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William Morris Agency To Open Miami Office In April

The William Morris Agency, the world's largest and most diversified talent and literary agency, will open a full-service office in April in Miami Beach. Senior Vice President Raul Mateu has relocated from WMA's New York office and will serve as head of the new Miami office.

As the first major talent and literary agency to expand its operations into Miami, WMA will offer the same services as its other offices, with focus on Spanish-speaking clients as well as bilingual clients who transition between Spanish-language and English-language formats in music, publishing, television, film and commercials. The Miami office also will contribute to the expansion of the agency's efforts to secure financing for media-related projects and its corporate consulting business. Two other agents, vice president Michel Vega and Betsy Helf, will be relocating with Mateu from New York.

"Miami is one of the fastest growing, most diverse cities in the nation and the gateway to the Spanish-speaking world," said WMA president and co-CEO Jim Wiatt said. "With a headquarters in this region, we can better service our growing number of clients from the Latin entertainment industry as well as the studios, music companies, networks and cable channels, which are looking for more effective ways to address Latin influenced audiences."

The new office — located at 119 Washington Avenue in Miami Beach — will complement the agency's four other offices in New York, Beverly Hills, Nashville and London. The last time WMA expanded into new territory was in 1973 with the opening of an office in Nashville to tap into the country music market.

"Our Miami office will allow us to better serve our clients and to service them in Spanish, English or both languages,"

added Mateu. "The office will also allow us to become the bridge for Latin American broadcasting and production companies looking to do business in the US; and for American companies that are looking to expand their operations south of the border."

"The William Morris Agency establishing offices in Miami-Dade County is an important milestone in the development of business infrastructure for our community's growing film and entertainment industry," said Mayor Alex Penelas, Miami-Dade County. "With thousands of film and television shoots and recording sessions annually, hundreds of resident entertainment companies, and now the addition of WMA, Miami-Dade has all the elements to become a leading global entertainment production center."

"We are thrilled and honored at having such a world-class entertainment company opening their office in Miami Beach, the entertainment capital of the Americas," said David Dermer, Mayor, City of Miami Beach. "The company's opening will significantly elevate Miami Beach's presence in the international entertainment community."

From the New York office, Mateu has spearheaded the agency's efforts in developing talent and programming for both the Spanish and English speaking markets. In addition to his work in television he has been at the forefront of Spanish language publishing and in the procurement of celebrity endorsements for his clients. He is also a board member of the Hispanic Heritage Awards Foundation in Washington D.C. and Chairman of the Emmys En Español Organizing Committee.

Mateu's clients include anchorwoman/host/author Maria Celeste Arraras, sports announcer/author Andres Cantor, anchorwoman/author Maria Antonieta Collins, host Fernando Arau, sports play-by-play announcer Alvaro Martin, host Giselle Blondet, producer Maria Perez-Brown and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Liz Balmaseda.

WMA's ties to the South Florida entertainment industry are deep, having had a major role in the Latin music business for more than 20 years. WMA's efforts in Latin music are led by Beverly Hills based Jorge Pinos, senior vice president. Among the clients represented by WMA in music are Luis Miguel, Enrique Iglesias, Arturo Sandoval, Juanes, Thalia, Jaci Velasquez and Bacilos.