Shapiro, now WG&S’ newest partner, shut down his boutique practice on Sunset Blvd. and moved with his staff to the company’s headquarters in West Los Angeles.
WG&S clients include Shailene Woodley, Jared Leto, Richard Gere and Metallica. Shapiro, who founded his firm 38 years ago, started mostly with music clients and diversified into film and TV. One of his clients, Tom Ford, bridges the worlds of film and fashion.
The two features Ford directed, 2009’s “A Single Man” and 2016’s “Nocturnal Animals” both garnered critical acclaim. (Pictured above: Ford with “Nocturnal Animals” stars Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal)
Wasserman emphasizes the merged companies’ capabilities. “We have the ability to manage complexity and to administer investment structures for high-net-worth individuals,” he says. “The merger brings together a talented group of professionals.”
“We have the capability, the infrastructure and the skill set that our clients require,” adds WG&S partner Andrew Crow.
Overtures for a merger began following Variety’s Business Managers Elite breakfast in November, during which Wasserman, a trustee on the board of the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, received Variety’s Business Managers Elite Award.
Shapiro says the merger was an important step in keeping up with transformations in the industry. “Our business is changing because of what’s happening around us,” he says. For example, he notes that in music, as the record labels have shrunk they’ve abdicated some of their functions, and business managers have stepped in. “We have software to administer royalties,” he says. “We can do the complicated work that record companies used to do.”
“I’ve known Eric for 30 years,” adds Shapiro. “I’ve had many suitors. Eric took me to dinner and planted the right seed. It’s not about size. It’s about service to the clients.”