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After more than four decades, Harry Abrams is selling his namesake agency to a couple of trusted deputies.
The veteran agent, who will remain founder and advisor of Abrams Artists Agency, is transferring ownership to longtime Abrams executives Robert Attermann and Brian Cho, as well as new partner Adam Bold. Co-COO Attermann is now CEO, CFO Cho is president and COO and Bold, an entrepreneur and producer, will serve as chairman. Neal Altman, who served with Attermann as co-COO, is also a new owner of the agency.
“Abrams Artists Agency has been built on a strong ethos that the client always comes first; I know with this transition to new ownership with Robert, Brian and Adam at the helm that this will continue, and the next forty years will be filled with incredible growth and opportunity,” Abrams said in a statement. “Our clients and the agents here are to be commended in helping build this company to what it is today. I know the future is bright.”
Abrams has worked in agencies his entire career, starting in the mailroom at MCA Artists in 1957. He later became a television agent and was one of the many reps who struck out on their own after MCA acquired Universal Pictures in 1962 and was forced by the Justice Department to divest its talent agency business. In 1977, Abrams formed Abrams Artists Agency as a full-service firm, which today has offices in both New York and Los Angeles.
Attermann joined the agency a decade after its founding, starting in the New York talent department. As COO, he headed up all the talent divisions and also served as co-managing director of the New York office. Meanwhile, Cho was hired as a business affairs executive 19 years ago and became CFO as well as managing director of the L.A. office in 2015. The two men will manage the agency’s operations from both coasts.
“We are indebted to Harry for the leadership and guidance he has provided us in order to see this transition through,” they said in a joint statement. “We are excited about the future of Abrams Artists Agency — with our partner, Adam Bold — and know that collectively we will help continue a legacy as well as grow the business in a meaningful and profound way.”
Bold will be responsible for strategic growth for the agency. He founded independent investment management company The Mutual Fund Store in 1997 and sold it in 2016, and in 2013 he co-founded television production company Grandma’s House Entertainment. Bold also has partnered with Paul Feig in the digital company Powderkeg, which focuses on boosting female, LGBTQ and POC creators.
“We live in a time when both opportunities and pitfalls in the entertainment industry are changing rapidly because of digital trends and disruption to the traditional media landscape,” Bold said in a statement. “We will always be on the cutting edge of what will be most productive for our clients today, as well as whatever comes next. By fostering a culture of value and inclusion, we can implement ideas that will create numerous new benefits to our clients as Abrams Artists Agency becomes the benchmark for client experience in the industry.”
The new owners were represented by Sheppard Mullin partners Sid Fohrman and Linda Michaelson.
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David O. Russell