Episode 1

Insider Sources: Alex Smith & Justin Sroka from MGGGY

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Mann Gelon Glodney Gumerove Yee LLP (MGGGY) has, as quoted in Variety, branched out from its roots as a traditional accounting and tax firm. Today, business management accounts for a third of its revenue, as they’ve attracted a client base of major actors, writers, producers, directors, musicians and social influencers — solidifying them as a noteworthy presence in entertainment.

Last Thursday we got a chance to talk with Alex Smith and Justin Sroka (MGGGY’s Partner-In-Charge of Business Management and Principal, respectively) on Clubhouse, where we discussed the biggest challenges and successes MGGGY has faced in the past year, as well as major changes they’ve seen in the industry. More importantly, we discussed what it takes to be creative, to take the risks MGGGY has taken, while still maintaining its presence as a trusted boutique firm. 


“Next-Gen” talent navigating a changing industry 

By far their biggest success of the year, according to Smith, was their new hires. Key to MGGGY’s adaptability has been their “next-gen” talent, as their client base is backed by not only seasoned vets but young business managers. 

“Our biggest win this year has to be the talent we brought on,” Smith said. “The diversity of their work experience has made this a truly successful recruitment cycle.” 

Smith says that as well as talent, they placed emphasis on the diversity of expertise — a lot of the hires were brought in out-of-state, providing varied experience in accounting and tax law outside of California. 

Sroka, who was hired in 2020, said that what drew him to MGGGY was its independence and strength of its team members.

Over the past years, MGGGY has stayed true to staffing up young business managers, as they see this recruitment process as core to their promise of providing their clients with forward-thinking and creative management strategies. 

Forward-thinking might be a necessary advantage, as Smith and Sroka have especially noticed not just diversification in the clients they’ve brought in, but diversification in the services requested. More specifically, some clients are looking to leverage digital opportunities for new revenue streams.

How technology is changing business management 

Technology is offering many opportunities to think “outside-of-the-box,” as online has tested traditional understandings of accounting, finance, and more importantly — money. Meme stocks (most notably $GME) show that many millennial traders are investing less off of market trends, but on hype garnered from niche social media communities. The speed and suddenness in which money changes these days illustrate new volatility in not only what’s popular, but what clients are interested in. 

Clients are focused on technology too, and Smith and Sroka said that their size, as well as the extensiveness of their recruitment outreach, allowed them to respond and adapt very quickly to these sudden movements. Right now the internet has moved on from meme stocks and redirected its attention back to cryptocurrency — more specifically NFTs, or non-fungible tokens.

Smith says NFTs is an interesting model, and that despite its current profitability he would encourage any clients to do research to ensure that they fully understand what they’re getting into — especially given how popular they’ve become in entertainment. 

Shawn Mendes is dropping a collection of concert-style collectibles on OpenSea. Grimes released a 48-hour art drop, her pieces making over hundreds of thousands of dollars in less than a few hours. NFTs have put art, music, and literature at the center of a conversation it doesn’t usually intrude: data and cryptocurrency. 


Looking forward: how MGGGY hopes to further business management and the industry’s network

The last year in MGGGY has seen transitions in staff, clientele, and in industry trends. While most of their work is remote, they’ve worked to improve communications between teams, as well as improve outreach to new and old clients. With regards to the future of business management, Smith hopes that in the future they will be able to expand their network to more non-entertainment clients who would want more “boutique management services.” 

Smith and Sroka believe that business management is headed in the right direction. They’ve noted the importance of a professional network, pointing to the growing community of business managers as key contributors to providing resources that many in the field did not have in the past.

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