Warner Music appoints Michael Ryan-Southern as EVP of corporate development

Warner Music appoints Michael Ryan-Southern as EVP of corporate development

Michael Ryan-Southern is to lead on mergers & acquisitions at Warner Music Group.

Ryan-Southern has been appointed to the newly created post of executive vice president, corporate development, effective August 5. He has two decades of investment, finance and music industry experience, most recently as global head of music & live entertainment investment banking at Goldman Sachs.

Ryan-Southern will lead all stages of M&A activity, working in partnership with WMG’s leaders and departments to identify and acquire companies and catalogues. He will report to WMG CEO Robert Kyncl and be based at the company’s New York headquarters.

“The market is filled with opportunities, in both recorded music and music publishing, and across different geographies,” said Kyncl. “We’re bullish on the long-term value of music, and having someone with Michael’s domain expertise and wide-ranging network run point on M&A will supercharge our efforts.”

“This is an incredibly exciting time to be in the music industry, and WMG’s entrepreneurial spirit and tech-forward approach make it a tremendously welcoming environment for both artistic creativity and business innovation,” said Ryan-Southern. “I’m excited by Robert and the team’s vision for the company, and I’m looking forward to working with him and the entire WMG team to help grow and evolve the company into the future.”

While at Goldman Sachs, he led on several major deals across the music & live entertainment industry. Prior to joining Goldman in 2021, Ryan-Southern held senior roles including deputy CFO at EMI Music Publishing and president of the Hakkasan Group. 

He started his career at KPMG in London and later in New York, where he spent several years advising businesses on M&A and international tax planning.


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