After nearly 23 years at the William Morris Agency, Jorge Pinos has launched his own entertainment company. Encino, Calif.-based JEP Entertainment Group -- which stands for Jorge Eduardo Pinos -- will

After nearly 23 years at the William Morris Agency, Jorge Pinos has launched his own entertainment company. Encino, Calif.-based JEP Entertainment Group -- which stands for Jorge Eduardo Pinos -- will operate as a booking firm, with a management component to follow by year's end.

JEP launches with a solid roster of clients, including Mexican icon Juan Gabriel and pop/Tejano artist Jennifer Peña, a constant on the touring circuit. Other acts include singer/actor Jaime Camil, who will play Ernesto in the upcoming Broadway production of "The Mambo Kings," alongside Esai Morales.

"Obviously, large agencies are good, and they're powerful," Pinos tells Billboard.biz. "But I've always contended that the person who is personally involved in an artist's career is the person who makes a difference in that career."

Pinos, who started at the mailroom of William Morris and ascended to senior VP, is credited with taking a host of Latin acts into mainstream consciousness. His client list has included Julio Iglesias, Gloria Estefan, Selena, Shakira and Arturo Sandoval, as well as non-Latin acts have included the Bee Gees, Paul Anka and Crosby, Stills & Nash.

Pinos worked acts not only in the United States and Latin America, but in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.