Chris Armstrong Leaves IMG, Wasserman to Sign Nick Taylor

IMG’s Chris Armstrong, the Canadian player agent to the likes of Stephen Ames, Anthony Kim and Chris Baryla, has left the agency to start up Canadian operations for the Wasserman Group.  I spoke with Armstrong today, who said rumors that his first client will be Nick Taylor is inaccurate, though it appears former PGA Tour pro Ian Leggatt, who was Wasserman’s first agent in Canada, will be inking a deal with the Canadian amateur standout. Armstrong had also previously worked with noted new pro Matt Hill.

The move has been reported by several news agencies this evening, and is seen as a blow to IMG, especially following the departure of the organization’s former head, Brad Pelletier, earlier this year. Armstrong, 29 was based out of the Toronto office, but spent a lot of time in recent years in IMG’s Cleveland office or on the road. He joined IMG full-time in 2005 and was regarded as one of the young stars of the organization.

Armstrong said it is too early to discuss what he’ll be doing at Wasserman, though it will involve golf and other facets.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to build a sports practice in Canada,” he said, adding he wanted to be respectful to his former employer.

I’ve had plenty of dealings with Armstrong over the years, and he was part of the Top 25 Most Influential individuals in Canadian golf list I edited for the National Post in 2009.

Oh, and if you want to learn something about Wasserman, you can check out the company’s website. Only once there you’ll find it devoid of information — no client lists, no list of contacts. I would have assumed a media organization would make itself easy to communicate with, but apparently not. According to some web sources, Wasserman is deep on soccer players. Not much in the way of golfers — though media reports indicate Wasserman’s golf division was launched in 2008 when another former IMG agent joined, signing, among others, Hunter Mahan.

Bob Weeks has a report on Armstrong’s departure here, while the Canadian Press has a short news item saying Armstrong’s clients are “expected to be reassigned.” That is, of course, if they want to be “reassigned.” I suspect Armstrong has a non-compete clause, but many of his clients — including Kim and Ames — were clearly very fond of the Canadian agent. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

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Jeff Lancaster

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