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Curtis Brown/ICM deal back on
29.02.08 | Joel Rickett
Curtis Brown and US agency International Creative Management (ICM) are completing their co-agenting deal, after a hiatus caused by the shock death of Kate Jones.
At the end of March ICM Books’ London office will move across to Curtis Brown, which will take on UK and international representation of ICM’s list. However, ICM's foreign rights director Margaret Halton will not be joining them, as no new role for her has been found. The majority of Jones' UK authors will move to Curtis Brown with her former colleague Karolina Sutton.
ICM insisted that the move did not reflect badly on the performance of the London division, set up in 2003 by Halton and Jones. Lead ICM US agent Amanda (Binky) Urban said it was sparked by the renewal of the company’s five-year lease for its Soho Square premises. "I cannot stand the insinuation that this office failed: it was growing by 20%-30% a year. But during that time the dollar devalued by 60%, and London office rents went up by 30%."
The tie-up with Curtis Brown will "provide expanded services—from London to New York to Los Angeles—for our combined client lists," Urban said. Betsy Robbins, who helped set up ICM Books in London and was hired by Curtis Brown two years ago, will be joint head of foreign rights overseeing the nine-strong ICM/Curtis Brown Books foreign rights department.
Of Halton's departure, Urban said: "Unfortunately, there’s just not a big job enough for Margaret under the new set-up." She also paid tribute to Jones, who died on 1st February aged 46 after a sudden cancer relapse. "We only wish that Kate, who had built a prestigious list of ICM UK authors, were here to join [in the new association]. We shall miss her very much."
At Curtis Brown, m.d. of books Jonny Geller said the deal would benefit authors: "This co-agenting relationship recognizes today’s changing publishing reality in which agencies must react fast and effectively on behalf of their authors and be open to the huge challenges in expanding markets abroad."