December 5, 2011

Janet Gurwitch Joins Castanea Partners

Expert in Luxury Personal Care and Branded Consumer Products to Focus on New Opportunities

Castanea Partners announced today that Janet Gurwitch has joined the firm as Operating Partner. Janet has over fifteen years of executive experience in the personal care, luxury, and branded consumer products sectors.

Prior to joining Castanea, Janet was the founder and CEO of Laura Mercier Cosmetics, a leading, global beauty brand. Under Janet’s leadership, Laura Mercier became one of the top 5 prestige cosmetics brands in the world.

Prior to founding Laura Mercier, Janet was Executive Vice President of Merchandizing at Neiman Marcus Stores, where she set the strategy for and oversaw the entire women’s complex including beauty, ready-to-wear, and accessories. Janet began her career at Foley’s Department Store where she was Senior Vice President of Merchandizing.

Brian Knez, Managing Partner of Castanea, said, “As an operating oriented private investment firm, adding Janet to our team presents an extraordinary opportunity. She will add to our unique level and depth of operating expertise, particularly in personal care. With her extensive knowledge, network, and experience, Janet will enhance our ability to add value in supporting our portfolio companies, and in identifying new investment opportunities.”

Janet serves as director on the boards of Urban Decay Cosmetics and La-Z-Boy, Inc., and on the advisory board of Rice University Business School. Additionally, she lectures at the business schools of University of Texas, University of Houston, Rice University, and University of Alabama.

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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