Victory Loewy, CEO of Alliance Atlantis Motion Picture Distribution Group, is planning a return to the UK to recruit a new senior executive for Momentum Pictures, the company's wholly-owned UK distribution company.
Current Momentum director David Kosse has accepted a position as London-based president of international marketing and distribution for Universal Pictures.
While crediting Kosse's management of Momentum over the past three years, Loewy said he had complete confidence in the remaining executive team of Samantha Nichols, head of sales and marketing, Sally Kaplan, head of acquisitions, Yu-Fai Suen, head of operations and Peter Dutton, head of home video.
Loewy has complied a list of candidates for a new managing director but would not disclose any names; however he does not anticipate a long recruitment process. "Last time I was in the UK, it took me nine months to find someone. I don't think it will take that long this time. Momentum is a much larger company with a real release slate. There's a lot of interest from candidates in the UK and abroad."
Loewy said Kosse's departure was sudden but not unexpected. Kosse, he said, was "relentlessly romanced by Universal the day he left to join us. Three years of seducing and cajoling finally paid off."
On that score, Loewy said he was pleased by Universal's decision to increase its international office in London. "There's no question that more people coming to London will be the high tide raising all boats. More action is good for business and it increases the talent pool. People who market films to Europe should be in London."
Loewy's return underscores the importance of Momentum in Alliance Atlantis' balance sheet -- the UK operation accounted for 20% of the Motion Picture Group's fiscal 2003 EBITDA -- particularly as the company plans to spin-off its distribution business into an income fund. Announced earlier this month, the income fund will have an initial public offering, slated for early October, that could raise more than $350m for the company. Loewy said his move to London will follow the IPO.