April 5, 2011

IPPOLITA Names Joe Cavalcante as CEO

Jeweler poised for continued growth and international expansion.

IPPOLITA announced today that it has promoted Joe Cavalcante to CEO of the company. Cavalcante, who has been President since 2007, will assume the new role immediately.

“We considered many extraordinary candidates during the search for our new CEO,” said Brian Knez, Chairman of the Board and Founding Partner of private equity group Castanea Partners, the company’s primary investor. “But Joe’s qualifications and contributions to the company ultimately made him an ideal candidate for the role. He’s a smart, independent thinker who’s passionate about the brand and has played a significant role in the Company’s growth.”

Since joining IPPOLITA in 2005, Cavalcante has built a strong management team and transformed the company’s sales and marketing organizations. With Joe’s leadership, the company has successfully expanded its distribution at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales and Nordstrom and at a growing network of independent jewelers across the country.

Ippolita Rostagno, Founder and Creative Director of the brand added “With Joe at the helm, we now have a synergistic and dynamic team in place and are well poised to become a true global operation.“

Prior to joining IPPOLITA, Cavalcante, a graduate of Wharton Business School, worked in Mergers & Acquisitions at ING Barings (now ABN Amro), and at the US subsidiary of Japanese Trading company leader, ITOCHU, where he contributed to the firm’s new business strategy including the expansion of Dean & Deluca to Japan.

“I am thrilled to continue working closely with Ippolita to further our leadership position in wearable, fashion fine jewelry in the US and abroad. It’s a dream to work with a talent like Ippolita, someone who has a real and compelling point of view and who also understands what it takes to build a successful brand“

The New York-based brand, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2010, is known for its fresh and colorful aesthetic and diverse use of materials, including multi-faceted stone bracelets, necklaces and rings in gold and silver, and has a strong following among fashionistas and celebrities, including Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez and Penelope Cruz.

About Castanea

Castanea is a private equity firm that works in partnership with founders and management teams of innovative passion brands to grow their businesses through a combination of capital investment and operating expertise. We are focused on select consumer verticals including beauty, food and beverage, multi-unit services, and enthusiast lifestyle. We typically invest between $15 to $150 million of equity in minority or majority transactions. Our team of talented operating executives offers critical expertise in key verticals and functional areas, and provides our partner companies with strategic and tactical support. Castanea has more than $1 billion in assets under management and is currently investing from a $735 million fourth fund. For more information about Castanea Partners read our story.

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