CAA has tapped Time Warner alumnus James Burtson to serve as its chief financial officer.
Burtson comes to CAA after leading Time Warner’s global mergers and acquisitions department as senior VP. He was instrumental in the company’s transformations through spinoffs during the past decade of Time Warner Cable, AOL and Time Inc. He succeeds Jeff Berry, who held the CFO post at the agency for three and half years.
Burtson’s takes the reins on July 13.
“CAA is experiencing incredible growth as we continue to expand the ways we serve clients and capitalize on new opportunities in the converging space of technology, content, sports and media,” said CAA president Richard Lovett. “The addition of Jim, someone who has driven strategy for growing and dynamic businesses, is a meaningful next step in our company’s evolution. His blend of deep financial and strategic experience will ensure that we continue along the path of strategically building our unique and growing global platform.”
In announcing Burtson’s appointment, CAA emphasized that the agency has made six acquisitions during the past 18 months, mostly in the sports arena, and it has stepped up investment activity through the $350 million Evolution Media Partners fund, managed through its Evolution Media Capital investment banking unit, with TPG and Participant Media. The increased financial activity comes after private equity giant TPG invested an estimated $250 million in CAA last October. That deal left TPG with just over 50% ownership of the agency.
“In addition to operating as the premiere sports and entertainment agency in the world, CAA continues to rapidly expand its business into new areas, strategically growing its global and diversified platform,” said TPG co-founder Jim Coulter. “Jim’s demonstrated combination of strategic expertise, financial acumen and industry experience makes him the ideal person to help lead CAA into its next chapter of growth.”
Burtson’s appointment is sure to drive increased speculation that CAA is eyeing an IPO in the future. Before heading the M&A operation, Burtson spearheaded Time Warner’s investor relations initiatives.
“CAA’s track record of industry leadership, and its constant innovation pushing the sector forward, has created a company and platform like no other,” said Burtson. “They have an incredibly strong, stable and diversified company with a singular purpose – to create every possible advantage for its clients in a world where opportunities are exploding as content, brands, technology, sports, and live events intersect in more ways than ever.”