Obsession of the Dealmaker – SXSW Interview Sara Qazi

Sara Qazi 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.

She will be moderating the Obsession of the Dealmaker panel at South by Southwest on Friday, March 16 from 2:00PM to 3:00PM in the Austin Convention Center, Room 10C. We asked Sara a few questions about the panel:

What was your interest in creating this panel?

We had a VERY (standing room only) successful session at CMJ in New York in October. Due to the shrinking business of music, we wanted to bring true-to-life dealmakers and long-time industry professionals to the forefront, discussing deal economics in a frank and pragmatic fashion. We wanted to answer the question…”How do you make money in this business?”.

How does this panel relate to your background?

I spent 11 years as an artist manager (9 partnered with Tracy Gray in the Cooperative). Managing indie rock, punk and hard rock bands domestically, in Canada and England. We even competed for John Mayer very early on. My life as an artist manager and my continued role as a financial advisor to musicians are inextricably tied together.

Who else is on the panel and what do they bring to the subject?

The other panelists include a long time transactional attorneys, a manager who also runs an indie label and was in A&R at Capitol Recs, and a lifelong owner/operator of a successful indie record label. All of them operate outside the major label system and work directly with artists to guide and impact their careers. These folks create commerce daily and sow the seeds for long, flourishing careers, not just for their clients but for themselves which is a component of the music business that is somehow lost. As in making money for yourself isn’t sexy or necessary. Its critical to the success of anyone in the client-side of the business.

Why is this panel important to musicians?

This panel is critically important. Artists will learn what money is available, how to reach it, why you need to screw on your business cap alongside the creative and how to make good business decisions for your career. If you want to function primarily as a musician, a singer, a songwriter, a band, then its imperative to hear why types of deals are being struck, for how much money, and how that equates to your career.

What do you hope people will walk away with after attending this panel?

We collectively hope that the audience will leave with a greater level of appreciation for all who work to move the needle, who think outside the box, outside the system to create an economy, a lifestyle, an income, a career for their clients and their businesses. We hope they will takeaway a clearer understanding of today’s music business and what the deal economics are….a realistic viewpoint.

Best way for people to contact you?

sara.qazi@mssb.com or via LinkedIn

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