LONDON — Sue Latimer, head of talent at the William Morris Agency’s London office, is quitting to join rival agency Curtis Brown.
Observers said this key loss could well foreshadow a larger defection that has been expected in London since Jim Wiatt took over at the percentery in late September, prompting a companywide pruning of employees.
Immediately after the management changeover, which included the hire of David Wirtshcafter and Amy Ferris, WMA’s Gotham agents Johnnie Planco, Gene Parseghian and Carol Yumkas were let go, as were seven L.A.-based agents.
The focus is now on Charles Finch, who was installed by former WMA prexy Arnold Rifkin to compete head-to-head with ICM’s Duncan Heath. A key player in the WMA effort to justify the financial investment of the recently revamped offices, Finch’s next move is seen as a logical signpost for where WMA’s entire London effort is headed.
Latimer will head up a new talent division at Curtis Brown, one of London’s leading literary agencies, which has a growing stable of directors. Latimer’s roster of actors includes John Hannah (“The Mummy”), Helen Baxendale, Amanda Donohoe and Adrian Lester.
Her departure from WMA after 10 years is a significant blow to the U.S. agency’s ambitions to be a major player on the London actors’ scene, according to U.K. insiders. It also marks an important step in the evolution of Curtis Brown into a packaging agency.
“Our ability to represent the best writers, directors, playwrights and now actors will give Curtis Brown a greater presence in the world marketplace,” said Nick Marston, managing director of Curtis Brown’s media division.
“I am thrilled to be able to accept their offer … and to be a director of such a dynamic independent company,” Latimer said.