Hipgnosis Bumps Cindy Rampersaud to Senior Independent Director

Hipgnosis Songs Fund promotes Cindy Rampersaud to Senior Independent Director
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Hipgnosis Songs Fund promotes Cindy Rampersaud to Senior Independent Director
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Photo Credit: Hipgnosis (Cindy Rampersaud)

Hipgnosis Songs Fund has promoted Cindy Rampersaud to Senior Independent Director as of April 12. Rampersaud has served on the music royalty investor’s board as a non-executive director since August 2023.

The Hipgnosis Songs Fund remains in dispute with its investment adviser, alleging misconduct against Hipgnosis Songs Management Ltd and its Founder Merck Mercuriadis. HSF has alleged that Hipgnosis Songs Management ‘cherry picked’ assets from the HSF catalog for a proposed sale to another investment fund, Hipgnosis Songs Capital.

What’s going on with Hipgnosis? — Quick Catch-Up

Hipgnosis Songs Fund is a publicly traded investment fund listed as ‘SONG’ on the London Stock exchange. Meanwhile, Hipgnosis Songs Management—led by Merck Mercuriadis—acts as an investment advisor for the SONG catalog. HSM is majority-owned by private equity firm Blackstone.

Blackstone also runs Hipgnosis Songs Capital, which is a private equity fund in which Mercuriadis owns a minority stake. Mercuriadis also owns a minority stake in HSM—which acts as an investment advisor to the private HSC. (It’s all a bit snake-eating its own tail, to be frank.)

An independent review of Hipgnosis Songs Fund found that the fund’s net royalty income is around 26% lower than a September 2023 valuation. That report also found that HSM manager Merck Mercuriadis materially overstated HSF’s revenue and EBITDA and supported catalog acquisitions with financial analysis that were not up to “music industry standards.”

Who is Cindy Rampersaud?

Cindy Rampersaud is a chartered accountant with considerable experience across a range of organizations. She was first appointed to Hipgnosis in July 2023 after Vania Schlogel left Hipgnosis Songs Fund in May 2023. Prior to coming on board Hipgnosis Songs Fund, Rampersaud held senior executive roles at Virgin, Warner Bros, EMI, the Department of Education, and Pearson.

Hipgnosis Songs Management saw several high-profile executive departures in 2023 including Chief Music Officer Ted Cockle and President of Sync & Creative Tom Stingemore. Meanwhile, Hipgnosis Songs Fund saw the departure of Nick Jarjour, Global Head of Song Management. Tony Barnes also left his role as Executive VP of Digital & Innovation in favor of leading a metaverse gaming company—though he is still employed by Hipgnosis.