LA Times: Shamrock looks for luck with iconic artists’ music rights

25 Jun LA Times: Shamrock looks for luck with iconic artists’ music rights

By James Rufus Koren

Read the original article here.

Westwood’s Shamrock Capital Advisors has made dozens of investments over the years, owning stakes in everything from the Harlem Globetrotters to computer equipment maker Netgear. Though they run the gamut, those investments all had at least one thing in common: They were all companies.

Now Shamrock is trying something different. Instead of investing only in businesses, it’s investing in content.

The firm recently raised $250 million from investors, with plans to use that cash to buy the rights to movies, music and TV shows as well as books, video games and plays.

As part of its strategy, Shamrock is teaming up with another L.A. firm, Jampol Artist Management, to invest in the estates of iconic musicians and other artists.

Private equity firms generally invest in businesses, then work to make those businesses bigger or more profitable. That’s what Shamrock and Jampol hope to do, though with portfolios of music and other rights.

“We have the ability to take an artist’s intellectual property and make it grow over time by making it relevant to a new generation,” said Patrick Russo, the Shamrock partner in charge of the new content strategy.

While Shamrock provides the capital to invest in artists’ estates – or buy them outright – the work of boosting sales will be handled by Jampol Artist Management and its founder, Jeffery Jampol.

The firm specializes in managing the estates of so-called legacy artists. Clients include the estates of Jim Morrison, the Ramones, Muddy Waters and Kurt Cobain. Jampol said many estates, often controlled by a deceased musician’s heirs, are mismanaged or are simply content to collect whatever small stream of royalties they still produce.

Jampol, though, believes he can improve the financial performance of many such estates by marketing an artist’s music and likeness to new generations of fans. He might do so by commissioning a biography or documentary about an artist, or, as with the Ramones, creating a museum exhibition.

The Ramones’ estate worked with the Grammy Museum in L.A. and the Queens Museum in New York on “Hey! Ho! Let’s go: Ramones and the birth of punk,” a two-part exhibition. The first opened in Queens in April; the second opens in L.A. in September.

“It’s about marketing it and exposing it to a generation of new kids,” Jampol said. “Find the 13-year-old with a Clash T-shirt and ask them to name three songs. They can’t. But they’ve bought into what the Clash is about.”

Jampol said he and Shamrock will work together to select the estates they’ll invest in. Jampol Artist Management will be paid a management fee for its work and take a small ownership stake in each estate, Jampol said.

Shamrock, of course, historically has had close ties to the entertainment industry. It’s the successor firm to Shamrock Holdings, the family investment vehicle of the late Roy E. Disney, nephew of Walt Disney Co. co-founder Walt Disney.