EXCLUSIVE: Ingenious Investments CEO James Clayton joins Simon Fuller’s XIX Entertainment.
Media financier Ingenious has seen three senior members of its film and media team depart in recent weeks.
Former Ingenious Media Investments chief executive James Clayton has left the company to become president of Simon Fuller’s production and management powerhouse XIX Entertainment, which handles the likes of David Beckham and The Spice Girls.
Clayton will report directly to Fuller, creator of the Idol franchise, and be based in LA and London.
During his tenure at Avatar-backers Ingenious Clayton was key to securing the private equity firm’s lucrative production and finance relationship with Fox Searchlight from 2011 and ensuring its successful investment relationship with Pathe through the Ingenious Pathe EIS Film Fund.
He was executive producer on Matthew Warchus’ well-received Cannes debut Pride as well as films including Happy-Go-Lucky, Amazing Grace and Hannibal Rising.
Also to recently depart Ingenious are former managing director of the media division Nik Bower and investment director Michael Shyjka, who oversaw the Senior Film Fund.
Bower, an executive producer on Pathe’s buzzed-about Selma, as well as upcoming dramas Genius and Suffragette, has left Ingenious to set up film production company, Riverstone Pictures, with Reliance Entertainment’s Deepak Nayar.
The outfit, which has backing from Ingenious and Reliance, will start out funding around eight to ten third-party productions per year.
Shjyka was most recently an executive producer on Jocelyn Moorhouse’s The Dressmaker, starring Kate Winslet. The film is currently in production in Australia.
A spokesman for Ingenious confirmed to ScreenDaily that the company is now looking to bring in at least two senior executives to work across the company’s film business.
Clayton and Bower are both witnesses in the current Ingenious-HMRC tax tribunal. However, none of the departures are believed to be linked to the court case, a view confirmed by the same Ingenious spokesperson: “None of our recent departures have anything to do with the hearing whatsoever. The timing of their departure is pure coincidence.”
The spokesperson stressed Ingenious’ ongoing commitment to financing film in the UK: “These departures in no way diminishes our involvement in film. Our directors collectively have over 50 years of experience in film and the media sector. We have the single largest independent team of dedicated film professionals in the UK.
“We are developing some exciting new ideas to further increase our funding and production of film,” the source continued. “We are already the largest independent producer of film in the UK. We are looking to hire further top talent to boost our industry leading team.
“We are very positive about the future buoyed by our continued successes in film production including Pride and Mr Turner amongst many others, and we are looking forward to the Christmas release of Get Santa with the magnificent Jim Broadbent.”