Jessie M. Abad
VP, Business & Legal Affairs, Rimas Entertainment LLC
"Your laugh, should be a ringtone," a seasoned label executive once said to Jessie, whose laughter (100% contagious) is a tell for her open and genuine personality. She has been accused of working "youthfully," in part because of her unbeatable stamina, but mainly because despite her extensive legal and entertainment industry knowledge and experience she is always open to new ideas. Jessie is a patient teacher who builds people up, just as she leads artists and businesses to thrive. She herself grew up in the disadvantaged neighborhood of Carol City, in the suburbs of Miami, as daughter to immigrant parents - a Peruvian father who unbeknownst to his family jumped on a ship bound for America, alone, at the age of 14 and from whom Jessie got her street smarts, and a Cuban mother who ingrained a love of learning, challenged her to strive for excellence, instilled a sense of ethics, and bestowed the legacy of dogged determination that is seldom appreciated by those meeting Jessie at the negotiating table.
At her core, and despite her nurturing traits, Jessie is a champion and a warrior. This may be illustrated by the fact that, on the one hand, Jessie studied social work - with such dedication as to attain both a bachelor's, Magna Cum Laude, and a master's degree in this field from Florida State University, and, on the other hand, after graduating with a Juris Doctor from The American University and while serving as Vice President, Anti-Piracy, Civil Litigation in her first legal job with the Recording Industry Association of America, Jessie went head-on against a multinational direct marketing and distribution company which was committing widespread infringement on the rights of Recording Industry Association members. At the time, Jessie alone identified the importance of the potential lawsuit and lobbied for support from the Recording Industry Association members - though many failed to recognize the merits of the case and support the litigation. Yet Jessie persisted and together with outside counsel, she secured a nine million dollar settlement for the Recording Industry Association members whose intellectual property had been appropriated and misused. At the time, such a settlement was unprecedented in that organization. Jessie would usher a number of measures that transformed the Recording Industry Association's Civil Litigation Department into a unit that was profitable versus a financial drain. This has inspired her throughout her career to think like an entrepreneur and not just a lawyer, and create value for her clients beyond the delivery of legal services.
For the last five years Jessie has been the legal powerhouse behind Rimas Entertainment LLC's growth and expansion, and this record label company's business success in catapulting the artistic career of International Recording Talent Bad Bunny. First, it was Jessie who negotiated Rimas' 360 Agreements with Bad Bunny. Next as Rimas' VP of Business and Legal Affairs, Jessie provided the institutional industry insight and legal reinforcement on deals such as Bad Bunny's Super Bowl Performance, his sneaker co-branding venture with Adidas, his sponsorship campaigns with Cheetos and Corona, his upcoming tour, and other live performances, as well as his participation in television and major films. Jessie has also negotiated over one hundred million dollars in distribution deals for Rimas. Simultaneous with her work at Rimas, Jessie has represented Risamar Business Group LLC and currently serves as the Legal Director of this music publishing company. She has secured double digit percentage growth in revenue for Risamar and within a period of two years took the then start-up Risamar to a position as Google's Caribbean representative for digital content.
Previously, during her 17-year service as General Counsel of Estefan Enterprises working alongside Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Jessie increased her client's publishing catalogue by a record twenty million dollars, after a one-year effort on her part of intense and surgical negotiations. Her client's catalogue had been mired in onerous agreements with third parties, that predated Jessie's time with the company. Following a thorough analysis, Jessie advised her clients to take a calculated risk, end the existing contractual relationships, consolidate the assets, and seek a new deal. Jessie's counsel, borne out of her business acumen and legal talent, enabled her clients to fully capitalize on their stardom. For the Estefans, Jessie worked on contracts that included a multi-brand product deal with Target and AT&T meant to appeal to demographics across industries, projects with foreign entities such as Televisa, a highly-complex marketing transaction development and production deal with China's Olympic Committee which contributed to China's hosting the 2018 International Olympics, and "On Your Feet," the Broadway Musical Production of the story of the lives of Gloria and Emilio Estefan.
You may contact Jessie through her website or LinkedIn profile, which you'll easily find if you google or search for Jessie M. (for Margaret) Abad.
International Deal Making
10/15/21, 3:00 PM
With Latin and K-pop music infiltrating US pop culture, we believe it is time to take a closer look into the nuts and bolts of deal making in those genres. From recording agreements, publishing agreements, endorsement agreements and the general advantage of cross-cultural collaborations, it is important to understand the distinctions in business models, accounting practices, and strategies, along with the development of multicultural literacy when working with global talent. Join us as a diverse and dynamic group of practitioners with deep knowledge in the area engage in a conversation about important issues pertaining to these exciting and growing markets.