BMG Rights Management Enters U.S.

Germany's BMG Rights Management has started a U.S. operation with the opening of offices in New York, Los Angeles and Nashville.

Laurent Hubert has been appointed COO, North America. He will work from the company's New York office. Hubert spent seven years at Bertelsmann's former music publishing arm, BMG Music Publishing, most recently as Worldwide COO and executive board member at the company's New York offices.

Deirdre O'Hara has been appointed CCO, North America, and will work out of Los Angeles and New York. She has held creative and executive positions at CBS Songs, SBK Music Publishing, EMI Music Publishing and Sony/ATV. O'Hara has signed and worked with such artists and writers as Babyface, Sarah McLachlan, Mariah Carey, Dr. Dre, Spin Doctors and Alice Cooper. Both will report to Hartwig Masuch, CEO of BMG Rights Management in Berlin.

"Since we started in 2008, BMG Rights Management has been offering transparent and client-oriented music rights management," said Masuch in a statement. "Songwriters and artists in Europe have responded extremely well to our service-oriented approach and we are convinced this business model will be successful in the United States, too, as enormous interest expressed by industry professionals and initial signings have already confirmed."

Masuch added: "I'm very pleased to welcome Laurent Hubert to BMG Rights Management. He is an exceptional executive with years of invaluable experience in the music industry. His proven expertise in business operations, as well as in M&A, strategic planning and corporate development, make him the perfect fit for establishing our presence in the U.S.

"Deirdre O'Hara is an outstanding music publisher with an excellent reputation among artists, writers, managers, attorneys and publishers worldwide. What has always impressed me is the fact that she has gained wide acceptance both working within the corporate world as well as with her own management firm. It is that kind of entrepreneurial spirit we want to promote."

During 2009, BMG Right Management completed an acquisition of Crosstown Songs America and the signings of songwriters such as Jim Beanz, Toby Gad, Mike Busbee and the Crystal Method.

"The commencement of U.S. operations marks BMG Rights Management's business expansion into the largest music market worldwide and represents another key step in building a global music rights management business," said Masuch.

Headquartered in Berlin, BMG Rights Management also has offices in the UK, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands." BMG Rights Management is a joint venture between the German media group Bertelsmann and the global private equity firm KKR.

Since its founding in late 2008, the company has completed a number of prominent signings and now represents the rights to more than 50,000 songs. Prominent master rights include recordings by Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley, Sweet, the Stranglers, Scorpions, Nena, Alison Moyet, Mecano, Paolo Conte, Vaya Con Dios, Stray Cats, A Flock Of Seagulls, Candy Dulfer, Thompson Twins and The Asteroids Galaxy Tour.

Songwriters whose publishing rights are represented by BMG include Jim Beanz, Toby Gad, Trevor Horn, Desmond Child, Gregg Alexander, Rhett Lawrence, John Reid, Neil Thrasher, Aldo Nova, Per Astrom, Jonas Jeberg, Henrik Jonback, Christian Karlsson, Kerli Koiv, Sebastian Nylund, Fredrik Rinman, Pontus Winnberg, Mike Busbee, Jonathan Singleton, Mathias Wollo, Pam Sheyne, Tony Cornelissen and many more.