Former Curtis Brown CEO Ben Hall has joined Troika as executive chairman, Variety can reveal.

Hall, who stepped down from Curtis Brown and parent company Original Talent Group in April 2019, will operate alongside Troika’s existing leadership, spearheading the agency’s development and growth in the U.K. and U.S. as it becomes further integrated into owners YMU Group.

Hall was among a group of five agents — including Jonny Geller, Jonathan Lloyd, Peter Robinson and Nick Marston — who bought the 121-year-old Curtis Brown from existing management in 2002 and began growing the company into a powerhouse literary and talent agency alongside agents Sarah Spear and Jacquie Drew. The firm, whose clients include Robert Pattinson, Florence Pugh and Paul Mescal, also expanded into production in 2008 with the formation of “McMafia” producer Cuba Pictures.

Hall ran Curtis Brown as CEO from 2012 until 2018. He served as joint CEO of Original Talent following its acquisition of Curtis Brown from 2016 through to his departure last April.

The executive steps in following the departures of Troika co-founders Conor McCaughan and Michael Duff, who will officially leave the British agency at the end of the year, as revealed by Variety earlier this month. Together, McCaughan and Duff built up Troika over 15 years into one of the country’s top firms, with their client roster featuring the British industry’s top names, including Jamie Dornan, Michael Fassbender, Ruth Wilson, Holliday Grainger, Michaela Coel, Joe Dempsie and Lena Headey.

Hall’s appointment comes as Troika rebrands as YMU Drama — a development that follows three years of M&A upheaval for the business.

Troika merged with management outfit James Grant Group (JGG) in 2017, though the firms kept their brand identities separate. JGG’s clients spanned entertainment, music and sports, with a client list that included Steve Aoki, Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, and Louis Tomlinson, helping to diversify the merged business.

In 2018, JGG was majority-acquired by private equity firm Trilantic Europe and rebranded as YMU Group. Collectively, the mega-agency’s divisions span London, New York, Washington and Manchester, and include JGG, Deckstar, Furniss Lawton, Hall or Nothing and Impact Sports Management — all of which have operated under the YMU brand since early 2019. The only part of the business that remained distinct was Troika.

However, moving forward, Troika will be integrated into YMU, and rebrand as YMU Drama. The new entity is understood to be investing heavily in growth across 2020.

https://variety.com/2020/film/global/curtis-brown-ben-hall-troika-ymu-drama-1234609117/