Cowan weds Bannon

Purchase pushes SocGen more into media

SG Cowan Securities Corp., the Wall Street arm of French bank Societe Generale, acquired Beverly Hills media investment bank Bannon & Co. for an undisclosed sum, Cowan announced Friday.

The acquisition highlights SocGen’s push to beef up Cowan’s investment banking effort in several major industries, including media and entertainment, since the French bank bought Cowan last year.

SocGen and Bannon formed a joint venture in late 1996, but this deal brings Bannon into the bank completely. Bannon’s two principals, Steve Bannon and Scot Vorse, will join SG Cowan as co-heads of the firm’s investment banking media and entertainment group, Cowan said.


Cowan’s head of investment banking, Kim Fennebresque, said Friday that after 18 months of the joint venture, both sides had to “either get married or get divorced, and everybody wanted to get married.”

He declined to comment on the terms of the acquisition other than to say “obviously it was something that made everybody economically happy. We have compensated (Vorse and Bannon) generously.”

Bannon will relocate to Cowan’s Gotham headquarters, while Vorse will continue to hold down the fort at the firm’s Beverly Hills office.

Additionally, Cowan media investment banker Stephanie Young moved into the firm’s equity capital markets group to focus on media and entertainment capital-raisings.

Opened for Hatch

SG Cowan also confirmed the hiring of research analyst Ed Hatch from Warburg Dillon Read to head up the firm’s media research effort (Daily Variety, 10/2). Hatch, who replaces Harold Vogel, will work alongside Cowan’s location-based entertainment analyst Paul Marsh and cable analyst Gary Farber.

Bannon & Co. have built a franchise since its founding in 1990, representing such clients as Polygram, Westinghouse and MGM. The firm advised Polygram Holdings during the negotiations on its sale to Seagram Co. earlier this year and has been representing Polygram Filmed Entertainment during the auction of PFE over the past few months.

“Adding the successful and highly focused advisory practice of Bannon & Co. to SG’s significant financial resources and global reach … will make us an even stronger provider of integrated financial solutions to the entertainment and media industries,” said SG Cowan CEO Curtis Welling.

Vorse said in a statement that “SG’s global platform … will give our team of bankers a unique opportunity to assist both emerging growth and large capitalization companies in the entertainment and media industries.”

More Biz

  • Recording Academy President/CEO Deborah Dugan participates

    Executive Assistant Preparing Lawsuit Against Ousted Grammy Chief

    In the latest twist in the increasingly bitter exit of Deborah Dugan from the Recording Academy after just five months, the ousted president/CEO is about to face a lawsuit from her former assistant, Claudine Little, who has retained former Harvey Weinstein/ Charlie Walk attorney Patty Glaser to represent her, two sources tell Variety. The news was [...]

  • Two Rivers Media Buys Out Parent

    Two Rivers Media Buys Out Parent Kew Media Group's Stake In Business

    Two Rivers Media has bought out parent group Kew Media Group’s minority stake in the business. Formed by former STV Productions head Alan Clements in January 2019, the production outfit behind Channel 5’s recent “Susan Hill’s Ghost Story” launched with the backing of Kew, Noble Grossart Investments and Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund. Noble Grossart [...]

  • Grammy Awards 60th Annual Grammy Awards,

    Recording Academy Paid Millions Annually to Outside Law Firms

    Among the concerns listed in a memo sent to the Recording Academy’s head of HR by president/CEO Deborah Dugan before she was placed on administrative leave Thursday was an item about the organization’s “exorbitant and unnecessary” legal fees to outside law firms, according to sources familiar with the document. According to the most recent 990 [...]

  • Chuck D of Public EnemyGods of

    Public Enemy’s Chuck D Slams Grammys Over Deborah Dugan Ouster

    Chuck D, frontman of Public Enemy — who are receiving the Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Grammys next week — posted a long statement on Instagram criticizing the Recording Academy over its sudden ousting of new president/CEO Deborah Dugan yesterday. Dugan, who had been in the job only five months, was placed on administrative leave after [...]

  • Any Given Wednesday With Bill Simmons

    Spotify in Talks to Acquire Bill Simmons' The Ringer: Report

    Spotify is in early talks to acquire The Ringer, the digital content and podcast network launched by ESPN alum Bill Simmons in 2016, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. A representative for Spotify declined to comment on the report. Reps for Ringer did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Spotify’s [...]

  • Deborah Dugan arrives for the 20th

    Deborah Dugan's Recording Academy Ouster Follows Multiple Tussles With Board

    “Change is afoot,” Deborah Dugan said more than once during interviews with Variety in the weeks before her shocking removal from her post as president/CEO of the Recording Academy after just five months on the job. During those conversations, Dugan spoke of changes she planned to make in the Academy’s staffing organization, its Board of [...]

  • Weinstein Trial

    Does Harvey Weinstein's Jury Selection Strategy Make Any Sense?

    Harvey Weinstein’s defense team appeared to have a strategy for jury selection: keep white women off the panel. They didn’t put it that way, because picking jurors based on race or gender is illegal. But on Thursday and again on Friday, prosecutor Joan Illuzzi accused the defense of using its peremptory challenges to systematically exclude [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content