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Born in Northamptonshire in 1954. A former employee of the Beggars Banquet retail chain, Ivo Watts-Russell founded [l=Axis (2)] / [l=4AD] Records in 1979 with [a=Peter Kent (3)]. Kent left 4AD in 1980 to set up the Beggars-funded [l=Situation Two].
In 1999, Watts-Russell sold his share in 4AD to the Beggars Group (a conglomeration of labels borne out of Beggars Banquet, and including Mo'Wax, Matador, XL and Too Pure), to give himself time to further his interests in book publishing. Since then his involvement in 4AD has mostly been on a consultency level, for catalogue releases.