'Jackie Alway is a tough act to follow': Roberto Neri named MPA chair

'Jackie Alway is a tough act to follow': Roberto Neri named MPA chair

The Music Publishers Association has named Downtown’s Roberto Neri as the new chair, following the election by the MPA board.

As exclusively revealed in the latest issue of Music Week, Neri takes over from Jackie Alway, EVP international legal & industry affairs at Universal Music Publishing Group, who is stepping down as chair of the MPA after four years.

Neri is EVP, UK at Downtown Music Publishing and head of European business development for its parent company, Downtown Music Holdings. He will take up the position following the MPA AGM on July 3. 

Neri, who’s overseen new signings and acquisitions at Downtown, has been an MPA director on the board since 2015. He joined Downtown in 2015 through its acquisition of Eagle-i Music. He is also an elected board director at PRS For Music and PPL PRS Ltd.

Paul Clements, MPA Group CEO, said: “Jackie’s recognition in the Queen’s honours was a superbly timed and fitting recognition of the incredible contribution that she has made to the MPA, as chair, over the last four years. On behalf of our publisher members and the songwriters that they represent, Jackie has supported campaigns wholeheartedly and has conducted all her business with a calm and assured determination. I am delighted that Jackie will continue to serve on the MPA Board and thank her for her enormously positive contribution to our business. 

“I am very much looking forward to closely working with Roberto, our new chairman. Roberto’s vision, hardworking and entrepreneurial style has delivered significant growth and recognition in all the roles that he has had in his publishing career to date.” 

Clements described Neri as a “publisher who has songwriters’ and producers’ best interests at heart”.

“I have no doubt that we will work tirelessly together to continue to build upon the great achievements of the MPA to date,” he added. 

Roberto’s vision, hardworking and entrepreneurial style has delivered significant growth

Paul Clements

Neri said: “It is an absolute honour to serve as the next chair of the Music Publishers Association, whose work and advocacy on behalf of UK music publishers has never been more important. Jackie Alway is a tough act to follow, but I'm grateful for the exemplary leadership she has demonstrated.

“I look forward to continuing the momentum and working with Paul, the team at the MPA, colleagues on the board, and publisher members of the MPA. As a board member of UK Music, I am also pleased to work alongside the other trade bodies and stakeholders promoting the interests of the whole UK music industry."

Alway said: “I have been privileged to serve as chair of our fine trade association. I am proud of what the MPA has achieved during the last four years and delighted that I can hand over to such a dynamic successor as Roberto Neri.

“Roberto comes with lots of ideas and commitment to our industry. I know that he and Paul Clements will make a formidable team to continue to grow the MPA. I wish Roberto every success and hope he enjoys the experience of being chair as much as I have.”

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