I just obtained a draft copy of Jeff Berg’s news release announcing his Resolution full-service talent and literary agency. There’s not much new compared with what I scooped on Sunday (EXCLUSIVE: Jeff Berg Opens New Agency ‘Resolution’ Monday; UPDATE: Investor ID) except that principal investor Jahm Najafi will serve on Resolution’s Board of Directors:
Jeffrey Berg has announced the formation of Resolution, a new full-service talent and literary agency, which has opened in Los Angeles and New York. Mr. Berg, who served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ICM for 27 years, will be the Chairman of Resolution. Entertainment entrepreneur, film and television producer and music agent Jeff Franklin, will serve as Chief Operating Officer.
“As a founding shareholder, I am delighted to partner with Najafi Companies, a strategic private investment firm in the media industry, and Jeff Franklin, a recognized agent and builder in the music business, to launch Resolution. I look forward to working with an exceptional and diverse team of talents to provide our clients with the highest level of advisory and transactional services.” Mr. Najafi will serve on Resolution’s Board of Directors along with Mr. Berg and Mr. Franklin. Jahm Najafi, CEO of Najafi Companies added, “There is no smarter, strategic and knowledgeable agent than Jeff Berg. We look forward to sharing and building this progressive agency in an evolving entertainment marketplace.”
“We are fortunate to have Jahm and his team as our financial partners,” Mr. Berg said. “They are respected and experienced investors who share our passion for the worldwide entertainment community and bring deep critical industrial insights to our company.”
Mr. Franklin added, “With new office space secured and construction completed, our focus is to now expand the recruitment of agents to create a new enduring institution in our industry. Resolution will be active in all of the critical entertainment areas: film, television, theater, music, literary publishing, digital media, and marketing consultation.”
Resolution will focus on the core functions of talent representation but will also provide a wide range of financial and advisory services including the sale of libraries and catalogues, financial transactions for media companies, raising capital for independent and studio films, providing restructuring advice and the sale and licensing of independently financed films and television series to the domestic and international markets.
“After a long run at my former company, I want to re-engage in a new business again as an owner-operator, and Jahm and Jeff became my logical partners,” Mr. Berg stated. “Resolution has a business plan that allows for internal growth, and it also has the committed capital for outside strategic acquisitions.”
The executive team will include former WME Vice President of Finance and Controller Laura Li who will become Resolution’s Chief Financial Officer; former Universal Pictures and MGM senior international marketing and distribution executive Randy Greenberg who will serve as Co-Head of Operations and Business Development; and former Universal Pictures Executive-Vice President of Business Affairs and former CEO of Intermedia Pictures Jon Gumpert will act as General Counsel and Head of Business Affairs.
Jeffrey Berg began his career in 1969 as a literary and film agent at Creative Management Associates (CMA). Following CMA’s merger with IFA, which created ICM, Berg ran the literary and motion picture department. In 1980, he was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer, and in 1985, he became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. In 1988, Berg was part of a management team that took ICM private in a leveraged buyout financed by Chase Manhattan Bank and subsequently City National Bank. In 2005, Rizvi Traverse acquired ICM in a deal that brought in the first private equity investors to the agency business. In 2012, Mr. Berg and Rizvi Traverse sold their interest to the present ICM management group. Mr. Berg served as Co-Chairman of the California Information Technology Council. He has been a Director of Oracle Corp., since February 1997. He serves on the Board of Trustees and Board of Visitors of The Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles at UCLA. He served as a Member of the California Entertainment Commission and the President of the Executive Board of the College of Letters and Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. He has also lectured on Management and Finance in the arts at The London School of Economics where he was a member of its Court of Governors. Mr. Berg has been involved in the production financing and sale of over 500 films. In 1991, he was awarded the Cavaliere Ufficiale of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy. Mr. Berg holds a BA in English from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Liberal Arts from the University of Southern California.
Jeff Franklin is an entertainment industry entrepreneur, film and television producer, and one of the foremost music agents in the entertainment industry. Jeff Franklin and his Agency ATI represented some of the recording industry’s most successful and honored rock and rhythm and blues artists including Neil Young, Bob Seger, ACDC, KISS, Rod Stewart, Black Sabbath, Marvin Gaye, Deep Purple, Ozzie Osborn, Yes, Beach Boys, Guns and Roses and The Eagles just to name a few. His experience extends beyond these sectors into publishing, branded entertainment, new media and music publishing. Mr. Franklin was a partner in Casablanca Records and Film Works and Mr. Franklin is currently Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ATI, where he has served since 1970. In 1980, he sold his music business to International Creative Management (ICM), where he remained a consultant at the agency for five years following the merger. Through the formation of ATI Video, Mr. Franklin enjoyed a further successful television career, essentially creating music television with “Night Flight,” which ran on USA Network for sixteen hours a week for nine years, and an additional three years in syndication. ATI produced over 5,000 hours of the show. Mr. Franklin is considered an expert in international co-financing of filmed entertainment content.
Najafi Companies is an international private investment firm based in Phoenix, Arizona, with offices in New York, Paris, Toronto and holdings in sectors including consumer, media, technology, industrial, energy and real estate across seven countries including Columbia House, SkyMall, Direct Brands and Cinram. The Najafi Companies make highly-selective investments in companies with strong management teams across a variety of industries, often in areas undergoing rapid technological transformation. The firm takes a long-term view on its investments and focuses its efforts to create value through growth and superior performance. Najafi Companies funds its investments with internally generated capital, not through a fund. Free from the restrictions of a fund, the firm is able to move quickly and decisively when investing, and with no requirements to return capital to outside partners, Najafi Companies is able to make investments that create maximum value for the long term.
Resolution is located at 1801 Century Park East, 23rd Floor, Los Angeles CA 90067.