Kobalt Expanding To Latin America, Hires Nestor Casonu Ex-EMI Latin CEO (Exclusive)

Nestor Casonu

Independent music publisher and music services company Kobalt Music Group is expanding into Latin America with the help of veteran music executive Nestor Casonu, former CEO of EMI Latin America. 

Casonu, who was also the regional managing director for EMI's Latin publishing division, will be working closely with Kobalt President Richard Sanders. Together they will conceive a plan to expand Kobalt's place in Latin America and will identify opportunities to maximize the income and exploitation of rights on behalf of Kobalt clients around the world. Casonu will operate as a consultant through his Miami-based Casonu Strategic Management.

“Since day one of joining Kobalt I have been reviewing how to augment our operations in Latin America and develop an even greater level of service to our existing and future clients," said Sanders said in a statement. "Nestor’s first task is to further strengthen our society relationships and design the strategic path for local expansion in the region."

Providing transparency, maximizing the value of copyrights and continuing to place priorities around artists and songwriters is something Casonu will continue to navigate in his new role.

For more than 30 years Casonu has been a key player in the Latin American marketplace, a career which began at CBS Argentina (currently Sony Music) before moving on to head Leader Music in early '90s. Later he joined EMI Music Publishing as managing director of Argentina. 

During his two decades at EMI, Casonu had several roles including regional director in Miami. Additionally, the longtime music executive was named president of the Federation of Latin American Music Publishers during his EMI tenure. As regional director he oversaw operations and restructured the region.

At EMI, Casonu signed artists such as Daddy Yankee, Don Omar, Ricky Martin and Ricardo Montaner. The company, under his supervision, was named Top Latin Songs Publishing Corporation in Billboard's 2010 year-end issue. The following year he also assumed a dual role as head of EMI Latin's recorded music and publishing operation.

In the summer of 2012, Casonu announced his EMI departure just as the company announced a restructuring in the wake of its acquisition by a Sony-Corp. of America-led consortium.