The Association of Independent Music (AIM) has appointed Silvia Montello as its new CEO.
Montello has 30 years of experience in marketing, commercial and strategic operations. She will take over from Paul Pacifico in leading AIM’s overarching operations and strategy, as it continues to support the UK’s growing independent music sector, which now comprises 29% of the market.
Montello joins from a role as CEO of the global trade body the Association for Electronic Music (AFEM). SHe has held previous senior positions at Universal Music Group, BMG and AWAL, as well as start-up Blokur. She also founded music and marketing consultancy Voicebox Consulting in 2011, which works with charities, non-profits and SMEs.
The new AIM CEO is described as a passionate campaigner for diversity, equity and inclusion, co-founding #remarQabl, an electronic music-focused label services and publishing company supporting new talent from under-represented backgrounds. She is also committed to educating the music industry about neurodiverse conditions and how best to work with neurodiverse talent.
Montello is a trustee of the Help Musicians charity and chair of trustees for Music Minds Matter, Help Musicians' dedicated mental health service for the whole UK music community. She sits on the advisory board for Moving The Needle (UK), an educational platform supporting women in the record industry.
An AIM member for several years, Montello is currently part of AIM’s Small Labels Committee, and has previously sat on its Distribution Group which advised on the Digital Distribution Switch Code initiative led by AIM COO Gee Davy.
Montello is also a DJ, vocalist and songwriter, with a particular passion for dance and electronic music.
AIM’s chair Nadia Khan led the recruitment process, alongside other AIM board members and with external lead HR support from PPL’s chief people officer Kate Reilly and additional support from Beggar’s global people director Caroline Hinton. Applicants were reviewed with close attention to salary transparency and fairness, whilst ensuring the shortlist met diversity targets, according to AIM’s announcement.
Her extensive industry background, contact base, business development skills, passion for diversity & inclusion and vision for the future bring renewed leadership to AIM
Silvia Montello, AIM’s incoming CEO, said: “I am really excited to be joining the team in the new year and honoured to continue spearheading the great work AIM has done since its inception to support and champion the UK’s independent music community.
“Our industry is evolving at an ever-increasing pace, that evolution bringing with it both fresh opportunities around music consumption and creation, audience development, new technology solutions, alongside existing and future challenges for our community to work together to overcome. AIM will continue its commitment to ensuring our independent creators and rights-holders can reap the maximum benefits, striving towards a truly diverse and inclusive industry that nurtures great talent from every genre, background and identity.”
Nadia Khan, chair of AIM, said: “On behalf of my colleagues on the AIM board, I’m delighted to welcome Silvia Montello to the team. Silvia is well known to many of our members, she has been an active participant and engaged member of the independent community for many years and will be a fantastic leader for AIM. Her extensive industry background, contact base, business development skills, passion for diversity & inclusion and vision for the future bring renewed leadership to AIM.
“It was an honour to lead the recruitment process and a huge thank you to Kate Reilly for all her invaluable support. It was important to me that we ran a fair and transparent process, and that we engaged with a diverse and broad range of candidates. From the outset, I set diversity targets and personally encouraged a wide range of candidates to apply, including Silvia, as I admired her work in the industry. I’m very excited about this new chapter for AIM and very much look forward to working with Silvia in her new role as CEO.”
AIM’s outgoing CEO, Paul Pacifico, added: “'I leave AIM in the hands of a fantastic and expert team who always go the extra mile for the independent music community. In Silvia, I know the team will have the leadership to continue AIM's vital work in supporting and empowering the UK’s world-beating creative entrepreneurs of the independent community. I look forward to working with Silvia to help her hit the ground running, and to seeing the success that no doubt awaits her in the role.”
Ben Turner & Kurosh Nasseri, co-founders & co-chairs of AFEM, said: “We would like to congratulate Silvia on this landmark appointment for her but also for our genre of electronic music. It is amazing to see an organisation as influential as AIM looking to our sector and actually to our own trade body AFEM for their next leader for independent music as a whole. Electronic has become the UK’s second most popular genre and we see this appointment being valuable to future alignments on some very pressing issues facing us all. We’d like to thank Silvia for her valuable input into AFEM in her short time with us.”
AFEM is in the process of recruiting for a new CEO of the association.
Following the return of the AIM Awards to The Roundhouse, AIM recently unveiled two new initiatives – an Angel Investment Syndicate for music entrepreneurs and the Amplify apprenticeship programme, in partnership with Amazon Music and Women in CTRL.
Other recent appointments include Nina Radojewski’s promotion to head of membership, with Esta Rae joining as senior events manager and Serena Bhardwaj as digital marketing and comms lead earlier this year.