manager I’d be … “A teacher at an orphanage in Africa, helping children reach their destiny.”
Elizabeth Campos (Manhattan West)
With more than 20 years of experience in managing the financial well-being of entertainers and high-net-worth clients, Campos’ philosophy is simple: Think about saving now to plan for tomorrow, especially in an age when many entertainment and sports careers are fraught with uncertainty. At the firm, the clientele of the avid hiker and mother of three includes Melissa Williams, Dominic Monaghan, multihyphenate Reginald Hudlin and financing and production company Gamechanger Films. Campos says people are moving money “from traditional asset classes like stocks and bonds into alternative investments,” including multifamily real estate, venture capital, private equity and private debt.
If I weren’t a business manager, I’d be … “A private investigator. I would love to go undercover and help solve a problem or crime. One of the reasons why I love being a business manager is because we do have to solve problems every day, which I’ve learned to do well.”
Steven Gelon, Steven Glodney, Van Lee and Alex Smith (Mann Gelon Glodney Gumerove Yee)
Exceedingly private with its list of clients, this business management and full-service accounting firm counts showrunners, directors, actors, legacy musical acts, YouTube creators and other social media influencers among its clientele. The firm also prides itself on having formal training in accounting and as CPAs, giving it a leg up over some of its competitors in Hollywood. Notes Glodney, “A lot of business managers aren’t CPAs, they don’t have formal training.”
How do you relax/recharge? Gelon: “Go on a 7-mile hike.”
Glodney: “Go play a round of golf.”
Lee: “Eating with friends and having a great meal. Pilates or reading would be my other option.”
Smith: “I love to step away and go out for a great meal.”
John McIlwee (McIlwee & Associates)
Three of the firm’s biggest clients are Batman director Matt Reeves, Jane Lynch and Maura Tierney, while Caleb Landry Jones is on McILwee’s “really exciting” list, having just won best actor at the Cannes Film Festival for Nitram. As COVID-19 wreaked havoc on 2020, the firm grew 20 percent. “When the pandemic happened and work was shut down and people were panicked, there was a premium to be paid for peace and security,” says McILwee, who notes that embracing client curiosity sets the firm apart. “We present ourselves and our culture in a way that encourages clients to ask questions if they don’t know something.”
Pandemic habit I hope people keep “No breakfast meetings.”
Mark Landesman, Scott Landesman and Paul Zukowsky (ML Management)
This firm is known for its roster of comedy clients, which includes industry heavyweights like Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Tina Fey, Jason Sudeikis and Pete Davidson. Mark Landesman, who also counts James Cameron, Bruce Willis, Lupita Nyong’o and Blake Lively as clients, says that 2020 was a markedly different year. “For many people, we learned the lesson that you have to save for that rainy day because we’ve had a pandemic, and that’s a hell of a rainy day,” he says. Zukowsky, who advises the likes of Gal Gadot and Gigi Hadid, says that despite some entertainment types leaving Southern California, several of his clients have bought property in Los Angeles — “the last couple of years has been extraordinary in California.”
How do you relax/recharge? M. Landesman: “Golf. You know, everything else is about my business, my clients, my family, but with golf, it’s just about me getting that ball in the hole. That is my relaxation; unless I’m playing horrible, of course.”
S. Landesman: “Playing golf. That’s what I do most weekends, especially when the weather’s warmer. Definitely my happy place. Four hours on the golf course gives me a little bit of peace.”
Zukowsky: “My wife and I do a lot of volunteer work, so we’ve been focusing a lot of time on outside activities helping people. I’m the Board Chair of Neuberger Museum of Art at Purchase College. … I started a diversity initiative within the museum.”
Harley Neuman (Neuman + Associates)
Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson, who is a client of Neuman’s, sued Disney earlier this year after the 2021 feature film was released simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access. The lawsuit was settled, but the impact of day-and-date streaming on talent profit participation is far from sorted. “If you don’t have bonuses based on box office, it changes the dynamic of everything and how people get paid,” says Neuman, who also represents Lena Waithe, Zoe Saldana, Ryan Murphy and Lily Tomlin — as well as Netflix titan Ted Sarandos.
How do you relax/recharge? “I travel. I just came back from the Turks and Caicos Islands.”
David Bolno, Richard Feldstein, Bernie Gudvi, Michael Karlin, Michael Oppenheim, Matt Segal, Larry Tyler and Dian Vaughn (NKSFB)
For NKSFB, which represents Beyoncé, Kenya Barris, Justin Timberlake, Drake as well as many others, the “deep bench” and “active partners” at the firm make for an appealing proposition, Karlin says. And while such hot markets as real estate and cryptocurrency are popular among clients (Gudvi also notes the appeal of selling music catalogs), Bolno says that early-stage tech investments are becoming popular as well: “I think talent has become acutely aware of the power of content and celebrity and are using their platforms to get access to the best deals.”
Pandemic habit I hope people keep Bolno: “Realizing the importance of family. I love my mornings with my kids before diving into the day.”
Feldstein: “Never going out.”
Gudvi: “Zoom meetings.”
Karlin: “Spending levels. [They] do not need to rebound to pre-pandemic levels.”
Vaughn: “Social distancing.”
Martin Meeks and Aaron Philpott (Philpott Meeks)
The pair of veteran business managers have seen clients’ spending drop across the board throughout the pandemic. “It’s a good thing overall,” says Meeks. Adds Philpott, “Controlling expenses is still the best return on any portfolio.” A sampling of the duo’s clients includes Hollywood heavyweights Dick Wolf, Nicolas Cage, STX chief Bob Simonds, James Caan and Friends creators David Crane, Kevin Bright and Marta Kauffman.
If I weren’t a business manager, I’d be … Meeks: “A high school basketball coach.”
