The co-founders of Foundry Literary + Media are launching new ventures. Yfat Reiss Gendell and Peter McGuigan, who started the full service firm 13 years ago, are amicably parting ways to create their own agencies: YRG Partners and Ultra Literary.
While no new deals will be signed by Foundry, Gendell said the firm will continue to oversee the thousands of contracts still residing there. She explained: "Though willing to accommodate requests to transfer rights administration and client payments to the domestic agent of record, we remain committed to fully servicing the clients and contracts for which Foundry serves as agency of record." To that end, Gendell said she will "remain the administrative point of contact."
Joining Gendell at her new firm are current Foundry agents Peter Steinberg, Adriann Ranta, and Tanusri Prasanna. McGuigan will be joined by Foundry agent Kirsten Neuhaus. Alicka Pistek will also be on staff at Ultra Literary, handling foreign rights. Foundry agent Chris Park will be joining DeFiore and Company.
In addition to Ultra Literary, McGuigan is launching a packaging company with bestselling author Bret Witter (Dewey) called Aardvark: We Build Books.
In a statement about the moves, Gendell said: "Peter and I have worked together since 2001, and in 2005 began ideating on the kind of agency we could build for ourselves and the authors, agents and editorial colleagues we would invite to join us. We opened our doors on the first night of BookExpo 2007 and have loved the process of building a publishing home for authors and agents we admire. [Now] we’re each choosing to focus on individual strengths within publishing, and to transition Foundry to a service entity for existing contracts."
Correction: An earlier version of this article referred to Kirsten Neuhaus as a principal at Foundry; she was an agent there.