Castanea Partners announced today that Jeffrey F. Rayport has joined the firm as Operating Partner. Jeffrey has over 20 years of executive experience in information and marketing services.
Prior to Castanea, Jeffrey was the founder and chairman of Marketspace LLC, a strategy practice that works with leading companies to radically reinvent how they interact with customers and markets. Marketspace is a unit of Monitor Group, a global strategy services and merchant banking firm.
Previously, Jeffrey was a faculty member at Harvard Business School where he developed and taught the first e-commerce course in the United States. Jeffrey continues to teach in various executive programs at the school.
Robert Smith, Managing Partner of Castanea, said, “As an operating oriented private investment firm, adding Jeffrey to our team presents an extraordinary opportunity. He will add to our unique level and depth of operating expertise. He has intellectual leadership and specific experience within the information, consumer facing and marketing service sectors and greatly enhances our ability to add value in supporting our portfolio companies.”
As a senior partner at Monitor, Jeffrey founded several business units in the firm, including Marketspace and Monitor Executive Development, a customized executive education unit. Jeffrey consults and speaks on strategies for customer engagement to drive growth, with a specialization in media and entertainment, retail, and financial services. He is a founding faculty member of several corporate universities and has co-authored a series of leading MBA-level textbooks on strategy in the networked economy. Most recently, Jeffrey published a bestselling business book on reinventing service businesses, Best Face Forward: Why Companies Must Improve Their Service Interfaces with Customers.
Jeffrey is a columnist for BusinessWeek Online. He has written for other publications as well, including CIO, Financial Times, Fast Company, Forbes.com, Harvard Business Review, MarketWatch.com, McKinsey Quarterly, Optimize, and Strategy & Business. As a keynote speaker, he is represented exclusively by the Washington Speakers Bureau.
Jeffrey has served as a director of both public and private corporations, which currently include: Andrews McMeel Universal; GSI Commerce; International Data Group; iCrossing; and Valueclick. Past directorships have included Agency.com, Be Free, and CBS MarketWatch. Jeffrey also serves on the International Advisory Board of Fleishman-Hillard and the Advisory Board of Brodeur Partners, both strategic communications firms of Omnicom.
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.