Philpott: “A furniture carpenter.”
Michael Ullman (Platinum Financial)
Such clients as Margot Robbie, Linda Cardellini and Chrissy Metz come to Ullman for creative tax strategies but also because “I treat my clients like they’re a family member,” he says. In the past year, he’s seen more real estate transactions and a wider array of clients quickly getting on board with his advice to save for a rainy day. Says Ullman, “Now, with the pandemic, I think [those who were previously more resistant] get it because they see what’s been going on. So they want to think of the five-year plan.”
Hollywood’s biggest financial concern “Financial stability!”
Jeff Turner and Bill Vuylsteke (Provident Financial Management)
With a high-powered client roster — from such film stars as Al Pacino, Lucy Liu, Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance to big-time musicians like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day and Shakira — the firm maintains offices throughout California and in Nashville. “Size is one of the things that differentiates us,” Vuylsteke says of the firm. “We’re big enough to be a big firm, but we’re small enough that we’re not a mega firm,” allowing for high attention to client portfolios. As for the effects of the pandemic on their long-term business, Turner says, “It certainly emphasized the need to remain as liquid as possible” among clients, especially for musicians whose tours were shut down.
Pandemic habit I hope people keep Turner: “Being conscious of having that work-life balance and really thinking about what’s meaningful in their lives.”
Hollywood’s biggest financial concern Vuylsteke: “I think everyone realizes that they have to be careful and that things can change on a dime. I think [the pandemic] really woke a lot of people up.”
Tara Moore and Phil Sarna (PS Business Management)
Moore describes her team as “uniquely” female, with a client roster to match. It’s not by design but a “wonderful” result that provides a more nurturing approach, says Moore. She adds that clients like Billie Eilish, Lizzo, Halsey, Sara Bareilles and Benny Blanco “feel comfortable asking us questions — they don’t feel intimidated.” Sarna notes that this comes with a “thoughtfulness and drive” to meet all of their clients’ needs, which are expanding to give artists more creative control in their deals, from selling catalogs and copyrights to NFTs and book and art deals.
Pandemic habit I hope people keep Moore: “Work from home/minimized commuting.”
Sarna: “I hope artists continue to find a better work-life balance. The 24/7/365 demands for artists are not consistent with mental health and the ability to create great art.”
Anna DerParseghian (PTD Business Management)
DerParseghian’s firm represents top touring comedian Gabriel Iglesias, Emmy Award winner Uzo Aduba and nominee Natasha Lyonne, along with The Handmaid’s Tale star Yvonne Strahovski. “I take pride in the fact that I represent several strong female clients,” DerParseghian explains. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic has taught her to examine what a “multihyphenate” client looks like. “It’s not just about getting the next script,” she notes. “It’s more of, how can we build wealth and convert our clients from having just one stream of income to various streams and adapt to the new world of cryptocurrency and NFTs.”
How do you relax/recharge? “I call Pilates my favorite form of personal therapy; also spending time with my children is always a joy and puts things in perspective; and, finally, a nice glass of wine with some delicious cheese at the end of the day is always a great way to unwind.”
Lia Sweet and Bill Zysblat (RZO)
While the past year has brought incredible opportunity to some, it also has caused new challenges, which RZO’s Sweet and Zysblat have found themselves navigating for their clients, who include Lady Gaga and The Rolling Stones. “COVID-19 has taught us that lean times can come to the biggest artists,” Sweet says. With that in mind, “preservation of capital is our top concern,” Zysblat notes. “We now know that an industry that was once immune to market corrections, inflation and recessions can be brought to a grinding halt without warning.”
If I weren’t a business manager, I’d be … Zysblat: “A retired business manager.”
Jeff Bacon, Chris Bucci, Rachel Martinez and Steve Savitsky (Savitsky Satin Bacon & Bucci)
“The trend has just been more client engagement,” explains Bacon of business at the firm during the past year. With the firm’s high-profile client roster — which includes premier athletes, Oscar-winning actors as well as influencers, though these managers don’t name names — having extra time at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, some have gotten more involved in financial planning and diversifying the kind of content they’re interested in embarking on, like social media and podcasts. Moreover, with Zoom and other video platforms, Martinez says, “I find that I see my clients’ faces much, much more than I did before.”
If I weren’t a business manager, I’d be … Bacon: “A columnist.”
Martinez: “CFO of a nonprofit.”
Steve Campeas (SJC)
Campeas notes that his clients — a list that includes John Stamos, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rebecca Romijn, Katee Sackhoff, Boaz Yakin, Kevin Abbott and Lana Condor — appreciate that he takes a “hands-on” approach when it comes to managing their financial future. “The simplest thing is that instead of them calling you and saying, ‘Hey, it’s time for an annual meeting,’ I’m the one that calls them,” explains the Los Angeles-based business manager. And, despite the challenges of the pandemic during the past year and a half, Campeas says his “advice isn’t really changing” and that he is focused on developing plans that are “supposed to withstand any kind of situation.”
Pandemic habit I hope people keep “Cleanliness, handwashing and sanitizing.”
Joe McGill (Topline Business Management)
For McGill, business management allows him to combine his smarts for numbers and money with his passion for entertainment and sports. After working for top industry boutiques, McGill in 2017, along with his business partner Bryan Meyer, started Topline Business Management and “hit the ground running,” McGill says. The firm prides itself on having personal relationships with its clients, who include Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown, Godzilla vs. Kong director Adam Wingard and rising actress Aliyah Royale. That means being reachable on group chats and having meaningful conversations outside of just money matters.
If I weren’t a business manager, I’d be … “When I was playing football in college, I wanted to go to the NFL. I’ve got a passion for football and basketball, so I think probably coaching. Maybe teaching [math].”
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