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Volume 21 No. 1
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ISE hires Rosenstein as agency’s first CFO

Editor’s note: This story is revised from the print edition.

Independent Sports & Entertainment has hired Richard Rosenstein, a financial executive with more than 25 years of experience in the communications, media and entertainment businesses, as its first chief financial officer.

The hire is the latest for the agency formerly known as Relativity Sports, which was relaunched after billionaire investor and Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle made a capital infusion and hired former Madison Square Garden head Hank Ratner as president and CEO.

It is another signal that ISE intends to make good on its intentions to build a larger sports, media and entertainment business, using ISE’s sports talent management business as a starting point. Ratner said that Rosenstein would “absolutely” be involved in helping ISE make acquisitions and that ISE was in discussions with some companies, but said he could not provide details at this time.

Rosenstein worked most recently as executive vice president, chief financial officer and chief administrative officer for Bob Sillerman’s second iteration of SFX Entertainment, which was renamed LiveStyle after emerging from

bankruptcy protection late last year. Before that, Rosenstein spent nearly a decade at Goldman Sachs, where he was a managing director, covering media companies. He has also held executive positions at Goldman Sachs’ Communacopia Research, money management firm Baron Capital Management and hedge fund Keel Capital Management.

“He has the complete package of experience across the sports entertainment and media space,” said Ratner, who noted the “added value” that Rosenstein brings from “his experience in the live entertainment space, the transactional space, the strategic space and the industry analysis space.”

Ratner and Rosenstein have a relationship from when Baron Capital Management made an investment in Madison Square Garden while Ratner was running it.

“Hank is a big part of the reason that I am here,” Rosenstein said. “It was a very successful investment, and part of it was we had a lot of confidence in management and in their ability to deliver. And they did.”

Burkle’s involvement in ISE and the plan to grow the company was attractive, Rosenstein said.

ISE recently announced it was hiring Michael Ehrlich, who was most recently Adidas’ director of public relations, as its vice president of communications. ISE hired Chris Grancio, who formerly headed global basketball for Adidas, as chief marketing officer last year.

For now, ISE’s main business is representing MLB, NBA and NFL players.

The agency signed several prospects for this year’s NFL draft, including UCLA defensive end/outside linebacker Takkarist McKinley, Washington cornerback Sidney Jones IV and defensive tackle Elijah Qualls, and Cal quarterback Davis Webb.