Utopia confirms rebrand as Proper Group and move to London

Utopia confirms rebrand as Proper Group and move to London

Utopia has confirmed a rebrand as Proper Group and a strategic repositioning for the company. It follows a period of restructuring at the company, which had been based in Switzerland but will now move its HQ to London. 

At its recent annual general meeting, shareholders confirmed that the Proper brand will represent its consolidated efforts in music distribution and music tech.

Last month, Proper Distribution (combining the original Proper Music Group and Utopia Distribution Services) recorded its fifth busiest month to date since Proper began trading in 1989. The previous November also saw its new Bicester warehouse ship its highest ever total of more than 3.3 million units. 

In conjunction with these efforts, Proper Group is planning to move more of its operational activities to London, which brings it closer to its European music industry clients and commercial interests. 

In January, leadership at Utopia transitioned from Mattias Hjelmstedt to Michael Stebler, who assumed the role of CEO to oversee strategic realignment on an interim basis. With Stebler now set to exit as chief executive, the company will focus its efforts on two distinct areas. 

Proper Distribution’s new era will be led by UK music industry veteran Drew Hill, who will become CEO of the distribution division and payment-related services. 

Meanwhile, the company’s music tech division — which encompasses Proper Payments, Proper Processing, and Proper Music Data and focuses on accelerating royalty payments, enriching metadata, managing releases, and processing royalties — will announce an appointment soon.

The promising growth and recent achievements give us confidence in a brighter future

Drew Hill

Proper Group said it will “regretfully” be liquidating the Utopia Swedish entity and UK Utopia Accelerate entity. This will also mean that the Swiss entity is being downsized to reduce operational costs, to further support growth in the UK, and align with market demand. 

Michael Stebler, CEO, said: “As we step into a new era of growth and technological advancement at Proper Group, I want to express my sincere sorrow that part of our journey involves parting ways with some of our valued colleagues. These are not decisions we take lightly, and I am deeply thankful for the hard work and contribution of those who are affected. Our commitment to our partners and the creative sector is stronger than ever, and I believe that our recent strategic decisions will allow us to serve them even better.”

Drew Hill, currently deputy CEO, said: "It's tremendously difficult to part ways with colleagues who have contributed so much to our journey. It is one of the hardest decisions we face as leaders. These decisions weigh heavily on us, but regretfully have been required. Looking to the future, the promising growth and recent achievements give us confidence in a brighter future. We are committed to our vision of enhancing our services and technology to better support our creators and clients, making this transition vital for our long-term success.”


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