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Cameron Mackintosh appoints Alan Finch in bid for global expansion

Alan Finch has been appointed joint co-managing director at Cameron Mackintosh Ltd.
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Cameron Mackintosh has hired outgoing Chichester Festival Theatre executive director Alan Finch as he moves to secure the long-term future of his theatre empire.

Finch’s appointment comes as Mackintosh unveils a global expansion of Music Theatre International, which licenses the performance rights to more than 400 musicals, including Mamma Mia! and most of Stephen Sondheim’s works.

MTI, of which Mackintosh is the majority shareholder, will open a European office in London, followed by others in Australia and the Far East.

Finch, 50, will join Cameron Mackintosh Ltd when his 11-year tenure at Chichester comes to an end next year. He joins as co-managing director alongside Nick Allott.

Mackintosh described Finch as an “invaluable asset to my wonderful team”. He told The Stage that his company had grown so much over the last 10 years that it had become very hard to “keep up” with the number of productions he stages as well as the eight theatres he operates, in addition to the growth of MTI.

“I am coming up to my 70th birthday. Nick is younger than me but not that much, and it’s a vast amount of work. Nick had a co-managing director, Matthew Dalco, who sadly died five years ago, and we never replaced him. We were growing then and we knew that we’d have to appoint someone,” he said. “If anything, God forbid, happened to either me or Nick, we need a massively strong structure to take on this responsibility.”

Mackintosh added: “If you are employing this amount of people and look after this amount of buildings and great copyrights, it’s only responsible that you have a great management structure. We needed to find someone who would work in partnership with Nick. There is not another [theatre] company of this compar-able size in the world. The cross-section of real estate, my own productions and the copyrights is a huge amount of work.”

Finch described joining Mackintosh as a “once in a lifetime chance” to work with a team that will continue to deliver Mackintosh’s musicals around the world and ensure that MTI remains the “world’s foremost music library”.

Allott added that Mackintosh had built up a collection of “copyrights and theatrical real estate that are destined, after the final curtain falls, to be protected for the good of the public and the profession”. He said he was “very much looking forward to sharing the load with Alan”, including MTI.

Mackintosh’s control of MTI gives him responsibility for more than 400 shows, servicing more than 100,000 clients around the world.

According to Mackintosh, the aim is to keep this collection of works “out of corporate hands to serve copyright proprietors with passion and integrity”. The catalogue includes the stage productions of Disney Theatrical and Cameron Mackintosh Ltd, including The Lion King and Miss Saigon.

He said the opening of a European office for MTI marked a “major expansion” for the organisation, which has previously been represented in Europe by Josef Weinberger Ltd, overseen by managing director Sean Gray. Gray will become managing director of MTI Europe.

“We have an ever-growing catalogue of shows and a huge amount of interest both in the UK and Europe. This office will consolidate the company so that we will be a worldwide one,” Mackintosh said.

He also provided an update on his two most recent theatre acquisitions – the Victoria Palace and the Ambassadors. The latter purchase is yet to be finalised. Mackintosh said that “preliminary” conversations about development plans for the venues had taken place with groups including heritage bodies and Camden Council regarding the Ambassadors, which will be renamed the Sondheim Theatre.

However, he admitted he was not looking to buy any other theatres, adding that there were “very few” he would be interested in purchasing.

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