Arnison And Marot Go Dutch

Amsterdam-based Sports Entertainment Group (SEG) has purchased the U.K. management companies headed by John Arnison and Marc Marot.

Arnison, who has J Management, and Marot – chief of music management company Terra Firma and former head of Island Records – will join the Dutch group and run a new company called SEG Entertainment UK.

“For too long European management has been a cottage industry. Our ambition is to lead the consolidation of the management business in Europe in both sport and entertainment,” said SEG chief exec Kees Vos, whose Dutch service companies employ about 600 people.

SEG already oversees more than 250 athletes and footballers and 25 managers from its offices in the U.K., Holland, Canada, Finland, Belgium, Portugal and Spain.

Vos began building his empire when he was 22 and moved to London in 2008 because “building a strong U.K. base for SEG is core to its international expansion.”

In the U.K., its first acquisition late last year was Athole Still International (ASI), the personal management agency that has grown to encompass sponsorship, marketing and digital communications.

In more than 20 years in personal management, ASI has guided the careers of global stars such as British olympian Sir Steve Redgrave, Il Divo, Eriksson, Gianluca Vialli and John Barnes.

Arnison acted for Genesis, Phil Collins, Aswad, Rozalla, Marillion, and Mike And The Mechanics when heading Hit And Run’s London office.

He’s since had huge success with female solo artist Gabrielle. More recently, with Marot, he launched the recording career of Connie Talbot, the 8-year-old “Britain’s Got Talent” finalist whose debut album has sold 300,000 copies worldwide.

Marot’s Terra Firma Management has a client list that includes superstar DJ Paul Oakenfold, Billy Ocean, Aswad, and Lemon Jelly amongst others, as well as a roster of top film composers.

As president of Island Records throughout the ’90s, he was responsible for perhaps the label’s most successful decade and supervised U2’s recording career during a period in which the band sold more than 50 million records.

Two years ago he masterminded the comeback of Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens), selling 850,000 units of Islam’s first album in 27 years.

A council member of the U.K.’s Music Managers’ Forum, Marot last year became chairman of the Resale Rights Society, an initiative dedicated to regulating the secondary ticketing market and returning some of its proceeds to artists.

“Artist management is the last bit of Wild West left in the music industry,” Marot said in a statement detailing the move. “SEG Entertainment will offer a structured and professional service to artists to help them develop their careers in the most appropriate and profitable way.

“We plan to recruit a stable of younger managers and give them the support and leverage a big company can bring. But we are also looking to sign major artists who share our vision,” he said.

The launch of SEG Entertainment UK follows SEG’s strategy of acquiring key executive talent in the territories in which it operates. In Finland it began in football management, moving later into TV production and events management.