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UTA Acquires UK Literary and Talent Agency Curtis Brown Group

Agency founded in 1899 will continue to operate under its current name and management, including CEO Jonny Geller

United Talent Agency has acquired the legacy UK literary and talent agency Curtis Brown Group, UTA announced Monday.

Curtis Brown Group, which was founded in 1899, will continue to operate under its current name and management, including CEO Jonny Geller (pictured above at center). But the deal expands UTA’s international footprint and this structure will allow both Curtis Brown Group and UTA to continue their longstanding relationships with other agency partners in the UK and U.S. 

Curtis Brown has more than 240 employees and is expected to continue to grow as a result of this deal. No staffing reductions are anticipated due to this transaction. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The alliance provides Curtis Brown Group with resources to continue to build out its business, and the benefit of UTA’s expertise across a wide range of capabilities in such areas as brands, podcasts, digital talent, endorsements, media rights, data analytics and more. 

UTA and Curtis Brown Group have previously collaborated together with talent such as Damian Lewis, Lily James, Alicia Vikander, Bel Powley and rising star Ncuti Gatwa, who the BBC just named the next Dr. Who. The two ventures also share representation of screenwriters such as David Farr (“The Night Manager,” “Hanna”), Georgia Pritchett (“Succession,” “Veep” and “The Shrink Next Door”) and Tony Roche (“Succession,” “The Thick of It”). 

Curtis Brown Group also represents authors such as Margaret Atwood, Jojo Moyes, Lucy Foley, Lisa Jewell, Matt Haig, Nigella Lawson and Ben Macintyre and literary estates including those of Ian Fleming, John le Carré, Daphne du Maurier, A.A. Milne, and John Steinbeck. The agency has also acquired its own share of talent agencies over the last decade, including Markham Froggatt & Irwin in 2020, Tavistock Wood in 2018, Ed Victor in 2017 and C&W in 2013. Curtis Brown is also home to the world’s first creative writing course run by an agency.

“We have long admired UTA under the leadership of David Kramer and its CEO, Jeremy Zimmer. Curtis Brown’s deep understanding of the European market combined with their culture of collaboration and innovation offers our company and our clients many great opportunities,” Jonny Geller, CEO of Curtis Brown Group, said in a statement. “This partnership will allow Curtis Brown to grow and to respond to the demands of an increasingly globalized world. We have always prided ourselves on our ability to nurture new talent across all our departments and provide an open and inclusive culture, and we are excited to begin a new chapter in this wonderful company’s 123-year-old history.”

“This move is about the vanishing borders of the global entertainment business and our united determination to ensure artists and creators remain at the heart of the opportunities ahead,” David Kramer, co-president of UTA, said in a statement. “UTA and Curtis Brown Group have known each other and worked together for years, and we couldn’t be more excited to be taking this step together at a time when the UK’s creative industries are thriving. For UTA, this was driven by the profound respect we have for the Curtis Brown leadership, their deep roots in the UK, the team they’ve assembled, and their company culture. We’re coming together in a way that is designed to ensure Curtis Brown’s business and team – and their way of doing business in the markets they know best – continues to flourish and grow.”

“The brand of Curtis Brown has been synonymous with great storytelling and rigorous artist representation for more than a century,” Jeremy Zimmer, co-founder and CEO of UTA, added. “We are thrilled to align with such a great team. As the world of media grows and contorts, UTA is looking for great partnerships to drive our growth. In Curtis Brown, we believe we have found just such a partnership.”

Some of UTA’s other recent acquisitions in recent years include data company Mediahound just last week, media and marketing strategic advisory MediaLink and music talent agency Echo Location last year. UTA also took a significant stake in Klutch Sports Group in 2019.

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