Marking the first time in 70 years that it hasn’t been totally owned within the family, The Gersh Agency has sold a 45% stake to New York-based private equity firm Crestview Partners.
The talent agency hasn’t divulged the amount of equity its new partner is investing, but both sides said the aim is to accelerate Gersh’s domestic and international growth by expanding firm resources to support a growing staff and client roster. Deal was announced by Gersh Co-Presidents Bob and David Gersh and Brian Cassidy, Co-President and Head of Media at Crestview.
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Longtime Senior Managing Partner Leslie Siebert has been elevated to Co-President, alongside David and Bob Gersh. Siebert will also join the Gersh brothers and members of Crestview on a newly formed board of directors. Siebert’s appointment represents the first step of Gersh’s long-planned management transition, the agency said.
Gersh was founded in 1949 by Phil Gersh, and at present has about 300 employees, 125 of them agents, in Beverly Hills and New York offices, and thousands of clients with a lean in on meat and potato actors who populate films and TV series. Gersh becomes the latest to welcome in an equity infusion, something that agencies CAA, WME and UTA did years ago.
“For over seven decades, we have maintained our independence as an agency because we felt this allowed us to be the firmest advocates for our clients,” Bob Gersh said in a statement. “We knew we found the right partners in Crestview, as it was clear they were completely aligned with our agency ethos, and that they would bring to bear meaningful experience and infrastructure to support our continued growth as a client-first agency,”
“We are very proud of our agency and all we, and our clients, have accomplished together,” David Gersh said. “The opportunity to partner with Crestview will provide us greater flexibility to advance as an institution. We have a prestigious, diverse, and tightly held group of agents and clients. We will continue our unique brand of representation and will always hold ourselves to the highest standard of hands-on bespoke representation. We will be aggressive in our growth while never abandoning what makes us special to our clients or our team.”
Said Crestview’s Cassidy: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Gersh on the agency’s next growth stage. We have long admired Gersh’s unwavering commitment to best-in-class client representation and are honored to become Gersh’s first equity partner in the agency’s long and storied history.”
Siebert has been a stalwart rep and leader at the agency, and putting a woman on the board is significant development for the agency.
“Our partnership with Crestview and our new management structure, made up of a strong leadership team, is an exciting next step in continuing the agency’s momentum and success,” Siebert said. “Our core principles have always guided us to provide our clients with more detailed and targeted career opportunities. That focus on the business of client representation will not change.”
Gersh was advised by investment bank Houlihan Lokey and Sidley Austin LLP. Crestview was advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.
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