Independent global rights agency Merlin has bolstered its ranks with a series of new appointments.
Based in Merlin’s London office, Emma Robinson joins the team as member services manager. Robinson was previously a senior account manager at press agency Name PR.
Also based in London, Poppy Waring has been promoted from general assistant to member services assistant. Both will report to Tom Deakin, director, global member services.
In addition, Bela Zecker, will join Merlin’s New York office in the newly-created role of member services and operations manager, Americas, focusing on the Latin American markets. With extensive experience in the independent music sector, including positions at Ninja Tune and Really Happening Management, Zecker, a fluent Spanish speaker, will both work with Merlin’s growing membership from the LATAM region and help maximise the value of members’ participation in agreements across all Latin American markets.
Merlin’s legal and business affairs team will also be boosted by the appointment of Leeza Panayiotou, who joins Merlin’s London office as manager, legal and business Affairs. Panayiotou comes to the newly-created role at Merlin from the Cooking Vinyl Group, having also previously undertaken a secondment at Clintons Solicitors. Panayiotou will join Ryan McWhinnie, director, legal and business affairs, in the expanded team led by chief commercial officer and general counsel, Charlie Lexton.
Merlin CEO Charles Caldas said: “I am delighted to welcome Bela, Emma and Leeza to Merlin, and to announce a well-deserved promotion for Poppy. As a global organisation it is crucial that Merlin can react to the sustained demand for independent music and provide the best possible service for our expanding membership. This investment in our staffing will allow us to do that. Wherever in the world they are based, our continued goal is for Merlin members to derive the maximum impact from our global licensing partnerships and to help grow their digital business.”
Jim Mahoney, general manager, Merlin USA said: “This is fantastic news for Merlin members. Emma, Leeza and Poppy are a real boost to the global team, while Bela’s US expertise ensures that the thousands of indie labels Merlin represents will continue to benefit from the extraordinary growth we’re seeing in recorded markets across Latin America, as well as the rest of the world."
Merlin, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, has struck partnerships with Facebook, Alibaba, NetEase, Tencent and Yandex so far this year and currently has global licences in place with 25 new generation digital music services around the world.
The company’s membership now encompasses tens of thousands of independent labels in 57 countries across all continents, commanding more than 12% of the global digital recorded music market.