David Shaheen says he has never read a movie script. Yet, as the head of JPMorgan’s Entertainment Banking Group, based in Los Angeles, the soft-spoken Shaheen has a huge impact on the films you see at the movie theater, on television and through digital outlets like Netflix and Amazon.
JPMorgan’s relationship with Hollywood dates back to the silent film era of the 1920s, when the entertainment group began providing financing to production companies that make movies. Today, of course, its reach extends to the wide variety of distribution companies that show films in theaters, on cable, and the internet. Under Shaheen’s leadership, JPMorgan’s business in Hollywood has steadily grown, to greater than 90 percent market share for what’s known as senior debt financing--that is, financing that goes to production companies, not individual films.