Walker’s move comes shortly after fellow Hollywood talent agency CAA’s acquisition of ICM this June. Following the acquisition, Walker opted to leave the company, where he has worked since 2012.
Walker is expected to bring a large number of his clients with him to Gersh, with names such as David Bryne, Sofia Coppola, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, Thomas Vinterberg, Mia Hansen-Love, Jim Jarmusch, Mati Diop, Tamara Jenkins, Mira Nair, Michel Franco and Lorenzo Vigas.
“Bart Walker is a brilliant agent with impeccable taste,” Gersh senior partners Bob and David Gersh and Leslie Siebert said in a joint statement. “The list of filmmakers he represents is formidable and we anticipate amazing integration with our existing clients. He is one of this industry’s unique agents with an expertise in sourcing financing and securing distribution. With Bart in the New York office, he will bolster Gersh’s already strong presence in talent, theatre, books to film, production and branding. We have deep respect for Bart, his clients and his experience, and we are looking forward to him becoming a leader for our company.”
A graduate of Harvard Law School, Walker started his career as an entertainment attorney in ICM’s business affairs division, and worked in independent film finance and distribution for Cinecom. From 1991 to 2004, he worked as an agent for ICM, becoming head of the agency’s film department in New York. He spent three years as an agent at CAA before joining Cinetic Media in 2007, where he worked on films such as “Precious,” “The Kids Are Alright” and “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” With John Sloss, Walker founded Producers Distribution Agency in 2010, a distribution company for independent films. In 2012, he rejoined ICM as a partner.
“The challenge of the moment in representation is focus and advocacy that is specific to the individual clients,” Walker said in a statement. “My clients and I are thrilled to be joining the team at Gersh. David, Bob and Leslie have created a unique environment, and the agents there have impressed me across the board with their clarity about what it means to represent artists with passion and skill. I believe this is the direction of the future.”