a 2 i m

Merlin Announces Board Election Results For 2017-19 Epitaph’s Dave Hansen Is Elected Chairman

6 December 2017, London:- Merlin, the global digital rights agency for the world’s independent label sector, has today announced results of its biennial board elections – including the election of a new Chairman, with Dave Hansen, Epitaph’s SVP of Business Development, replacing Beggars Group founder Martin Mills, who is stepping down by rotation.

Martin served as Chairman since 2011, Merlin’s second following the tenure of Bob Frank, and will continue as a board member of the organisation.

This year saw the highest ever number of candidates standing for election, as well the highest ever percentage of members voting, with the result that five new members will step up to the 15-strong board that oversees Merlin’s strategy until 2019 – with Bob Roback (Isolation Network, USA), Nando Luaces (Altafonte Network, Spain), Bruno Guez (Revelator, Israel), Chris Maund (Mushroom Group, Australia) and Masahiro “Jack” Oishi (Maverick D.C., Japan) joining fellow representatives from the world’s most successful independent labels.

Aligned with Merlin’s globally-facing remit and to ensure the widest possible representation of interests, voting seats for the board are divided into three territorial blocs – with equal representation given to North America, Europe and ROW.*

The successful candidates for the period 2017-2019 are, in first name alphabetical order:

North America:
Bob Roback, Isolation Network (US)
Darius Van Arman, Secretly Group (US)
Dave Hansen, Epitaph Records (US) & Merlin Chairman
Justin West Secret City Records (Canada)
Tom Silverman Tommy Boy (US)


Emmanuel De Buretel, Because Music (France)
Horst Weidenmueller, !K7 Records (Germany)
Martin Mills Beggars, Group (UK)
Michel Lambot, PIAS Group (Belgium)
Nando Luaces, Altafonte Network (Spain)


R.O.W. :

Bruno Guez, Revelator Ltd (Israel)
Chris Maund, Mushroom Group (Australia)
Luciana Pegorer, Delira Musica (Brazil)
Masahiro “Jack” Oishi, Maverick D.C. (Japan)
Yoel Kenan, Africori (South Africa)


The newly elected board will also have the option of appointing up to six non-voting observers.

Commenting on the election results, Charles Caldas, CEO of Merlin said:

“In what is a global business, the unique structure of Merlin’s board remains an invaluable asset – allowing us to draw on extensive commercial experience across all continents, and empowering Merlin’s independent label members to succeed on a worldwide stage.

“I would like to thank all those who took part in this year’s election, and to the previous board for their continued backing and support. And I would particularly like to congratulate Merlin’s new Chairman, Dave Hansen, and to pay tribute to Martin Mills, who has done so much to steer our business to its current successes. We also welcome Bob, Nando, Bruno, Chris and Masahiro into the fold. With their fresh insight and guidance, Merlin will look forward to ever greater future achievements.”

Dave Hansen, SVP Business Development, Epitaph Records, said:

“It is an immense honour to be elected to serve as the new chairman of Merlin. I will continue to work closely with Martin Mills, Charles Caldas and the entire Merlin board and staff to deliver big results for our members around the world.”

Martin Mills, Beggars Group founder, added:

“Merlin has played a crucial role for independents in the digital marketplace, and it has been a real honour and pleasure to chair it. I’m very happy, at this point, to pass the chairmanship to Dave, who I know will be a great successor, and look forward to continuing to play a central role in the organisation.”



*Merlin’s board composition rules state that the 3 blocs should consist of 5 x North America (4 x USA, 1 x Rest of North America); 5 x Europe (with no more than 1 representative per country); and 5 x ROW (with no more than 1 representative per country, and with at least one representative per each of Asia, Africa, South America and Australia/NZ).

About Merlin:

Merlin is the global digital rights agency for the world’s independent label sector.

The organisation’s members command in excess of 12% of the digital recorded music market and embody more than 20,000 independent record labels and distributors from 51 countries and all continents. These include Beggars Group, Secretly Group, Domino, Sub Pop, Epitaph, Anti Records, Entertainment One, Redeye Worldwide, !K7, Kobalt Music Recordings, [PIAS], Merge, Warp, INgrooves, Hopeless Records, Armada Music, Mad Decent, Eleven Seven Music, Naxos and Curb Records, representing some of the world’s most important and successful artists.

Merlin acts to ensure these companies have effective access to new and emerging revenue streams and that their rights are appropriately valued and protected.

Merlin has offices in London, New York, and Tokyo, with a head office in Amsterdam.

About A2IM:
A2IM is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit trade organization headquartered in New York City that exists to support and strengthen the independent recorded music sector. Membership currently includes a broad coalition of more than 700 Independently-owned American music labels. A2IM represents these independently owned small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) interests in the marketplace, in the media, on Capitol Hill, and as part of the global music community. In doing so, it supports a key segment of America’s creative class that represents America’s diverse musical cultural heritage. Billboard Magazine identified the Independent music label sector as 37.32 percent of the music industry’s U.S. recorded music sales market in 2016 based on copyright ownership, making Independent labels collectively the largest music industry sector.

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