20 August 2009 – Advent International, the global private equity firm, today announced that Richard Baker has joined Advent as an operating partner to advise the firm on investment opportunities across the retail and consumer sectors. This is the latest in a series of operating partner appointments as Advent continues to strengthen its Operating Partner Programme with high-calibre sector specialists.
Mr Baker previously held the role of Group Chief Executive at Alliance Boots Plc having been Chief Executive Officer of Boots Plc for three years before its successful merger with Alliance Unichem in 2006. At Boots, he was responsible for improving the company’s performance and growing its market share considerably. Prior to that, Richard spent nine years at Asda Stores Ltd in a variety of positions, becoming Chief Operating Officer in 2002. He began his career at Mars Confectionery Ltd where he worked for nine years. In 2007, Richard was appointed Non-Executive Chairman of Virgin Active, the health club chain. He is also Non-Executive Chairman of the European Advisory Board for Groupe Aeroplan, owner of the Nectar loyalty card.
Tim Franks, Managing Director, Advent International said, “Richard has been working as an advisor to Advent since the beginning of 2009 and we are very pleased that he is now joining us as an operating partner. We have found his insights to be incredibly useful in identifying and evaluating a number of investment opportunities across our international network. We are excited by the potential the current market conditions present and Richard’s operational knowhow and extensive networks should help to further strengthen our position.”
Commenting on his new role, Richard Baker said, “I am delighted to be formalising my partnership with Advent having built a strong relationship with the Retail, Consumer and Leisure sector team over the last few months. I was drawn to Advent by its market-leading credentials and I believe that the firm operates the right model to perform well in an evolving private equity market. I look forward to working with the team in helping to identify future investment opportunities”.
Advent has invested in excess of $2.7bn in equity across the retail, consumer and leisure sector since 1984. Over the last 10 years, Advent has completed 25 buyout and growth capital investments in this sector in 15 different countries across Latin America, North America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Asia. Recent retail investments in Europe include Gerard Darel (France); Takko (Germany); Poundland (UK) and Stokomani (France).
Advent’s Operating Partner Programme involves business leaders from a range of sectors working as consultants to the firm in a variety of ways: sourcing investment opportunities, assisting with the due diligence process and advising on the strategic and operational development of portfolio companies. The use of operating partners is a fundamental and long-established element of Advent’s highly operational approach to investing. The programme currently includes over 70 high-level individuals, many of whom have been involved in multiple Advent investments.