With an impressive mission and an enviable track record, one of the music industry’s key financial services partners is now building its business in North America.
With over 800 of the world’s top touring artists on its books, UK-born Centtrip has been at the heart of managing money for global artists for almost a decade.
Those clients include 50 Grammy Award winners and nine out of ten of the UK’s top global stars.
Bill Tannenbaum, Managing Director, Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman, said: “Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman supports the world’s most celebrated artists and musicians. The Centtrip card provides us with complete and instant financial clarity for artists’ tour accounting while Centtrip’s foreign exchange expertise helps us maximize international cashflows for our clients.
“Like GR&F, Centtrip prides itself on integrity and deep, long-term, business relationships making it our go-to partner for every aspect of artists’ payments and FX needs.”
Centtrip, which runs offices in the UK, Europe and the USA, is fast approaching its 10th anniversary in 2023.
Here, Centtrip’s Director of Music, Film and Entertainment Freddy Greenish discusses the firm’s future plans – and explains why Centtrip prides itself on service excellence and on the long-standing relationships it has built with artist managers, business managers, accountants, record labels and publishers across the music industry…
Can you explain what Centtrip does and how it helps artists and their management?
Things move fast in the music business, especially during touring, and getting things done is often about getting things paid quickly and seamlessly. That’s where we help.
The Centtrip platform is highly secure and gives clients real-time visibility and control over their money, wherever they are. Clients can access multiple independent or related accounts where they can deposit funds, exchange, send or spend. That means that a business manager can have separate accounts for each of their clients.
Our cards are used a lot by touring artists because it empowers those on the road to deal with any problems or opportunities they face while the management team retains real-time visibility and control over everything. Funds can be transferred to and from cards instantly. Cards can also be locked or unlocked instantly.
Clients control their cards from the platform, setting individual card limits and alerts and controlling features such as access to ATM withdrawals.
The Centtrip app includes expense management and cash management functionality that allows cardholders to tag transactions, capture receipt images and allocate expenses to account codes that are pre-set by the client. That way nothing gets lost or forgotten about.
Clients can also exchange between currencies and send single or batch payments, domestically or internationally. Our record label clients often use this for their regular royalty payments.
Why have you expanded Centtrip into North America?
It’s demand-driven. We have a proven track record in the UK and Europe. As touring is coming back to pre-pandemic levels, it is the perfect time for us to take our experience and success into the world’s largest music and entertainment market.
Besides, we already have longstanding relationships with many big US artists, often supporting their world tours and they’ve been asking for the same service in the US.
“It is the perfect time for us to take our experience and success into the world’s largest music and entertainment market.”
We established Centtrip Inc., the US business, in 2021 and we are working with leading American banking and financial services partners. A US-incorporated artist can be serviced by Centtrip Inc. and if they have a UK or European entity, we can service them through their UK/European entity.
Whatever our clients prefer, they can access their US and European accounts from the same, single login. It means we can offer greater choice and flexibility to all our clients.
What does Centtrip offer US artists that they don’t get from their existing banks?
We’re a partner to established banking relationships, but we provide greater visibility and control combined with informed service excellence.
So, if a client has a problem or just a simple question, they won’t be funneled into a generic, “business support” team. They have access to a dedicated account management team who understands the music industry and the unique challenges they face. And, our services are tailored to those unique requirements. For example, our cards offer the highest transaction and monthly spending limits in the business. We can issue as many cards as required for a tour – 200 or 300 cards is not unusual if they’re also used for per diems – and if cards get lost or personnel change, we can quickly send replacements to wherever they are required.
Our currency dealing service works in the same way. We can help clients minimize risk and maximize their returns with an effective foreign exchange strategy. That’s useful at the budgeting stage of an international tour, making payments throughout, or at the end, repatriating tour receipts without losing large sums in exchange fees.
Centtrip is well-established in Europe – 10 years and over 800 artists – but it’s a newcomer in the US market. Is the US business growing as you expected?
Yes, very much so. We’ve been able to build on established relationships with UK clients and we’re already working with several major US artists, artist managers and leading business management firms.
Does Centtrip operate in other sectors as well?
Yes, our mission is to seamlessly connect the world’s most glamorous money for the most dynamic businesses. We’re focused on providing multi-currency treasury and expense solutions to organizations that move around the world. So, outside of music we support Actors, Film and TV studios/productions companies, sports teams, super yachts management firms, family offices and more.
Centtrip now has offices in the UK, Europe and in the United States. What are your plans for the rest of the world?
Music and entertainment is a global business and we plan to be wherever our clients need us. Our first US office is in Florida and we’ll be opening offices in New York and LA in the new year. I’ll soon be relocating to New York where I’ll divide my time between there, London and LA.
We’ll probably start with three US offices and grow from there. After that, we see a big opportunity in Canada and then the rest of the world.
Centtrip is a leader in the music and entertainment industry and our expansion plans reflect that. Watch this space.Music Business Worldwide