Literary Agents Become Owners of ICM

After more than a year of negotiations, a group of agents at International Creative Management (ICM) successfully reached an agreement to purchase a majority ownership of the company from the private-equity firm Rizvi Traverse Management LLC, and longtime ICM chief executive officer Jeffrey Berg. The Hollywood talent agency will now be known as ICM Partners and is controlled by a partnership of twenty-nine agents and executives from its film, television, publishing, and touring departments. The financial details of the agreement weren't revealed.

ICM was formed in 1975 through the merger of International Famous Agency and Creative Management Associates (which were themselves formed by earlier mergers). Rizvi Traverse Management paid ICM's founding owners seventy million dollars for a majority interest in the agency in 2005, which allowed ICM to purchase the Broder Webb Chervin Silbermann literary agency in 2006. According to the Wall Street Journal, in recent years, there were grumblings among the agents that Rizvi, a Connecticut-based financial company, did not show significant interest in the agency.

In the publishing world, one of ICM's best-known agents is Amanda "Binky" Urban, who represents Charles Frazier, Mary Karr, Cormac McCarthy, Toni Morrison, Haruki Murakami, and Donna Tartt.