BMG Revamps UK Leadership Team as It Stakes Claim as 'Fourth Major'

Courtesy Photo


Restructure sees Jamie Nelson and Gemma Reilly head BMG's U.K. recordings division, while Korda Marshall extends partnership deal.

LONDON – Having enjoyed solid growth in 2019, BMG has announced a restructure of its U.K. executive leadership team, promoting Jamie Nelson and Gemma Reilly to joint heads of its frontline recording business.

Together, the two executives have delivered a string of hits for the so-called fourth major label, including consecutive U.K. number one albums for Kylie and a career-first number one for singer-songwriter Jack Savoretti with his sixth studio collection Singing To Strangers.

Nelson and Reilly are also credited with playing key roles in landing YouTube star KSI his first top 10 single in November, and the crossover success of classical pop singers Aled Jones and Russell Watson.

Those chart successes helped increase BMG's album sales in the U.K. by 11.9% last year and grow streaming volume by just under 25% (against a market increase of 15%), according to Official Charts Company figures.  

Nelson takes up the role of VP A&R with immediate effect. Reilly – who joined BMG in 2014 -- was promoted to VP marketing UK last May and retains the same job title in the new management structure. Both execs report to Alistair Norbury, U.K. president of repertoire and marketing.

"We are now the most successful UK record company outside of the three traditional majors," said Norbury in a statement.

Courtesy of BMG
Jamie Nelson and Gemma Reilly

Nodding to Nelson and Reilly, he said A&R and marketing are the foundations of BMG's business model, enabling the company to "outperform industry trends by maintaining robust physical sales while hitting new heights in streaming."

Frontline U.K. releases for BMG in 2020 include new albums from The Shires, Amy MacDonald and Groove Armada.

The Bertelsmann-owned company also announced that it has extended its consultancy partnership with Korda Marshall, who sold his indie label, Infectious Music, to BMG in 2014.

Terms were not disclosed for the deal, which will see Marshall continue to A&R artists The DMA'S, alt-J, RY X, Richard Ashcroft and Morrissey, as well as a string of new signings that BMG said will be announced shortly.

"Korda is a byword for good taste and achievement in A&R, and has justly been named an 'A&R Icon'," praised Norbury.

Looking ahead, Norbury said BMG's U.K. recording arm was "privileged to have Gemma and Jamie at the helm whilst retaining the invaluable counsel of Korda Marshall."