Chris Wellbelove has joined Aitken Alexander Associates in the role of agent from Greene and Heaton, while Lesley Thorne has been appointed managing director of the agency.
Wellbelove built a list of literary fiction and “excellent” non-fiction across a wide range of interests, including popular science, nature writing, memoir, sport and history in his six years at Greene and Heaton.
Clare Alexander of Aitken Alexander Associates Ltd, said: “We believe Chris’s proven taste, energy and enthusiasm make him a perfect fit for us. Chris also has a background in the Talent side of the business and his contacts with broadcasters and production companies will complement our own outstanding Film and TV department.”
Thorne, the long-time head of the agency’s Film and TV Department, has been appointed m.d with immediate effect.
“Lesley’s contribution to the agency in developing our book-to-film business has led to Aitken Alexander’s extraordinary record in navigating our book content to the large and small screens,” Alexander said. “In addition, her brilliant managerial skills and dauntless personality have been invaluable over a challenging period in our history.”
Head of the Translation Rights Department Lisa Baker, meanwhile, has been promoted to the board as a director. Baker joined Aitken Alexander last year. “She hit the ground running when a new Bridget Jones was announced on her first day with us, and hasn’t stopped since,” said Alexander. “In addition to her brilliant advocacy for our authors overseas, Lisa is also building a small list of her own clients – her first, Max Porter, was named Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year.”
The agency is also seeking to appoint another senior agent later in the year.
The reorganisation follows a difficult time for the agency after the death of literary agent Gillon Aitken of Aitken Alexander Associates in October and Anthony Sheil last month, who worked as an independent agent in association with AAA.