This is the archived SXSW 2012 schedule. Please see the current schedule here.

Obsession of the Dealmaker

#sxsw #dealmakers

Hear candid discussions from veteran dealmakers on how to make it rain in a drying climate: where the money is, how to find it, and what kinds of contracts are being struck. Learn how social media has impacted the dealmaking environment and how commerce is really happening in the music business today.



MODERATOR Sara Qazi Guided Portfolio Mgr Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

Sara focuses on Strategic Wealth Planning for entertainers, high net worth families, and entrepreneurs.

Her disciplined investment process draws upon her knowledge of the financial markets, her expertise in trust, estate and tax planning, and investment management experience. As a Financial Advisor, she leverages the significant institutional and consulting resources of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney where she can bring comprehensive solutions to clients.

She consults on client assets in excess of $7Billion. Previous to finance, Sara spent 11 years managing punk, heavy metal and indie alternative bands in the US, Canada and Europe.

Laurel Stearns Mgr LSS MGMT


Before venturing off on her own with her artists, Laurel Stearns for a year and a half, built a small roster at Prospect Park(The Firm) with Red Fang, Jenny O. and Father John Misty aka J. Tillman (Fleet Foxes) record out this May on Sub Pop, spent 8 years at Capitol Records, 3 years at Red Light Management and 6 years as an independent manager.

During her tenure at Capitol Records, Laurel brought in/worked with bands such as: Interpol,The Decemberists, Shout Out Louds, Fischerspooner, Sparklehorse and LCD Soundsystem. During her tenure at Capitol Laurel realized there were many bands that she was passionate about that belonged no where near a major label. With two partners, launched Cold Sweat Records/Caroline. From that label , Wives/No Age, Battles, Devendra Banhart , Yahowa 13 and many others were discovered and released.

Laurel also brought The Decemberists and Alberta Cross to Red Light Management.
She conceived of the idea to arrange a tour for The Decemberists with the philharmonics/orchestras in major markets across the US – and it was the band’s largest grossing tour to date. Every step of the way the band and management worked together to build and create a world that was wholly The Decemeberists own.

As an independent manager, Laurel managed: The Dirty Dozen Brass Band (Mammoth), The descendents, ALL(Epitaph), GWAR(Metal Blade), The Paladins (4AD) Plastilina Mosh (Capitol). Laurel helped develop fan bases for these bands with branded tours & creative marketing ideas (ie: comic book instores for GWAR, shows on cruise ships for Dirty Dozen Brass Band, The Descendent’s “Caffeine Nation Tour” - which did not allow any beer sponsors or corporate posters in the venue, etc.). Her fiercely independent ‘can do’ attitude has remained with her through every step of her career – and has taught her to never rely solely on record labels or radio.

Earlier in her career, Laurel also scouted for The Sony WORK group, where she was involved in the album set up for artists such as Fiona Apple, Jennifer Lopez, Jamaroquai & Eagle Eye Cherry. She was also editor for a Los Angeles based magazine where she interviewed everyone from Joey Ramone to Shel Talmy. And she also worked at Cherokee Recording Studio and Studio 55 where she worked on sessions for The Pixies, Rod Stewart, Phil Spector and more.

Gillian Bar Partner Carroll Guido & Groffman LLP

Phil Sarna PS Business Management

Chris Swanson A&R Jagjaguwar Records

Chris Swanson is a founder of the American independent record labels Dead Oceans, Jagjaguwar and Secretly Canadian, as well as distribution group SC Distribution, operated primarily out of Bloomington, Indiana, with satellite offices in New York City, London and Austin. These labels are home to such diverse acts as Bon Iver, Antony & the Johnsons, Okkervil River, Black Mountain, The Tallest Man on Earth, Yeasayer, Jens Lekman, Dinosaur Jr., Magnolia Electric Co, Phosphorescent, The Besnard Lakes and Bowerbirds, to name a few.

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