Lyndsay Harding as Chief Financial Officer at United Talent Agency, thereby becoming the first female ever in a CFO post at a major talent agency. (The smaller Gersh Agency has had Jennifer Kullman as their CFO for about seven years now.) Harding joins UTA after serving in the same capacity at Amblin Partners. Harding takes over from Jeff Dalla Betta who served as UTA’s CFO for 20 years. She takes her new post on March 19.
She will report to Andrew Thau, UTA’s Chief Operating Officer, and is considered a key executive to the future growth of the agency that has set its sights on expanding its business both here and abroad. To that end, UTA has been acquiring other businesses, including speakers’ bureau Greater Talent Network last year, the 2015 acquisition of the world’s largest independent music agency, The Agency Group and the 2014 acquisition of news and broadcasting agency, N.S. Bienstock.
Harding started in the entertainment industry as a senior VP at MGM overseeing corporate development and financial planning for the studio. She took her first CFO position at digital start-up Evergreen Studios. In 2014, she moved into DreamWorks as CFO and was credited with being a key member helping to both formulate Amblin Partners and securing a $500M credit facility and new distribution partnership with Universal Pictures.
She also helped structure a comprehensive strategic partnership with Alibaba Pictures and facilitated the expansion of Amblin’s relationship with Universal through Universal’s acquisition of a minority stake in the company.
“Lyndsay is an important addition to UTA’s accomplished senior management team,” said Thau. “A highly regarded and respected executive, Lyndsay brings tremendous experience both within the entertainment business and finance. As we continue to take advantage of the tremendous transformation taking place in an increasingly complex industry, Lyndsay’s role will be pivotal to our further diversification and growth.”
Harding began her career in New York as an Investment Banking Analyst in the Mergers and Acquisitions group at Goldman Sachs and then as an Associate at JPMorgan Partners, the private equity arm of JPMorgan Chase.
“Through acquisitions and expansion of its core business, UTA has built a platform that’s poised for tremendous growth,” said Harding. “I’m thrilled to be joining UTA at such an exciting time for the company and to be part of the leadership team that will build on past success to take UTA to the next level. While saying goodbye to my Amblin family won’t be easy, Jeremy Zimmer and the entire team at UTA have created a very special place, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to impact its future direction.”
UTA also helped to start the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund that will provide subsidized legal support to women and men who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace.