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Brian Duffy Joins Aurum Holdings

The industry veteran was named group CEO and is to invest in the British jewelry retailer.

LONDON — Aurum Holdings Limited, the British luxury and prestige jewelry retailer whose brands include Watches of Switzerland, Mappin & Webb and Goldsmiths, has named Brian Duffy its group chief executive officer, effective immediately.

A former Ralph Lauren executive, Duffy is also investing in Aurum Holdings alongside its owner Apollo Group. He succeeds Justin Stead, who had been ceo for the past six years.

Duffy had served as EMEA group president at Ralph Lauren for nine years and left that company at the end of 2011. Since then, he has acted as a consultant to Kohlberg, Kravis Roberts & Co. when the group acquired the Sandro, Maje and Claudie Pierlot labels in 2013.

Sanjay Patel, head of Europe for Apollo, said Duffy would bring his expertise to Aurum as it moves into “the next chapter of development, implementing our flagship strategy and taking the business to its full scale potential.”

Apollo Global Management acquired Aurum Holdings Limited in early 2013.

Duffy said he was looking forward to the opening of the new Watches of Switzerland flagship on London’s Regent Street. The three-floor, 16,000-square-foot store is to open in June opposite J. Crew, with 13 brand boutiques inside.

Among the brands to be sold are Rolex, Patek Philippe, Tag Heuer, IWC, Cartier, Piaget, Chopard and Panerai.

Francois Le Troquer has recently been named brand director of Watches of Switzerland. Le Trouquer was formerly general director of Cartier U.K., and had been with that brand for 19 years.