Top ICM Agent Bart Walker Jumps to Gersh as Senior Partner, Brings A-Listers David Byrne, Sofia Coppola, Spike Lee and Others

Many agents have left and landed at rivals following CAA’s recent acquisition of ICM

Veteran literary agent Bart Walker is joining the Gersh Agency as senior partner after having spent the last 10 years as a partner with ICM, TheWrap has confirmed.

Walker brings with him top clients across film, television, and theater, including Oscar winners and nominees David Byrne, Lisa Cholodenko, Sofia Coppola, Tamara Jenkins, Spike Lee, Mira Nair, Oliver Stone and Thomas Vinterberg. Others such as Cannes, Venice and Sundance prize winners Mati Diop, Michel Franco, Mia Hansen-Love, Jim Jarmusch, the Kloster Brothers and Lorenzo Vigas will also be following Walker over to Gersh.

Walker is one of many ICM agents who exited the legacy agency upon it being acquired and absorbed into CAA earlier this summer, many of whom have landed at other rival agencies, entered management or left representation altogether.

“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.”

“Bart Walker is a brilliant agent with impeccable taste. 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,” Gersh partners Bob Gersh, David Gersh and Leslie Siebert said in a joint statement.

Walker became a partner with ICM in 2012, but his career at ICM actually extends way back to 1991, when through 2004 he worked as an agent, rising to the head of the New York Motion Picture department. He spent three years at CAA before partnering with John Sloss at Cinetic Media in 2007. 

In that time he shepherded such films as “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire,” “The Kids Are Alright” and the documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” In 2010, Walker and Sloss co-founded Producers Distribution Agency, a company focused on developing alternative theatrical distribution models for independent films. Walker then rejoined ICM as a partner in 2012.