Roar Co-Founders Bernie Cahill And Greg Suess Exit to Form Activist Artists Management: Exclusive

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Clients Include Grateful Dead, Dwight Yoakam

Roar’s Bernie Cahill and Greg Suess have left the management firm they co-founded in 2004 to launch Activist Artists Management.

Fellow Roar partner Matt Maher, who headed Roar’s Nashville office, is joining the new firm, as is Liz Norris, who ran Roar’s New York office and will now be a partner in Activist. 

The quartet are joined by Roar’s entire music department, including 11 managers, and a client roster that includes Grateful Dead, Dwight Yoakam, Michael Franti & SpearheadNashville star Clare Bowen, Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir, Ben Rector and touring outfit, Dead & Company (co-managed with Azoff/Moir). Other clients include actor David Alan Grier, television producer/host Sal Masekela, and James Beard Award winner and Iron Chef Stephanie Izard. 

In addition to music, talent and brand management, Activist will focus on film and TV development, partnerships and strategic alliance management, digital marketing, licensing, sponsorship and endorsements. 

Funding for Activist comes, in part, from Tony Khan and the Khan family, who have made an investment of an undisclosed amount in the new company. They have also established the Activist content and venture fund, which will  focus on investments in entertainment, hospitality and consumer products, services and technologies. The Khans, who own the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, among other properties, have an ongoing relationship with Cahill and Suess through previous investments and partnerships including The Virgin Hotel in Nashville and Appetize Technologies.

The move comes two weeks after Zac Brown Band moved from Roar to Scooter Braun’s SB Projects for artist management, joining other SB Projects clients Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and Kanye West. Cahill, who began his career as an intellectual property attorney, and Suess, who raised more than $50 million for Roar clients’ non-profit endeavors, continue to be partners with Brown in his Z.  Alexander Brown wine label. 

Activist’s headquarters will be in West Hollywood, Calif., with offices also in New York, Nashville and Atlanta. As they did with Roar, Norris and Maher will head Activist’s New York and Nashville offices, respectively. 

Cahill and Suess declined to comment on why they were making the move beyond Cahill’s statement that “Activist was created for authentic artists that are striving to make a difference through their art. Simply put, we have the team here that can help them move the world.” Suess added, “We are incredibly proud of what we have accomplished together at Roar and are looking forward to continuing to provide our clients with the highest level of forward-thinking representation in this next, exciting endeavor.”


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