Burtson joins CAA as CFO

Creative Artists Agency, a portfolio company of TPG Capital, said Monday that James Burtson is joining as CFO effective July 13. Burtson most recently served as Senior Vice President of Time Warner Inc.


LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Leading entertainment and sports agency, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), announced today that media and entertainment industry veteran James Burtson will join the company as Chief Financial Officer, effective July 13, 2015. In addition to leading CAA’s finance and accounting functions, Burtson will play a key role in helping the company continue to execute its aggressive growth strategy around the world. Burtson most recently served as Senior Vice President of Time Warner, Inc., overseeing the company’s global mergers & acquisitions efforts.

The addition of Burtson comes as CAA continues to grow and diversify its business, having recently made six acquisitions, in addition to other investments, in the areas of sports, corporate marketing, licensing, and live events. This strategy, which began more than 18 months ago, was further enabled by a significant follow-on investment from strategic partner and global investment firm TPG in October 2014. Moreover, CAA’s affiliate investment bank, Evolution Media Capital (EMC), in partnership with TPG Growth and Participant Media, has also accelerated the investment activity of its $350 million Evolution Media Partners vehicle, which holds stakes in Fred Segal, Fender, and other growth companies in the media, technology and consumer sectors.
“CAA is experiencing incredible growth as we continue to expand the ways we serve clients and capitalize on new opportunities in the converging space of technology, content, sports and media,” said CAA President Richard Lovett. “The addition of Jim, someone who has driven strategy for growing and dynamic businesses, is a meaningful next step in our company’s evolution. His blend of deep financial and strategic experience will ensure that we continue along the path of strategically building our unique and growing global platform. I know Jim will be a natural fit within our highly collaborative environment and I look forward to working with him as we pursue future growth.”
Burtson succeeds outgoing CFO Jeff M. Berry. Berry and his family have decided to relocate from Los Angeles this summer. “We are very grateful for the contributions Jeff made to CAA over the last three-and-a-half years, and wish him the best in the future,” said Lovett.
“In addition to operating as the premier sports and entertainment agency in the world, CAA continues to rapidly expand its business into new areas, strategically growing its global and diversified platform,” said TPG Co-Founder Jim Coulter, whose firm initially invested in CAA in 2010. “Jim’s demonstrated combination of strategic expertise, financial acumen and industry experience makes him the ideal person to help lead CAA into its next chapter of growth.”
At Time Warner, Burtson led the spin-offs of Time Warner Cable, AOL and Time Inc. that transformed the company into the focused content and networks media enterprise it is today. In addition, Burtson oversaw multiple strategic network, content, and new media acquisitions and investments. Previously, Burtson led Time Warner’s Investor Relations initiatives, earning the company Institutional Investor magazine’s highest ranking in the sector.
“CAA’s track record of industry leadership, and its constant innovation pushing the sector forward, has created a company and platform like no other,” said Burtson. “They have an incredibly strong, stable and diversified company with a singular purpose – to create every possible advantage for its clients in a world where opportunities are exploding as content, brands, technology, sports, and live events intersect in more ways than ever. To be a part of CAA’s bright future is incredibly inspiring and humbling.”
Long recognized for its unmatched client roster of the world’s premier artists, athletes, and blue-chip brands, and its category leadership in packaging television and film content, and live experiences, the firm has also been the trailblazer of the agency business. CAA was the first to build a sports business, create an investment bank, launch a venture fund, found technology start-up companies, establish a presence in China, create a brand marketing services arm, and start a successful growth equity vehicle, among other industry innovations.
CAA Sports has become the dominant athlete representation firm in the world, with more than 1,000 individual athlete, broadcaster and coaching clients and double the on-field contract value of the next closest agency. The firm has also completed more than $3 billion in precedent-setting property sales deals for clients including Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium, the San Francisco 49ers, and FC Barcelona, among others. The sports division also advises corporate brands, including JP Morgan Chase and Emirates Airline, among others, on their sponsorship and activation efforts. Through Switzerland-based affiliate CAA Eleven, the firm manages the centralized broadcast, digital and sponsorship rights for more than 560 premier National Team Football matches in every region of the globe, on behalf of UEFA, European football’s governing body. CAA, in partnership with EMC, which advises on transactions focused on the media and sports industries, has brokered billions of dollars in transactions for clients including the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Pacific-12 Conference, and the NHL.
EMC also represents the buyers or sellers of numerous professional sports franchises; raises capital or structured debt financing for entertainment entities; and manages the EMP investment vehicle, alongside TPG Growth and Participant Media.
Through its various strategic marketing and consulting practices, CAA advises blue-chip consumer brands, including Coca-Cola, General Motors, Chipotle, Diageo, Farmers Insurance, and IMAX.
Prior to re-joining Time Warner in 2002, Burtson worked at Clear Channel Communications, where he served as vice president of strategic development and CFO of the company’s online business. He previously worked for J.P. Morgan & Co. as an investment banker and began his career at Time Warner as a financial analyst in corporate finance and M&A. Burtson earned an M.B.A. and B.A. from Columbia University.
About Creative Artists Agency
Leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA) represents many of the most successful professionals working in film, television, music, theatre, video games, sports, and digital content, and provides a range of strategic marketing and consulting services to corporate clients. CAA is also a leader in sports, representing more than 1,000 of the world’s top athletes in football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, tennis, and golf, and works in the areas of broadcast rights, corporate marketing initiatives, licensing, and sports properties for sales and sponsorship opportunities.