Bernie Cahill and Greg Suess, founding partners of Roar, along with fellow partner and Head of Roar’s Nashville office Matt Maher have left the company and launched Activist Artists Management, a full-service talent management, integrated media and advisory firm.
Cahill, Suess and Maher comprised the majority of the partners at Roar, and Liz Norris ran the New York Office. Roar’s entire music department and client list under Cahill has also exited and joined Activist, which now employs 23 associates— including 11 managers—with offices in Los Angeles, New York City, Nashville and Atlanta.
Activist new global headquarters is located at the Activist Building located at 8500 Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood.
“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,” said Cahill.
Adds Suess, “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.”
Activist will provide comprehensive management services for its clients including music management, talent and brand management, and film and TV development.
Cahill will continue to represent artists including Dwight Yoakam, Grateful Dead, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Ben Rector, Bob Weir, Clare Bowen, Dead & Company (co-managed with Irving Azoff), David Alan Grier, Sal Masekela, and Stephanie Izard.
Maher will head Activist’s Nashville office where he will continue to serve as the day-to-day manager for a number of Activist’s recording artists. Maher was previously a partner at Roar and the head of the Roar Nashville office where he helped to expand the roster and build the music careers of Dwight Yoakam, Ben Rector, and Zac Brown Band in their rise from regional success to a GRAMMY Award-winning stadium act. Maher, along with Cahill and Suess, continue to be partners with Zac Brown in the award-winning Z. Alexander Brown wine label.
Suess will advise clients at Activist across a wide range of transactions, content strategies, seed and growth capital, strategic alliances, joint venture agreements, licensing agreements, mergers and acquisitions, dispositions, and marketing and distribution agreements. Previously, Suess was a co-founder at Roar where he established its corporate division and was a strategic advisor to Vice Media, and strategic advisor to, and investor in, Appetize, Cinedigm, Genius Brands, Influential.co, Ticketfairy and Virgin Hotels – Nashville, all of whom have joined Activist as clients. He will also continue to advise Activist’s clients in their non-profit endeavors; while at Roar, he led fundraising initiatives that resulted in more than $50M in funding for their various causes, including $35M for Zac Brown’s Camp Southern Ground where he is still an active advisory board member.
Norris, who was previously Roar’s Head of Media and Brand Strategy, will join Activist as a partner and head their New York office. Norris will focus on media and brand strategies for all Activist clients and will continue to create promotional opportunities and awareness around album releases, book releases, tours, film premieres and product launches.
The Khan family, owners of NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, The Four Seasons Toronto among other holdings, have made a strategic investment into Activist and have separately established the Activist content and venture fund focused on investments in media/entertainment/hospitality/consumer prooducts, services and technologies. Cahill and Suess have a relationship with the Khan family through previous investments and partnerships including The Virgin Hotels – Nashville, Appetize Technologies, Fair, and The Real Coconut.
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