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UMG expands in Asia, announces series of major appointments

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Universal Music Group (UMG), one of the major music labels, today, announced a sequence of executive management appointments within Greater China and throughout the Asia region. These additions indicate a significant expansion of UMG’s finance, marketing and public policy infrastructure in Asia to maximize creative and commercial opportunities across these markets.

Aaron Wang has been appointed as Chief Financial Officer for Greater China and will oversee all financial operations within Greater China. He will be based in Beijing and report to Sunny Chang, Chairman & CEO of UMG Greater China and Boyd Muir, EVP, CFO and President of Operations for Universal Music Group.

Announcing the changes, Adam Granite, Executive Vice President, Market Development, Universal Music Group said,

“In order to maximize the opportunities for growth throughout these dynamic and fast evolving markets, we have expanded and bolstered our senior management teams within Greater China and throughout Asia to ensure that UMG remains at the forefront of industry change and innovation, breaking new talent and embracing new platforms and audiences, as the adoption of streaming through legal services continues to drive the growing music economy forward within the region.”

In addition, Tracy Mu has been appointed as Finance Director, Universal Music China. Mu will report to Wang and Garand Wu, Managing Director, Universal Music China. Yvonne Yuen has been appointed as SVP, Marketing, Greater China. She previously held the position of SVP, International Marketing for UMG in South East Asia and will continue to be based in Hong Kong.

Sunny Chang, Chairman & CEO, Universal Music Greater China said,

“These new additions to our senior management team show our ambition to expand the boundaries of commercial success for our recording artists, labels and other businesses both within Greater China and internationally. Working closely with our UMG partner labels globally, we will look to introduce more Chinese talent to international audiences as we did with Kris Wu in 2018, whilst also helping UMG’s international artists achieve success in to this rapidly growing music market.”

Elvin Eng appointed CFO, South East Asia Region. In addition, Elvin Eng, who currently holds the position of VP, Finance for UMG, Asia Region has been promoted to CFO, UMG, South East Asia region, reporting to Muir. Eng will oversee the finance operations and strategy for South East Asian markets including Korea and will be based in Singapore.

UMG also announced the appointment of greatly appreciated industry executive Ang Kwee Tiang (KT Ang) to the newly created position of Senior Vice President, Asia Public Policy, effective immediately. Ang joins UMG from IFPI, the global trade body for recorded music, where he has served as Regional Director, Asia Pacific since 2013.

With more than 25 years of music industry experience throughout Asia, Ang has been intimately involved in the development of public policy affecting music, including the enactments of copyright laws and their enforcement, anti-piracy efforts and the establishment of more than a dozen copyright collection societies for creators, publishers and producers in the region. Through his directorships on the respective boards of these organizations, he has also worked on implementing globally accepted standards of governance. Ang, who is an attorney by training, has also previously worked as the regional director, Asia Pacific for CISAC.

On Ang’s appointment, Berman said,

“KT’s appointment is not only a reflection of the fact that Asia is a crucial priority for UMG, and that sound public policies are essential to the success of the creative sectors, but also a reflection of the tremendous value of KT’s unparalleled experience and singular talent. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone with greater personal understanding of music public policy through the region. He also brings a unique breadth of expertise across the Asian music industry – from music publishing to recorded music –that will support our dynamic team in the region. Although we have known him and his work for many years, it is a great pleasure to welcome him to the UMG family.”

Reporting to UMG’s Executive Vice President, Public Affairs, Eric Berman, Ang will work closely with the regional executive teams to ensure that UMG is leading the conversation to help create and sustain a healthy and effective copyright framework to support a sustainable ecosystem for artists, creators and industry throughout the region. Based in Hong Kong, he will work across all markets throughout the region, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, India, Japan and Vietnam.

Deutsche Bank evaluates UMG to be worth $33.25bn

Today in a report by Deutsche Bank, the bank has put a €29bn valuation on UMG worth $33.25bn at current exchange rates.

This news is of particular relevance because Vivendi is currently looking for a buyer (or buyers) to acquire up to 50% of UMG, a process which the French company expects to close by the end of 2019.

“With the hype around UMG stake sale having subsided, there is now scope for valuation to surprise to the upside in 2H 2019,” said Deutsche Bank, today.

Liberty Media, owner of SiriusXM, said last year that it would “absolutely” look into a part-acquisition of Universal Music Group if the opportunity arose. Liberty is named as a potential buyer by Deutsche Bank, alongside Tencent whose own music company, Tencent Music Entertainment, is currently carrying a market cap of just under $21bn after floating on the New York Stock exchange in December.

 

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Abhishek Singh

Author: Abhishek Singh

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