Robert Allen may not have a household name, but the new vice president of business affairs for Universal Music Publishing Group is one of those who plays an important role in getting some of music's biggest names into people's homes.
Allen, 32, was formerly the senior director of business affairs for the unit of Vivendi Universal that owns or administers more than 800,000 music copyrights, writers and catalogs and is responsible for negotiating agreements between Universal Music Publishing and songwriters and artists in the United States and Latin America.
A graduate of the UCLA School of Law, he chose a career in entertainment law because "my philosophy was, if I'm going to do law, I want to do it in an area that I enjoy and love."
But it's more than love of music that keeps him working on as many as 20 deals a month, deals that may take as long as six months to hammer out.
"I really love the negotiating process," Allen said. "It's exhilarating. Sometimes, I feel like I'm an integral part of helping to get great music to people," he said. "That makes me feel good."
Group President David Renzer said that Allen was promoted to vice president because of his hard work and perseverance.
"He combines an excellent knowledge of our business with a demeanor that people find a pleasure to deal with," Renzer said.
In addition to working on contracts for current artists Eve, 3 Doors Down and Blink-182, he has also helped to maintain and protect the rights of the catalog of the late rapper Tupac Shakur.
"I don't think I've ever worked on anything that was as messy," Allen said.
For more than three years, he has dealt with lawsuits and ownership issues surrounding use of the music by Shakur, who was killed in 1996.
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