Sylvia Coleman steps down as Non-Exec Director of Hipgnosis Songs Fund

There’s been another change on the Board of Hipgnosis Songs Fund.

Sylvia Coleman has stepped down as an independent Non-Executive Director of the UK-listed company, with immediate effect.

The news was announced by the HSF Board in a regulatory announcement to the UK market on Thursday (January 11). HSF trades on the London Stock Exchange.

Coleman’s resignation follows HSF’s appointment in November of Rob Naylor as its new Chairman of the Board and as a Non-Executive Director.

Naylor succeeded Andrew Sutch as HSF’s Chair. In addition, Francis Keeling was named a Non-Executive Director at HSF.

Coleman was appointed as a Non-Executive Director in November 2019.

The exec has spent 25 years in the music industry, in various roles including Senior Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs at EMI Music and prior to that, Sony Music where she was responsible for overseeing the company’s International and European legal and business affairs respectively.

Most recently, she co-founded BPureSounds, a music management company developing music artists and music-related properties.

Following Coleman’s departure, the Hipgnosis Board of Directors is now comprised of:

  • Robert Naylor (Chairman of the Board and Non-Executive Director)
  • Simon Holden (Non-Executive Director)
  • Francis Keeling (Non-Executive Director)
  • Cindy Rampersaud (Non-Executive Director)
  • Christopher Mills (Non-Executive Director)

News of Coleman’s departure arrives three weeks after Hipgnosis Songs Fund published its latest HY financial results (on December 21).

HSF confirmed last month, that in the six months to end of September 2023, the company’s underlying/like-for-like net revenue grew by 14.0% YoY to USD $65.8 million, up from $57.6 million in the equivalent prior-year period.

As we reported last month, that’s ‘like-for-like’ as it omits any impact from ‘CRB III’: i.e. retrospective payments received by HSF from streaming services due to the US Copyright Royalty Board’s decision to raise royalty rates for music publishers in the US across the years 2018-2022.

In October, as previously reported, HSF’s independent valuer, Citrin Cooperman, significantly reduced its estimate of the sum HSF was expected to receive from CRB III.

That impacted HSF’s latest financials: In the six months to end of September, HSF’s net revenue from continuing operations fell to $54.0 million, down from $76.8 million in the prior-year period.

HSF said that this fall was primarily driven by the $11.9 million reversal of its CRB III accrual due to lower anticipated payments.

MBW pointed out last month, that a key financial metric with which to judge HSF’s catalog performance is its pro-forma revenue (PFAR) – i.e. the gross royalty statements received/receivable in the period, excluding any revenue accruals under IFRS.

HSF’s report stated in December that it believes PFAR “provides a relevant like-for-like… income comparison of the Group’s Catalogues of Songs held as at the period end.”

HSF’s PFAR in the six months to end of September stood at $64.9 million, up 10.0% YoY (versus $59.0 million in the equivalent year-ago period).

Hipgnosis Songs Fund’s biggest-earning catalog in the six month period (to end of September 2023) was its portfolio of Red Hot Chili Peppers songs.

These songs generated $4.69 million in pro-forma revenue in the period, according to HSF’s latest report, up from $3.24 million in the equivalent period in the prior year (six months to end of September 2022).

“We’re very grateful to Sylvia for the support she’s given to the Company and I am especially appreciative of the help she’s provided to me and my fellow new Board Directors over the last few months.”

Robert Naylor, Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited

Robert Naylor, Chairman of Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited, said:  “We’re very grateful to Sylvia for the support she’s given to the Company and I am especially appreciative of the help she’s provided to me and my fellow new Board Directors over the last few months as the Board has transitioned and reshaped itself. I would like to thank her and wish her all the best for success in the future.”

Music Business Worldwide

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