United Talent Agency (UTA) booking agency has announced it is closing its office in Toronto only two years after its acquisition of The Agency Group (TAG).

More than 23 people are losing their jobs in the Canadian city, including chief executive Ralph James and Jack Ross, the chief operating officer.

The agency represents acts including Nickelback (pictured), Alexisonfire, Billy Talent, City On Fire and Feist. It said it plans to move some of its artists to its offices in London and New York.

UTA, which has more than 300 agents representing actors, writers, directors, producers and recording artists, has bases in Los Angeles, Nashville, and Miami in the US, as well as London and Malmo, Sweden, offices.

UTA chief executive Jeremy Zimmer said in a statement: “After considering where we see the strongest prospects for continued growth, we have made the decision to take additional steps to focus our global music practice in the US and UK.

“This will mainly impact our colleagues in Toronto, where we will be closing that office over the coming months. We’re taking this step after careful consideration, and we recognise it’s a tough one for our colleagues there. They are talented professionals who we’ve collaborated with for many years and who have contributed to our success.

“We are incredibly grateful to every one of them. But we believe this is the strongest and best strategic decision for UTA Music going forward, one that will allow us to put even greater focus on artist development and our full-service approach to our clients.”

Ross, who set up the Toronto office with TAG founder Neil Warnock, told Billboard: “I’ve been representing a core group of Canadian artists for a long time and many of our clients have been with us for decades.

“I can’t speak for everybody, but I can tell you that I certainly plan to continue as an agent and continue representing my clients, continue to grow and develop agents and music industry professionals.

“I’m looking at this as an opportunity to work with like-minded people who believe in artist development and agent development and who see Canada and Toronto as a great place to be in business.”

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