ICM Partners has launched a digital strategy division to be run by former Warner Bros. executive Keyvan Peymani.
In his new role, Peymani (pictured left) will build the agency’s digital business, forming new ventures and advancing its current stable of talent across emerging platforms.
That could mean everything from seeking YouTube stars and Silicon Valley companies as clients to offering existing clients new opportunities in the digital space.
Peymani will lead these efforts, and ICM is confident his background working with both traditional Hollywood and major technology executives makes him the right hire.
“Keyvan is a seasoned digital executive with an enviable track record in launching digital businesses. He will offer the agency and our clients a stronger foothold at the convergence of entertainment and technology, serving as a strategic advisor for digital marketing, interactive entertainment and the investment in new areas of business for the agency,” the partnership said in a statement.
Along with this announcement, ICM Partners said George Ruiz, who had run the new media division, will “transition out of the agency” but still manage his clients.
The announcement comes in the wake of ICM's buyout of private equity firm Rizvi Traverse and chairman Jeff Berg in late May. The agency is now a partnership, which the new partners vowed would enable the company to invest in new businesses, agents and clients.
This is the first of those new investments, and the agency will hire more people to fill out the digital division’s ranks.
Peymani last served as VP of direct-to-consumer business planning and operations at Warner Bros. He is also a faculty member of USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
His new division signals Hollywood's slow but growing recognition of the popularity of digital platforms. Major stars have signed up for shows on Hulu and Yahoo while studios use apps to market their films. Even agencies are furthering their integration with Silicon Valley.
Though WME co-founder Ari Emanuel chastised Google at least week’s AllThingsD Conference, his agency recently sold almost a third of its business to Silicon Valley venture capital firm Silver Lake Partners as part of a "strategic partnership."
Meanwhile, various agencies and management companies with a greater focus on digital entertainment, such as The Collective, continue to crop up.
Peymani will look to further that progress at ICM.
“ICM Partners represents the leaders in the creation of entertainment, and with the revolutions in social and digital media, the rise of new technologies and the growing partnerships between Silicon Valley and Hollywood, I am excited to leverage the agency’s assets in all areas of business to further strengthen its presence in the digital space,” he said in a statement.