Janet Gurwitch, the founder of Laura Mercier, has left Castanea Partners and joined Advent International as an operating partner.
She will also join the board of Advent-owned Olaplex, as will Christine Dagousset, the global long-term development officer at Chanel. Both have decades of beauty experience, and are tasked with helping Olaplex to achieve its growth plans. “Our vision for Olaplex aligns perfectly with what Christine and Janet have successfully achieved with other brands: excellence in product innovation and a relentless focus on our customers and communities,” said Tricia Glynn, managing director at Advent International.
Gurwitch, with makeup artist Laura Mercier, founded the makeup line in 1996, before selling it to Neiman Marcus. It was later sold to Alticor, and eventually to Shiseido. She also was an early backer of Dollar Shave Club, now owned by Unilever, and while at Castanea Partners, backed a number of companies that saw strategic-buyer exits: Urban Decay was acquired by L’Oréal; First Aid Beauty was bought by Procter & Gamble; Tatcha was purchased by Unilever, and Drybar’s products division was acquired by Helen of Troy.
Gurwitch remains on the board of Drybar.
“[Janet] has been involved in developing some of the most successful beauty and personal-care brands of the last decade, and her appointment is timely with the momentum of our beauty and wellness investing practice. We believe in the beauty industry’s resilience and ability to bring joy to consumers, and look forward to continuing to help growth brands in this sector reach scale domestically and internationally,” Glynn said in a statement.
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