Wilhelmina International Inc. (NASDAQ: WHLM), formerly Wilhelmina Models, is a full service modeling and talent agency headquartered in New York City, United States. The company also has offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, and London. Founded in 1967 by Wilhelmina Cooper, it currently provides full-service representation and management to models, entertainers, artists, musicians, and athletes. In 2009 the company became the first and only publicly traded modeling and talent agency after its acquisition by New Century Equity Holdings Corp.
|Traded as||NASDAQ: WHLM|
|Industry||Modeling and talent agency|
|Founded||New York City (1967 )|
|Headquarters||New York City
|Bill Wackermann (CEO), Mark Schwarz (Chief Executive Chairman)|
Wilhelmina International Inc. was founded in 1967 by the Dutch model Wilhelmina Cooper and husband Bruce Cooper, as well as minority partners Bill Weinberg and Fran Rothchild. The company currently constitutes one of the oldest and largest full-service model management companies in the world.
After Wilhelmina Cooper died in 1980 at age 40, the agency was transferred to her business partners, and was then bought in 1989 for around 4 million dollars by Horst-Dieter Esch, a German businessman with interests in the construction industry. Esch held discussions with Elite Model Management and Ford Models with a view to creating a large conglomerate agency that would be taken public, but this did not happen.
In February 2009, New Century Equity Holdings Corp., a publicly traded company, acquired Wilhelmina Models. Esch sold his stake in the agency for 22 million dollars. New Century subsequently changed its name to Wilhelmina International, Inc. and currently trades under the ticker symbol 'WHLM'. The company licenses its brand to third-party agencies in countries around the world, including the United States and Dubai.
In 2012, Wilhelmina created an Artist Division that matches film and music industry artists with international brands. In January 2015, the firm opened an office in London (England) and 2016 in Chicago (U.S). Additionally in 2016, Wilhelmina launched Aperture, a talent and commercial agency that represents models and actors for film, commercials, and television with offices in New York City and Los Angeles.
Wilhelmina represents and manages models, celebrities, artists, athletes and content creators worldwide, including Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, Machine Gun Kelly, Leona Lewis, Shawn Mendes, Dustin Lance Black, Francisco Lachowski, Barbie Ferreira, Robyn Lawley, Sora Choi, Anne de Paula, and others.
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