Janet Gurwitch joins Advent International’s Operating Partner program

BOSTON, May 4, 2020 – Advent International (“Advent”), one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors, today announced that it has engaged Janet Gurwitch, a distinguished beauty industry investor and founder and former CEO of Laura Mercier, as an Operating Partner primarily focused on the beauty and wellness sectors.

Gurwitch’s engagement follows Advent’s recent acquisition of Olaplex, a prestige and professional hair care brand. In addition to working closely with Advent’s Retail, Consumer and Leisure team to identify and evaluate new investment opportunities, she will serve on Olaplex’s board of directors.

Gurwitch has a strong track record of identifying and sourcing winners among emerging beauty brands. As an Operating Partner at Castanea Partners from 2009 to 2019, she was involved in several successful investments and strategic exits, including Urban Decay (acquired by L’Oréal in 2013), First Aid Beauty (acquired by P&G in 2018), Tatcha (acquired by Unilever in 2019) and Drybar (Products division acquired by Helen of Troy in 2019).

“We are incredibly pleased to welcome Janet to Advent as an Operating Partner,” said Tricia Glynn, a Managing Director at Advent. “She 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.”

In 1996, Gurwitch founded Laura Mercier, a prestige beauty brand, alongside makeup artist Laura Mercier. Gurwitch was integral in the brand’s majority sale to Neiman Marcus in 1999, its acquisition by Alticor in 2006 and its purchase by Shiseido in 2016. Gurwitch was also an early identifier of Dollar Shave Club’s potential; she made a personal investment in the brand in 2013 and served on its board of advisors until its acquisition by Unilever in 2016.

In addition to her new role on Olaplex’s board, Gurwitch serves on the board of Drybar. She received a bachelor’s degree in retail from the University of Alabama.

Advent has significant investment experience in the retail, consumer and leisure sector. Over the past 30 years, the firm has invested $12.8 billion in more than 75 companies in the sector worldwide.


Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors. The firm has invested in over 350 private equity transactions in 41 countries, and as of December 31, 2019, had $56.8 billion in assets under management. With 15 offices in 12 countries, Advent has established a globally integrated team of over 200 investment professionals across North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. The firm focuses on investments in five core sectors, including business and financial services; healthcare; industrial; retail, consumer and leisure; and technology. After 35 years dedicated to international investing, Advent remains committed to partnering with management teams to deliver sustained revenue and earnings growth for its portfolio companies. For more information, visit: www.adventinternational.com or www.linkedin.com/company/advent-international.

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