Former A&M/Octone Head James Diener Aligns Artist Capital With BlackRock Funding
April 6, 2015 at 12:02 PM (PT)
Former A&M/OCTONE head JAMES DIENER and veteran private equity investor HOWARD LIPSON have formed ALIGNMENT ARTIST CAPITAL, a new financial firm with funding from BLACKROCK INC., the world’s leading asset manager. ALIGNMENT will offer established music artists a new financing option that will allow them to expand their brands and careers, fuel growth and fund innovative, creative projects.
With equity funding from BLACKROCK ALTERNATIVE INVESTORS (BAI) accounts, ALIGNMENT will work with artists who have already built a foundation of creative and business initiatives such as recorded music, songwriting, producing, touring, TV and film, merchandising and licensing, social media and more. The company will build a diversified portfolio of structured investments in targeted artist and related entities that will initially range from $5 million to $20 million per transaction. In turn, artists who receive capital from ALIGNMENT will have access to funding for a diverse set of revenue streams and to help them pursue business objectives under a new model that co-exists with the industry’s existing recording, publishing and touring agreements.
The founding of ALIGNMENT reunites DIENER with LIPSON, who along with other professional investors were key strategic and financial backers of OCTONE. OCTONE discovered and developed worldwide superstars MAROON 5, as well as platinum acts such as HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD, FLYLEAF and K’NAAN, among others. The private equity-backed OCTONE pioneered the “upstream” model by securing their artists further major record label marketing and promotional support. In 2013, DIENER sold his 50% share of A&M/OCTONE to UMG.
“The way recording artists create and realize their ambitions is unique; it doesn’t always fit the conventional structure or traditional model,” said DIENER. ”We now provide an innovative financial product backed by BLACKROCK, the world’s most successful asset manager, for artists with an existing foundation of work. We aim to provide them with a new financing source to pursue a range of creative objectives, over and above their current industry relationships. It’s invaluable and empowering for artists to have aligned financial support and regular access to capital. We believe this approach is right for the times ahead and, in the coming years, will be a contributing factor in helping artists to achieve their professional and personal aspirations.”
Joining DIENER and LIPSON on the ALIGNMENT ARTIST CAPITAL Board of Directors is BAI Global Head/Chief Investment Officer MATT BOTEIN and Managing Dir. PATRICK RIORDAN, who spearheaded this investment on behalf of BLACKROCK. In addition, KATHERINE CHEN has joined ALIGNMENT as Chief Investment Officer, coming from THE PILOT GROUP with previous positions at MOELIS & COMPANY and BANK OF AMERICA MERRILL LYNCH.