Joy Films set for merger with RSA

Joy Films is merging into RSA UK to form an RSA satellite operation as recessionary pressures continue to hit the production industry.

Joy's ten-strong team, including the director and co-founder Mehdi Norowzian, will become part of RSA from 3 November. The operation will be called JOY @ RSA.

Joy's other directors, Tom Merilion, Pete Salmi, Albert Kodagolian and James Marsh, will also become part of JOY @ RSA. The managing director, Desley Gregory, who was recently linked with the head of TV job at Grey, will also move across.

This is the latest bout of consolidation within the production industry.

In the summer, Stark Films merged with Spectre to form Large. Harry Nash closed at the end of September and James Garrett & Partners shut its doors after 40 years, also in September.

According to Gregory and Kai-Lu Hsuing, the managing director of RSA UK, neither company had planned the merger. They claim the decision followed RSA USA successfully courting Norow-zian, who is best known for spots for Sony Ericsson, Johnnie Walker, One2One and Adidas.

Gregory said: "Mehdi had many companies approaching him, but RSA USA was the right company to represent him in the US as he is a global talent. The relationship came out of that and Kai and I talked about Joy as a division of RSA."

Hsuing said: "Jeremy Barnes (the former managing director) had left Joy earlier in the year and Desley was looking at how to progress Joy. It made sense that we could take Joy, which is such a strong company name, under our umbrella."

Hsuing commented: "We've watched agencies consolidate over the past few years so I think it will happen in our industry."

Gregory added: "There will be more consolidation, particularly among companies that have set up in the past few years that are director-producer based and can't offer a wide selection of talent."

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