Relativity hires Bertram as COO, CFO

Exec was prexy of Par Home Entertainment

Relativity Media’s evolution toward becoming a full-fledged minimajor took another big step Thursday. Company has added a key player in Steve Bertram, who has come aboard as chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

The hire of Bertram, formerly prexy of business operations for Paramount Home Entertainment, follows the promotion of Andrew Marcus to president of corporate development and strategy and the addition of JoeMatukewicz as senior veep of worldwide acquisitions just ahead of the Sundance film fest. Relativity also announced a few weeks ago that it was in final negotiations with FilmNation Entertainment for an exclusive multi-year deal under which FilmNation will oversee foreign sales and distribution of Relativity titles.

Bertram, who replaces the ankling Bill Sutman as CFO, will oversee the day-to-day operations for Relativity, including the building and managing of the company’s domestic and international distribution relationships. He’ll directly report to prexy Michael Joe in his COO functions and to Relativity topper Ryan Kavanaugh as CFO.

“He brings with him deep and extensive expertise at a time when our company has delivered on the promise of becoming a fully functioning, full-service studio,” Kavanaugh said. “As our business ventures continue to grow, Steve’s expertise will prove invaluable.”

Relativity didn’t comment on Sutman leaving the CFO slot, but a source with knowledge of the situation indicated he’s leaving to pursue new endeavors and that the departure was amicable.

Prior to his stint at Par, Bertram was CFO of DreamWorks and was involved in negotiating its 2006 sale to Viacom after the separation from DreamWorks Animation. He became CFO of DreamWorks after DreamWorks Animation split off as a public company in 2004.

Relativity absorbed Overture Films’ distribution and marketing operation to transform itself into a full-fledged minimajor last summer by adding distribution capabilities to its financing and production business.

Kavanaugh rose to prominence in Hollywood six years ago through arranging studio slate financing deals with hedge fund money — which was pouring into Hollywood at that point. Relativity has evolved since then from a financing company into a production entity that has financed, co-financed or produced more than 200 features.

Relativity’s slate includes “Take Me Home Tonight,” set to bow March 4; “Limitless” on March 18; and a 3D shark thriller on Sept. 2.

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