Who is John Zabel? Britney Spears' father calls new conservator 'unqualified'

James Spears warned that Britney Spear's $60 million estate could be at risk with John Zabel as her temporary conservator


                            Who is John Zabel? Britney Spears' father calls new conservator 'unqualified'
John Zable is the owner of Media Finance Structures — a company that offers financial and operational management of entertainment projects (Britney Spears/Instagram and John Zabel/LinkedIn)
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James Spears, Britney Spears' father, after being stripped of his daughter conservatorship, is not willing to go quitely. He has been objecting to the person she wants to replace him, saying that he does not have the experience and wisdom needed to manage her $60 million fortune.

James Spears has reportedly objected to a proposal by Britney's attorney Mathew Rosengart, about who will replace him as the temporary conservator. James in a court filing this week demanded that the request to appoint John Zabel as his replacement be rejected. The documents, obtained by TMZ, says that all that Britney's team has been able to say about Zabel is that he is a CPA with senior "executive experience in finance and in the entertainment industry".

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Is John Zabel qualified?

James believes that being an accountant, Zabel is not qualified enough to be a fiduciary. He warned that Britney's estate could be at risk with Zabel as a conservator, and that his lack of experience could lead to a huge mess. Talking about Zabel not being "highly qualified", James pointed how at how Zabel lost $1 million of his own money in a real estate investment that turned out to be scam. James hinted at the fact that if a person fails to do due diligence for his own money, he must not be entrusted with another individual's estate. Reportedly, James also believes that there is no evidence that he himself has done a bad job and sees no reason for anyone to replace him at all. Both Rosengart and Britney have disagreed, and decided to lay out James' alleged failings in court.

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John Zable is the owner of Media Finance Structures — a company that offers financial and operational management of entertainment projects. He has also worked with Paramount, Sony, and Lionsgate. A licensed CPA and certified public accountant, Zabel studied accounting at CSU Long Beach beginning in the 1980s. Before founding his company in 2002, he worked as a senior auditor. He has worked as a senior vice president of Sony Pictures Entertainment, and then executive vice president, chief financial officer for Mandalay Entertainment, according to his LinkedIn profile

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What happened at the hearing?

A judge on Wednesday, September 29, suspended James from the conservatorship, stating the arrangement “reflects a toxic environment.” This decision comes months after Britney Spears asked that her father be removed, saying at a court hearing, “I want my life back.” “The current situation is untenable,” Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny said after hearing arguments from both sides. “It reflects a toxic environment which requires the suspension of James Spears.” James, who sought the conservatorship back in 2008, remained its primary controller until his suspension. Britney was not present at the hearing.

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Zabel has now been appointed to serve as conservator of her finances through the end of the year. However, he has agreed to the fact that his position may be terminated before the scheduled period. During the hearing, James connected remotely but refused to speak. Arguing that his removal was not justified, his attorney Vivian Thoreen told the judge, "There is not a shred of evidence to support suspension. His record is impeccable."

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