The $750 Million CAA-ICM Merger Will Benefit Mid-Sized Agencies, Says Gersh’s Leslie Siebert

The completion of CAA’s acquisition of ICM Partners last month set Hollywood buzzing about the future of the agency world, as the mega consolidation turned the Big Four (CAA, ICM, WME and UTA) into the Big Three.

The deal’s 10-month delayed close was immediately followed by news that more than 100 ICM staffers would not make the move over to CAA. While questions about how the integration will continue to impact the internal team remain top of mind, the entertainment industry is also looking for indications about how CAA’s $750 million purchase of ICM will impact everyone else, as well.

Speaking with Variety over email, The Gersh Agency senior managing partner Leslie Siebert detailed how she thinks the deal will ultimately benefit mid-sized agencies like her own.

What does the merger between CAA and ICM mean for the industry at large?

Leslie Siebert: Congratulations to CAA and ICM for their merger. It is a new day in the agency business, which highlights the difference between a mega-sized agency and a mid-sized agency. I truly believe this merger will benefit an agency of our size to be able to continue to provide a different service than an agency of CAA’s size. Here at Gersh we have always focused on our close relationships with clients and our unique perspective on how to build careers within the Hollywood community. Our principles guide us to provide clients with a more detailed and targeted career planning opportunity, which leads to success and longevity in Hollywood.

What does it mean for clients of these two companies?

LS: CAA has a wider scope of business than our agency. They will be dealing with multiple business platforms, where Gersh will remained focused on talent representation and building careers. The merger has already caused over 100 employees to lose their job, and in this current climate that is unfortunate. I am sure more restructuring will take place and we can only wait and see what that will entail. As a solid history of hands on representation, Gersh will continue to focus on our strengths; personalized, creative and strong negotiation skills to benefit our actors, writers and filmmakers. This merger gives us the opportunity to highlight our differences and give talent another option to strengthen and build their careers.

Are there specific parties that can benefit from the acquisition, beyond CAA?

LS: Honestly, I see the continued consolidation in the agency world benefitting mid-sized agencies like Gersh. Talent is looking for personal, aggressive, and focused representation. We offer that, and we also have the history, the strength, and the resources to grow businesses around big multi-hyphenate clients. We are the only privately owned agency whose interest is in the strongest representation of our clients. Plus, we have the strength and resources needed to navigate any and all projects, while also focusing on the best business and career outcome for our clients.

How do you think this will impact negotiations between agents and studios?

LS: The studios will continue to negotiate and be in business with artists of interest, regardless of their agency representation. Flexibility, not strong-arming, will always benefit all parties in a negotiation.

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