Former Zodiak Kids CEO Jean-Philippe Randisi and licensing vet Trudi Hayward are coming together to launch bRand-Ward, a new UK-based IP monetization company focused on kids content. China’s Hengxin Shambala Kids (Book Hungry Bears) and Paris-based Cyber Group Studios (Gigantosaurus) have both already come on board as clients.
The new company’s aim is to help creators and owners of kids entertainment properties expand their core business and monetize their IPs globally. It will provide expertise in key areas, including IP sourcing, co-productions and production financing, as well as brand marketing, digital and broadcast strategy, asset development and consumer products. Additionally, bRand-Ward will help with appointing and managing distributors and agents.
Randisi stepped down as CEO of Banijay-owned prodco Zodiak Kids last August, after a four-year stint in the position. During his tenure, he led a number of kids series, including Lilybuds, Floogals, and Spy School. He also helped strengthen Zodiak’s digital business with the launch of ZeeKay Junior, Zeekay, and Mister Maker, which have generated more than 5.5 billion views on YouTube. Former Moonscoop Group co-founder Benoit di Sabatino took over as Zodiak Kids’ new CEO a month after Randisi’s exit.
Prior to Zodiak, Randisi was EVP of consumer products at ITV Studios, where he also oversaw home entertainment, the company’s international digital business and kids content production. He previously served as SVP and MD for MTV Networks International and Nickelodeon consumer products, ran Saban’s European CP business and served as VP at Walt Disney Records EMEA.
Hayward, meanwhile, continues to serve as chief consultant for Hengxin Shambala Kids. Prior to this, she most recently served as SVP and global head of ITV’s merchandising business, where she worked alongside Randisi. She previously helped him set up Viacom’s CP business in Europe as VP of Nickelodeon consumer products UK. Hayward has also held sales and licensing positions at CPLG and Beanstalk Europe.