Under the terms of the deal, London-based Curtis Brown Group, founded in 1899, will continue to operate under its current name and management, including CEO Jonny Geller. The structure will allow both parries to continue their longstanding relationships with other agency partners in the U.K. and U.S.
“The union is driven by a shared desire to ensure greater opportunities for clients across an increasingly global entertainment and culture landscape, in which traditional buyers and distributors such as studios and streaming services are expanding far beyond their home markets. The alliance provides Curtis Brown Group with resources to continue to build out its business, and the benefit of UTA’s expertise across a wide range of capabilities in such areas as brands, podcasts, digital talent, endorsements, media rights, data analytics and more,” the companies said in a statement.
UTA and companies in the Curtis Brown Group have collaborated for several years, working with talent like Damian Lewis, Lily James, Alicia Vikander, Bel Powley, as well as the new Doctor Who Ncuti Gatwa. The two ventures also share representation of screenwriters such as David Farr (“The Night Manager”), Georgia Pritchett (“Succession”), and Tony Roche (“The Thick of It”).
Curtis Brown is known for bestselling authors including Margaret Atwood, Jojo Moyes, Lucy Foley, Lisa Jewell, Matt Haig, Nigella Lawson, and Ben Macintyre and manages the literary estates of Ian Fleming, John le Carré, Daphne du Maurier, A.A. Milne, and John Steinbeck. Over the last decade it has made several high profile acquisitions of other leading U.K. talent companies, including Markham Froggatt & Irwin in 2020, Tavistock Wood in 2018, Ed Victor in 2017 and C&W in 2013.
David Kramer, co-president of UTA, said: “This move is about the vanishing borders of the global entertainment business and our united determination to ensure artists and creators remain at the heart of the opportunities ahead. UTA and Curtis Brown Group have known each other and worked together for years, and we couldn’t be more excited to be taking this step together at a time when the UK’s creative industries are thriving. For UTA, this was driven by the profound respect we have for the Curtis Brown leadership, their deep roots in the U.K., the team they’ve assembled, and their company culture. We’re coming together in a way that is designed to ensure Curtis Brown’s business and team – and their way of doing business in the markets they know best – continues to flourish and grow.”
Jonny Geller, CEO of Curtis Brown Group, said: “We have long admired UTA under the leadership of David Kramer and its CEO, Jeremy Zimmer. Curtis Brown’s deep understanding of the European market combined with their culture of collaboration and innovation offers our company and our clients many great opportunities. This partnership will allow Curtis Brown to grow and to respond to the demands of an increasingly globalised world. We have always prided ourselves on our ability to nurture new talent across all our departments and provide an open and inclusive culture, and we are excited to begin a new chapter in this wonderful company’s 123-year-old history.”
Jeremy Zimmer, co-Founder and CEO of UTA, added: “The brand of Curtis Brown has been synonymous with great storytelling and rigorous artist representation for more than a century. We are thrilled to align with such a great team. As the world of media grows and contorts, UTA is looking for great partnerships to drive our growth. In Curtis Brown, we believe we have found just such a partnership.”
No staffing reductions are anticipated due to the acquisition. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.