It's 9 a.m., any day of the week, at the MC & R offices in the heart of Munich. The first priority: one of the secretaries must put yet another new roll of paper in the fax machine, while Avram attempts to surface for air amid the sea of messages swamping his desk. (As if all this isn't work enough, there will no doubt be a similar pile awaiting him at home when he finally arrives there.)
The early part of the day will be largely occupied with telephone calls to Southeast Asia and the Far East, while the afternoon will see similar activity in relation to Europe, the U.S. and South America. Avram, in fact, only spends about 50 days each year at the Munich base, and so he takes the opportunity to delegate assignments in person to senior management colleagues before company business takes him back on the road to all places East and West. These include such new territories as Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Caracas, Santiago de Chile, Mexico City, Dubai and New Delhi.
Marcel Avram likes to deal face-to-face with his business partners and a 10-hour plane flight will often be deemed preferable to making telephone or fax contact.
The simple fact is that Marcel Avram likes to deal face-to-face with his business partners, and a 10-hour plane flight will often be deemed preferable to making telephone or fax contact. In addition to an enviable ability to speak six languages fluently— and to understand several more—Avram's comprehensive experience has also endowed him with fine-tuned character judgment.
"I often don't need a contract," he explains. "When I meet somebody face-to-face and judge him or her to be honest and dependable, then a statement such as 'I give you my word' is far more important to me than something put down on paper. It is a gentleman's agreement, and over the years there have been many times when I've valued and appreciated such deals."
Whether the agreements are indeed spoken or on paper, Avram's working relationships with his artists invariably tend to be long-term ones. Enormously dedicated to his work, he is consequently able to gain artists' confidence and respect. This quality in turn enables him to book acts such as Michael Jackson, Prince, Simple Minds and Yes, which are not to be found on the rosters of any other European agencies.