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William Morris Chief Aims to Rival Sun Valley

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Jeremy Piven played the famous Hollywood agent, Ari Emanuel, on the HBO hit “Entourage.”

Jeremy Piven played the famous Hollywood agent, Ari Emanuel, on the HBO hit “Entourage.”

Jeremy Piven played the famous Hollywood agent, Ari Emanuel, on the HBO hit “Entourage.”

The resort city of Sun Valley, Id., is a popular tourist destination thanks to its skiing, hiking, tennis, and cycling.  Sun Valley attracts many in the entertainment industry, but Ari Emanuel, chief of the William Morris Agency, has come up with an alternative venue for schmoozing among the Hollywood elite.

Emanuel and his co-CEO, Patrick Whitesell, are extending their reach beyond Tinseltown and aiming to create sparks with the wider corporate community by putting together a conference of highfliers.

William Morris has been working closely with Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt to put together the conference with the support of New England Patriots boss Robert Kraft and California philanthropist Eli Broad.

Other backers of the new event include: Mukesh Ambani, of India’s Reliance Industries, a big movie investor; Kleiner Perkins’ John Doerr; and Yuri Milner of DST Global, an early Facebook investor.

Emanuel’s new event replaces a slot left vacant last year by Forstmann Little’s annual conference because of the death of founder Teddy Forstmann.

Notably, Emanuel, who counts Silver Lake as a backer of the talent agency, does not attend the Allen & Co. confab in Sun Valley, Idaho.

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