Mr. Phillips was the co-founder and interim Chief Executive Officer of, and subsequent advisor to, Global Entertainment, a “360” model entertainment company providing touring, label, publishing, artist management, branding/sponsorship, and marketing services to artists. Prior to joining Global Entertainment, Mr. Phillips served for thirteen (13) years as the President & Chief Executive Officer of the live entertainment industry leader, AEG Live, and Executive Vice President of parent AEG where he (i) acquired and/or created successful festivals including Coachella, Stagecoach, New Orleans Jazzfest and Rock-On-The-Range, amongst others; (ii) promoted world tours for artists such as Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Paul McCartney, Bon Jovi, Prince, the Rolling Stones, Enrique Iglesias, Jennifer Lopez and Katy Perry, among other superstars; (iii) oversaw the Las Vegas residency concept for shows by Celine Dion, Bette Midler, Cher, Shania Twain and Rod Stewart; (iv) expanded and managed AEG Live’s real estate portfolio, which grew to eighty-six (86) mid-size and small (capacity of six thousand or less) venues and clubs around the world; and (v) produced the films Michael Jackson’s “This Is It”, Justin Bieber’s “Never Say Never” and Katy Perry’s “Part Of Me”. Additionally, Mr. Phillips produced the CBS primetime special “Genius: An Evening For Ray Charles”, for which he was awarded the coveted NAACP Image Award. Mr. Phillips has served as personal manager for various artists, including Rod Stewart, Lionel Richie, Usher, Guns & Roses, Prince and Toni Braxton. Mr. Phillips serves as a director on the advisory board of Oak View, an arena management company owned by James Dolan, Irving Azoff and Tim Leiweke.
Mr. Axelrod is the Founder, Managing Partner and serves as the Portfolio Manager for Axar Capital Management LP. Before founding Axar Capital Management LP, Mr. Axelrod was a Partner and Co-Head of North American Investments for Mount Kellett Capital Management (“Mount Kellett”), a private investment organization with over $7 billion of assets under management. Mr. Axelrod joined Mount Kellett at the firm’s inception and worked there for over six (6) years. Prior to joining Mount Kellett, Mr. Axelrod worked at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. and the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Mr. Axelrod graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Economics from Duke University.
Mr. Forsyth, CFA, is a portfolio manager, a managing director and Chief Investment Officer US Income & Growth Strategies with Allianz Global Investors, which he joined in 1994. He is the head of the Income and Growth Strategies team. Mr. Forsyth has portfolio management, trading and research responsibilities, and oversees all aspects of the Income and Growth platform’s business, including product development and implementation. He has twenty-four (24) years of investment-industry experience. Mr. Forsyth was previously an analyst at AEGON USA. He has a B.B.A. from The University of Iowa.
Nils E. Larsen
Mr. Larsen is the President of SZR Consulting, LLC. Mr. Larsen serves as a board member of several businesses including Extreme Reach, Inc., Liberty Tire Recycling and Vantage Drilling International. Mr. Larsen also serves as a Senior Operating Adviser working with The Carlyle Group’s U.S. Equity Opportunities Fund focusing on the media, technology and telecommunications industries. Prior to partnering with The Carlyle Group, Mr. Larsen served in a variety of senior executive positions with Tribune Company, including the President and Chief Executive Officer of Tribune Broadcasting and as Co-President of Tribune Company. Before joining Tribune Company, Mr. Larsen served as a Managing Director of Equity Group Investments, LLC focusing on investments in the media, transportation, energy, retail grocery and member loyalty and rewards sectors. Mr. Larsen started his career at CS First Boston where he focused on the capital requirements and derivative products needs of U.S. financial institutions and non-U.S. based entities. Mr. Larsen has significant governance experience in post-bankrupt entities. Mr. Larsen received his A.B. summa cum laude from Bowdoin College.
Previously, Mr. Ciongoli was co-founder, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Global Entertainment. Mr. Ciongoli’s prior media-industry work includes (i) serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Universal Music Group NA and serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of WW Publishing, where he was employed for twenty-two (22) years, and (ii) investing in and advising various media start-ups. Mr. Ciongoli is a senior executive with both management and board representation experience who has a proven track record of facilitating change and delivering results in dynamic and turbulent environments. Through his leadership and management of music entertainment businesses, Mr. Ciongoli has developed strategies related to monetization, information technology, distribution and funding. Mr. Ciongoli has also led large-scale merger transactions and post-merger integrations, including the $10 billion merger of Universal Music Group with PolyGram, which created the world’s largest music company, and the €1.6 billion acquisition and integration of BMG Music Publishing, which established the world’s largest publishing company. During his time at Universal Music Group NA, Mr. Ciongoli drove nearly 50% (€66 million) of a €140 million global overhead cost savings target initiative, successfully integrated and managed the $140 million Univision Latin label acquisition, and successfully divested certain non-core assets to comply with a €500 million divestiture/financing requirement in connection with Universal Music Group NA’s acquisition of EMI.