FINANCE CONFERENCE I
Bridging the Production Insurance Gap
The continued lack of pandemic insurance has added complexities, expense and risk to most productions. Financiers and producers discuss strategies that can get films made, what projects are side-lined by the insurance gap, and how to know which are ultimately worth taking the risk.
Jill Goldsmith, Co-Business Editor, Deadline
Steve Hays, Founder & Managing Member, 120dB Films
Peter A. Marshall, Managing Principal, Media Insurance Services, Epic Insurance Brokers
Nick Spicer, Partner, XYZ Films
Jill GoldsmithCo-Business Editor, Deadline
Jill joined Deadline in 2019 after working as a New York-based contributor. She follows corporate finance, deals and publicly traded companies in media and entertainment, film financing, and New York film and TV production.
Nick SpicerPartner, XYZ Films
Nick is the CEO and a founding partner of XYZ Films, an independent film studio based in Los Angeles. XYZ specializes in filmmaker-driven genre films with a distinct global outlook. Since XYZ’s inception, Nick has been involved with the production, financing and/or distribution of hundreds of films, from over 40 countries. Prior to co-founding XYZ in 2008, Nick was an independent producer focusing on local-language feature films and unscripted television series. Nick received an MFA from the UCLA Producers Program in 2006. He majored in English, History and French at Rice University, where he was a National Merit Scholar. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2004. Nick was born in Seattle, Washington.
Peter A. MarshallManaging Principal, Media Insurance Services, Epic Insurance Brokers
Peter joined EPIC in August of 2021, after 16 years in the insurance industry. He creates and overseas Production and E&O insurance programs, as well as risk management protocols for some of the world’s leading film, television, and new media production companies, that have included many Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe Award nominated and winning shows. Peter oversees Management Liability protection, including Cyber and Tech, Political Violence & Risk, and KR&E coverage for these companies as well. He created a Lloyd’s of London-backed Hurricane program in 2006 that has insured dozens of projects in Louisiana since Katrina, and on behalf of the government of Puerto Rico for films and television produced there.
In the partially self-insured space, Peter works closely with captive insurance management firms and capital markets that support captives. Currently, Peter overseas underwriting and claims for a captive he designed for an investment bank in the U.K. which offers coverage solely to the shows in which the bank invests. This captive is backed by an A.M. Best “A” rated insurer (Financial Rating of XII) and insures for extra expense caused by COVID-related shutdowns of film and TV productions, directly filling in for the exclusions found in all production insurance portfolios offered by the entertainment carriers.
Before coming to insurance and risk advisory, Peter produced feature films and long-form television. During 15 years of experience in the film industry based in Los Angeles, he was the Senior Vice President of Film Production at Lionsgate, SVP and Head of Television Production at Trimark Pictures, and served as an executive at several prominent independents and studio-based production companies where he oversaw production of many lauded and successful feature, cable, and network television films.
Peter graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. from Yale College, and an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama. He is a licensed Property and Casualty broker in New York, California, Georgia, Virginia, Louisiana, and Florida.
Steve HaysFounder & Managing Member, 120dB Films
Stephen Hays is foremost an asset manager and a fiduciary. He has spent his entire career, over 35 years, deploying capital in a range of asset classes in both the public and private marketplaces. Stephen founded 120dB Films in 2004 after 18 years in the securities industry. Since inception, the company has acted as a senior secured lender to almost 100 films and TV series, and has achieved superior risk-adjusted returns with minimal losses. The company has deployed capital on behalf of a large New York-based hedge fund, a Fortune 500 insurer, an iconic family office, and a consortium of high net worth investors. Prior, Stephen was co-founder and General Partner of Seneca Capital, a New York-based hedge fund (1996-2003) with a focus upon event driven investments including risk arbitrage, capital structure arbitrage, spin-offs, recapitalization and distressed securities. Before Seneca, he was a Managing Director at Furman Selz, a NY-based investment bank with a similar investment strategy (1987-1995). Stephen’s first position on Wall Street was at Laterman and Co., a risk arbitrage-oriented hedge fund (1985-1987). He received a BA in History from Kenyon College in 1983 and gained a Masters of Science in Accounting and Finance at the London School of Economics in 1985.
Stephen is a founding sponsor and former Board member of the Woodstock Film Festival and serves on the Board of Directors of Green Chimneys School for disadvantaged youth where he chaired for many years the non-profit’s Investment Committee. He is an active supporter of numerous other charitable and non-profit organizations, and is a passionate advocate for organizations focused upon social justice and human rights.
Stephen is an extreme sports fan and partakes in wake, kite and snowboarding (when his body is cooperating), enjoys creating electronic music and drumming. His personal film projects have taken him from the jungles of Gabon, and the townships of Capetown, South Africa, to the stock car dirt tracks of upstate New York, where he currently resides.