Jill Granoff Shifts Role to Senior Adviser at Eurazeo

Jill Granoff, who has been managing partner of Eurazeo and chief executive officer of its brands division, is changing her role to become a senior adviser.

Paris-based Eurazeo recently shared its plan to reorient its future brands investing focus back to Europe and accelerate its evolution from a balance sheet investor to a third-party asset manager.

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“Given this shift I decided now was the right time for me to transition my role as managing partner of Eurazeo and CEO of Eurazeo Brands to senior adviser, working part-time from Eurazeo’s New York office,” Granoff wrote in a LinkedIn post. She declined to comment further.

In Eurazeo’s December newsletter, Christophe Baviere and William Kadouch-Chassaing, co-CEOs of Eurazeo, wrote, “Our ambition is to become the leading player in private asset management in Europe in the mid-cap, growth and impact segments.”

Eurazeo manages nearly 34 billion euros in assets, around 70 percent of which come from third-party investors. According to the newsletter, Eurazeo intends to invest in mid-cap companies positioned in high-growth sectors through high-performance and high-potential strategies: buyout, secondary, private debt, real assets and growth equity.

Virginie Morgon, one of the most senior women in European private equity, who launched the brands division, was ousted from Eurazeo in February, and was succeeded by Baviere and Kadouch-Chassaing. They have since changed the strategy from a balance sheet investor to a third-party asset manager and will fund-raise and get fee income. The investment focus has shifted back to Europe.

Over the past seven years, Granoff’s team in New York and Paris built a solid reputation in the consumer market and reviewed thousands of deal opportunities. They cultivated a portfolio of 12 premium brands with a market cap of nearly $1 billion. The group has invested in a wide range of brands across a variety of sectors, among them beauty, apparel and accessories, food and beverage and pet. Among their brands are Gisou, Jaanuu, Beekman 1802, Herschel Supply, Nest, Ultra Premium Direct and Pangaea Holdings.

According to market sources, the New York team will stay to run the existing portfolio. Eurazeo will look to exit these investments over the next few years, and is looking to return capital to shareholders to help increase the stock price.

According to Eurazeo’s newsletter, the firm plans to sell 7 billion euros of assets and will reinvest only 3 billion euros in their funds, enabling them to generate excess capital of around 4 billion euros up to 2027. “More than half of this excess will be returned to you in the form of dividends and share buybacks, while the remainder will enable the group to retain significant strategic flexibility within an industry in consolidation,” the co-CEOs wrote in the Eurazeo newsletter.

In November 2022, Eurazeo sold its majority stake in Nest to an investment group led by private equity firm North Castle Partners, in a transaction that valued Nest at about $200 million. Eurazeo and Nest founder Laura Slatkin retained minority ownership positions.

Before joining Eurazeo in May 2017, Granoff was CEO of Vince, where she led its initial public offering in November 2013, achieving a $1 billion market cap. Earlier she was the CEO of Kellwood Co. and Kenneth Cole Productions. Earlier in her career, Granoff held roles at Estée Lauder, Victoria’s Secret and Liz Claiborne, where she had global responsibility for Kate Spade, Juicy Couture and Lucky Brand.

Granoff also sits on the board of Macy’s.

In her LinkedIn post, Granoff said she will remain on the boards of Nest New York, Beekman 1802, Jaanuu and Q Mixers and will continue to work closely with their leadership teams and the Brands team.

According to sources, given Granoff’s operating and investing background, she could potentially join another private equity firm as an operating partner or investment adviser, or join another board of directors at a pre-IPO or public company, or take another new operating role at a fashion or beauty firm.

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