VIRGIN GOES GLOBAL WITH MTHEORY CHIEFS

Universal Music Group is launching the Virgin Music Group to unify UMG’s artist-services businesses globally under JT Myers and Nat Pastor, the founders of UMG’s recently acquired mtheory Artist Partnerships.

As co-CEOs, Myers and Pastor will lead the expansion of UMG’s independent-music capabilities across all of its business units and regions, reporting to UMG Chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge. The new division consists of Virgin Music Label & Artist Services, Ingrooves Music Group and mtheory Artist Partnerships. Myers and Pastor will also support UMG’s corporate business-development activities.

All Virgin Music Label & Artist Services regional hubs will become part of the Virgin Music Group, operating under a unified strategy while still leveraging the local A&R expertise and creative networks in their respective countries. This includes the Jacqueline Saturn-led Virgin Music Label & Artist Services in the U.S., which will evolve from a division of Capitol Music Group to a stand-alone company serving all UMG’s U.S. labels and partners.

“In order to remain the best home for artists and entrepreneurs, we must drive innovation in our own businesses—offering new and high-quality resources for artists from all corners of the world while continuing to lead the industry’s transformation,” Grainge said. “Nat and JT’s track record for creating forward-thinking partnerships with artists that are built on a foundation of trust, creativity and business acumen is exactly the kind of leadership we want for the new Virgin Music Group division. Together with our frontline labels and global footprint, Virgin Music Group offers artists unmatched creative and commercial support.”

Pastor and Myers co-founded mtheory in 2010 after holding senior strategy and corporate-development roles at Warner Music Group. The label, which creates equitable partnerships with artists, has scored more than 80 gold and platinum certifications in 23 countries, as well as Major Lazer’s 2015 diamond U.S. Top 5 “Lean On.”

mtheory’s manager-services business will remain fully independent under the leadership of newly appointed CEO Cameo Carlson. The company will spin off its MPRS Global royalty-administration platform for producers, of which mtheory co-founder Jon McMillan will become CEO.

Boyd Muir, UMG’s EVP, CFO and president of operations, said, “Expanding the community of artists, labels and entrepreneurs with whom we work presents a significant opportunity for us, strategically complementing our labels and leveraging UMG’s existing world-class infrastructure. Having worked with mtheory, I know that the vision for the growth of the industry that Nat and JT bring will be a great fit for UMG and our artists today and in the future.”

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