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Zrinka Dekic tapped to lead strategy, M&A, finances at Genius Brands International

California-based children’s entertainment company Genius Brands International (GBI) has appointed Disney and Goldman Sachs alum Zrinka Dekic to the role of chief financial officer (CFO) and head of strategy and mergers and acquisitions.

Zrinka Dekic

The appointment, announced by chairman and CEO Andy Heyward, comes on the heels of GBI’s acquisition of Canada-headquartered Wow Unlimited Media for approximately US$53m, and its investment in Germany’s Your Family Entertainment (YFE).

Dekic has almost two decades of experience in the entertainment industry and financial markets, including corporate strategy, investment banking, investment management and corporate finance at The Walt Disney Company.

Before Disney, Dekic was VP in the investment management division at Goldman Sachs in New York on the US Fundamental Equity Portfolio Management team overseeing nearly US$30bn of assets under management. Most recently, she served as VP of Houlihan Lokey’s Investment Banking Technology, Media & Telecom Group.

“In particular, Zrinka brings a proven track record in M&A, which will continue to be an important component of our strategy as we execute on our vision of becoming one of the world’s leading global children’s entertainment companies,” said Heyward in a statement.

“In support of this goal, she brings extensive relationships across Wall Street and the entertainment industry, spanning animation, media and entertainment, sports, and consumer product companies across North America and globally,”

In addition, Bob Denton, who has served as CFO at Genius Brands since 2018, will assume the new role of executive VP of finance and accounting.

The moves comes during what Heyward calls a “major inflection point” for the company as it looks to expand rapidly through both organic and acquisitive growth.

With its acquisition of Wow Unlimited Media, both Frederator Studios and Mainframe Studios will move under its umbrella. The deal also allows the GBI to expand into teen- and young adult-focused animation, and grow its AVoD business through the addition of the Channel Frederator Network.

Meanwhile, GBI’s deal with Germany’s YFE will see it acquire a 29% stake in the company.

Also under the agreement, the companies have entered a strategic partnership to bundle their sales and broadcasting activities, film libraries and streaming platforms.


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