SM&B advises Tavistock Wood on investment by Original Talent Group

10th September 2018

Our client, boutique talent agency Tavistock Wood, has today announced a strategic investment by Original Talent Group in a deal that will integrate our client into Original Talent’s agency/production collective, which includes Curtis Brown and Curtis Brown Creative, C&W, Ed Victor, Fane Productions, and Cuba Pictures. The deal was led by SMB’s Simon Goldberg, Partner and Head of Media, with support by Senior Associate Blaise Gaymer and Associate Jack Heywood, from the Media: Business and Rights and Corporate Commercial and Finance teams.

Founded in 2005 by Angharad Wood and Charles Collier, Tavistock Wood has a well-deserved reputation as one of the UK’s most high-profile agencies for creative talent: they represent a host of household names such as Eva Green, Rebecca Ferguson, Naomie Harris, Lily James, Vicky Krieps, Emily Mortimer, Liv Tyler, Alicia Vikander, Ronan Bennett, Daniel Bruhl, Charles Dance, Freddie Fox, Dustin Hoffman, Max Irons, Dougray Scott and Dominic West.

Original Talent Group’s roster of companies – the oldest, Curtis Brown, founded in 1899 – represent authors, playwrights, film and television writers and directors, theatre directors and designers, television and radio presenters and actors. By coming under the Original Talent banner, Tavistock Wood’s outstanding roll of talent will add to the first-class literary material, industry-leading film, TV and theatre practitioners and globally-recognised on-screen talent. Tavistock Wood will continue to operate autonomously and remain based at their Conduit Street offices, with Simon Flamank and Ben Hall from Original Talent joining the Tavistock Wood Board. Charles Collier and Angharad Wood will join the Original Talent Group Board.

A new production label, Open Book Productions, is being launched simultaneously. This joint venture by Charles Collier, Angharad Wood and Original Talent will nurture and support projects from the company and its clients and will work in close collaboration with Original Talent’s Cuba Pictures (McMafia, Jonathan Strange). BBC Studios will distribute their television output worldwide and support development work for the newly-formed production company. Projects in development include Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love, with screenplays from Tavistock Wood client Emily Mortimer (Doll and Ems).

Ben Hall & Jonny Geller, Original Talent CEOs, have said:

“Angharad and Charles are two of the most talented and innovative agents in the UK. Together they have built Tavistock Wood’s global reputation with a list of premier actors, writers and directors. We are thrilled that they have decided to partner with OT for the next stage of their company’s development and we’re excited that this plan includes a push into high quality drama production.

“Original Talent is committed to bring together Europe’s finest writers, actors, performers and literary material on to one professional platform which provides a comprehensive bespoke service to talent. We will support and promote the autonomy of each company within the group. At the same time, all our clients will benefit from the wider opportunity and exposure that comes from this strong group of connected companies specialising across all fields of the creative process. We hope it will allow for a new kind of agency, management and production group in Europe which trusts its agents and experts to run their businesses in exactly the way they know is best for their own individual talent relationships. We will support the independent approach of each company from within the strength of the wider group, celebrating everything that is unique about creative talent and the individual creative process.

“Our ambition is for OT to become the home of choice for UK and Europe’s leading agencies and their exceptional talent communities and we look forward to welcoming more companies into the group.”