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ICM Partners has acquired storied speakers agency Royce Carlton, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The two firms already have a relationship, sharing multiple clients over the years, including Alan Alda and writers Thomas Friedman and Ken Auletta. Royce Carlton’s exclusive roster of speakers includes Mitch Albom, Fareed Zakaria, Anne-Marie Slaughter and Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during Barack Obama’s second presidential term.
“It’s very hard to buy personal service businesses. It all comes down to personality and chemistry,” ICM managing director Chris Silbermann tells THR. “We have years of history together and it was just so organic to combine. They’ll get an expanded platform, and we’ll have more resources to have more people covering the world.”
Royce Carlton, which was founded in 1968 by Carlton Sedgeley and Lucy Lepage and has 16 agents, will continue to operate under its own name and will be joined by the nine agents in ICM’s existing speakers division, whose clients include John Cena, Caroline Kennedy, Mark and Jay Duplass, Shonda Rhimes and Vince Gilligan. Royce Carlton will maintain its headquarters in Manhattan while also operating out of ICM’s in Los Angeles.
ICM head of digital ventures and lectures Jonathan Perelman, an experienced public speaker from his days as an executive at Google and then Buzzfeed, will run Royce Carlton, with Sedgeley and Lepage also overseeing the combined business during the transition. “This is a perfectly timed, strategic move for us that assures our agents and staff, as well as our clients, a long-term transition plan, while giving us access to more resources and clients to grow the agency while continuing to provide the best possible service to the people we represent,” say Sedgeley and Lepage, who are married.
“Royce Carlton is the prestige brand in the speakers business and we couldn’t be more excite to integrate our robust roster and team with their outstanding clients and agents,” Perelman said in a statement. “The combination gives us a far greater footprint in the speakers’ world, and will enable significant growth for ICM Partners.”
Last month, UTA also acquired a speakers bureau, the elite New York-based Greater Talent Network. At that time, ICM and Royce Carlton had already been in talks for more than a year and a half. This move marks ICM’s second major acquisition since forming its partnership five years ago. This past February, the agency launched a broadcasting department via the acquisition of Headline Media Management.
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