Buchler sets up his own United Agents

<p>CSS Stellar chairman David Buchler has set up a company called United Agents Group, a name almost identical to that chosen by the breakaway PFD agents for their new venture. Buchler&#39;s move is believed to be a spoiler tactic to further destabilise the agents, who quit PFD after he took control of parent group CSS Stellar in the summer.</p><p>The departed agents, including books chief Caroline Dawnay, incorporated United Agents Ltd at Companies House on 25th September. Its directors include Peter Bennett-Jones, chairman of television producer Tiger Aspect. They are still finalising funding and new premises.</p><p>On 9th October another company was registered as United Agents Group Ltd. The address given matches PFD&#39;s headquarters on Russell Street WC2, and Buchler has now been appointed as the sole director of United Agents Group. On the documentation the former Tottenham Hotspur FC vice-chairman is described as a chartered accountant; a list of his other directorships includes the English National Opera.</p><p>It is the latest twist in the PFD saga, following the 25th October sackings of 11 PFD agents (who had already resigned). The preliminary results of CSS&#39; investigation into &quot;apparent inconsistencies in the payment of commissions and bonuses&quot; were reported back to the company this week.</p><p>One observer speculated that Anthony Jones, the high-earning agent for film, television and theatre talent including Nicholas Hytner and Mike Leigh, may now decide to remain at PFD under c.e.o. Caroline Michel. But insider sources dismissed that possibility, claiming that Jones would join United Agents immediately after he completes his notice period.</p><p>Michel has been busy approaching agents to lure them to PFD. A spokesman promised that two appointments were imminent, to follow the recruitment of publishers Suzy Jenvey and Marcella Edwards. The company has also hinted that the acquisition of a rival is in the pipeline, although most possible target agencies have ruled themselves out.<br /><br />Neither Buchler nor the United Agents would comment on this story. </p>