When Steve Storch waltzed through the doors of Imagem Music five years ago, he had more than 20 years of experience in music publishing under his belt. He’d been a finance executive at CBS Records and CFO at Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which owns The Beatles catalog. He assumed that his new firm, an independent publishing company, would want to become one of the heavyweights in its industry.

He was wrong. Imagem Music isn’t an insignificant player in the market. It represents the catalogs for artists like MIA, Daft Punk, Counting Crows, Elvis Presley, Pink Floyd, Phil Collins and Genesis. But Storch says he quickly realized that staying independent, and relatively small, was part of Imagem’s business model. Imagem is “a home for clients who want more attention and greater service,” Storch says, and its reputation as a publishing company that nurtures artists helps it win big deals. It’s not trying to become the next Sony.

As CFO, Storch had a lot to offer (particularly his M&A expertise). But he also had to get used to this new way of thinking about growth. He sat down with CFO at our CPM conference in New York to talk about that transition and about how Imagem competes with major music publishing companies while staying true to itself.

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