Breaking: Confessed fraudster finds new investor

Breaking: Confessed fraudster finds new investor


norman lebrecht

May 17, 2011

Barrett Wissman, disgraced owner of the IMG classical artists agency, has bounced back.

After copping a plea to securities fraud two years ago in New York and withdrawing from active management of the agency, he has just landed a major fish to help haul his business back into serious contention after a series of major setbacks.

IMG represents many of the world’s top conductors and singers, including John Adams, Antonio Pappano and Franz Welser-Möst.

The new part-owner of IMG is a Russian publisher of no previous form in the performing arts. His presence  serves notice of IMG expansion.  Wissmann is married to the well-connected Russian cellist, Nina Kotova. Watch this space for more.

Wissmann, with Angela Georghiu

Nina Kotova, Wissmann and chef (

Here’s the press release, still wet on the screen.

Press Release


New Capital To Be Used To Expand The Range and Depth Of The Company’s Business

May 16, 2011 – IMG Artists is delighted to announce that PPI Talent has acquired a significant minority position in the company. The PPI investment will help increase the depth of IMG Artists’ core activities as well as assist in its expansion further into new media and entertainment sectors that complement the current portfolio. Additionally, in order to take advantage of the many synergies and opportunities in the Russian marketplace, IMG Artists will open an office in Moscow.

PPI Talent was founded and is owned by Alexander Shustorovich. Mr. Shustorovich’s business interests include television and radio stations, cable television, advertising and other media activities. He has a long history of working within the publishing sector with a particularly impressive track record in scientific journals. His company, Pleiades Publishing Ltd. is the world’s largest publisher of English and Russian-language books, journals and other educational materials in the sciences emanating from the former Soviet Union, China and Japan.

Born in Moscow, Russia and raised in the United States, Mr. Shustorovich earned a BA, JD and MBA from Harvard University, Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School respectively. Mr. Shustorovich has long been an active supporter of the arts and, amongst other activities, funded the Metropolitan Opera’s revival of Prokofiev’s War and Peace conducted by Valery Gergiev in New York.

Speaking for PPI, Mr. John Evans, Managing Director of Pleiades Group Entertainment said, “In the process of our investment decision, we concluded that there is no other company in this industry that can match the global footprint, diversity of business initiatives and stellar client roster of IMG Artists. We are very impressed by what the team has built and even more excited about the platform on which we are able to grow. IMG Artists’ vision, reach and dynamism have already taken the company further than any other business operating in this field. We look forward to expanding IMG Artists’ activities in Russia and throughout the world.”

Jeff Fuhrman, President and Chief Operating Officer of IMG Artists said, “This is a huge opportunity for IMG Artists to enhance our presence in key territories, complement our successful business efforts and pursue a wide range of expansion opportunities. Alex Shustorovich is a great strategic asset and we look forward to working with him to help us reach the next level.”



  • Natalie Provodnic says:

    Congratulations! Good Luck to the allience! This is positively huge success in bringing together the territories and the creative forces of Russia and the rest of the world in Arts. Long awaited move. Very excited at the future of such cooperation.