IVEST Consumer Team
Consumer Retail Specialists & Operators with a Proven Track Record of Building Value
With over 20 years of achieving over 30% IRR for investors in 5 world class Fortune 500 multi billion dollar companies, very few executives have the depth of experience and track record of success that George Jones has had throughout his long career leading some of North America’s most celebrated brands. His talent as a merchant and retail marketer are widely respected and he is one of the most knowledgeable CEOs in retail today. George Jones has had 17 of his direct reports go on to run $1 billion+ companies.
Prior Experience Includes:
CEO of Borders
CEO of Saks Department Store Group
President of Warner Bros. Consumer Products
CEO of Roses Stores
EVP of Target
Boards of Liz Claiborne and Guitar Center
Sam Bremner is a diligent investor who co-founded IVEST in 2013 and has originated and led investment strategy and transaction execution since inception.
Sam's Private Equity experience began in 2000. During that period he originated and executed 18 very successful non-auction propriety private equity investments including businesses in healthcare, industrial and consumer.
Sam was a Managing Director of Fujitsu's Global Post Merger Consulting Group and amongst others oversaw the technology integration of the 6 Billion dollar BCTEL/Telus merger, the largest telecom merger in Canadian history during which his team achieved over $300million in annual merger synergies.
As an entrepreneurial investor using capital earned from previously successful investments, he founded Tell Canada Telecommunications Group one of Canada's first alternative phone companies and sold it to Sprint Canada for 9.5mil in 1993 during the booming long-distance market rollup occurring at the time.
Sam completed Focused Financial Management Series: Corporate Restructuring Mergers, and Acquisitions at Harvard Business School in 2003
Aston has been with IVEST since its founding in 2013. Aston currently oversees financial diligence and montioring teams and has been intimately involved in all IVEST transactions.
Additionally Aston took over IVEST's successful intern private equity course that has successfully employed some 27 former UBC Sauder School Finance students into investment banking private & public capital markets jobs for upcoming graduate students.
Aston has a business finance degree from Univeristy of British Columbia.
Mark Matheny is a global, strategic C-Level consumer brand, products, retail and licensing executive with a 25-year proven track record of successfully leading and significantly growing companies ranging from entrepreneurial start-ups to large multinational organizations. As EVP-International at Warner Bros Consumer Products and CEO of Global Brands, Mark has launched and managed businesses in the USA, Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Mark’s substantial in-country global experience and ability to cultivate relationships across borders has created tremendous shareholder value. Brands acquired and/or managed by Mark include leading entertainment, celebrity, corporate and sports brands.
Mary has over 25 years of business experience with in-depth e-commerce, product development and management expertise. She has created, launched and distributed innovative brands with multiple retail and consumer product companies while serving as a Chief Executive Officer, President, Entrepreneur and Consultant. She is the founder of Club Libby Lu, an experience-based brand and specialty retail business which she sold to Saks Inc. and grew to 198 retail locations in 4 years. She also has extensive experience as a technology and social impact investor and consultant in the retail, e-commerce, and fashion industries.
Ken Armstrong has worked for more than three decades with some of the best companies and talent within the retail industry. Through these opportunities Ken has honed his skills in quickly analyzing an operation's strengths and weaknesses and executing actionable strategies resulting in improved bottom line performance. His hands-on success in buying, merchandizing, and all aspects of store operations enable him to see obstacles preventing an organization from reaching its potential. He moves quickly to identify ways to remove roadblocks, resulting in increased sales, lower expenses, and a better working environment.
A strategic senior executive driving brand vision initiatives, Jim focuses on increasing revenue and profitability while embracing collaboration and mentoring teams. Jim brings strong management skills with an entrepreneurial style and a highly successful track record managing world-class premier companies such as Bloomingdale's, Warner Bros., Hermes of Paris, Faconnable and Waterford Crystal. Jim successfully develops and implements comprehensive strategic best practices, initiating and executing new growth opportunities globally across multiple platforms including retail, wholesale, store expansion, social media, licensing, marketing, product development and brand building. Jim has successfully managed a broad range of divisions including operations, merchandising, human resources, marketing, product development, finance, PR, media, customer service and strategic planning.
Rob Gruen is an experienced omni-channel retail professional whose results-oriented leadership has brought success to the specialty store, department store, superstore, mass merchandising and online segments of retail well as industries and companies dealing with retailers. Throughout his career Rob has held senior level executive positions at premier companies such as Target, Parisian (a division of Saks Department Store Group), Warner Bros., Home Shopping Network, Borders, Meijer, Roses Stores, Foley’s and others.
Jim Williams is an apparel manufacturing heavyweight who was formerly the CEO of Gold Toe Brands, for over 20 years, where he built the company to over $300mm in wholesale sales. During the past several years he has successfully lead a very challenging turnaround of Richelieu Brands as the Company's CEO which resulted in their succesful sale of the company.
Jim is very highly regarded, not only within the apparel industry, but by retailers as well, as he has very strong senior level relationships which would are very valuable. He is also has a lot of excellent board experience with major companies.
Brett represents a plethora of experience in retail, product creation and apparel merchandising. As President of Lululemon in the United States, he oversaw operation startup including hiring, budgeting, site selection, franchising research, construction management and overall retail strategy. Prior to Lululemon, he founded 3 companies in retail, technical outerwear apparel and sporting hard goods leading to successful exits in each. Recently he served on the board of directors of Nasdaq listed Resonant, Inc.
He is managing member of Longboard Capital Advisors, LLC selecting investments in consumer apparel, consumer technology, health-tech, and cleantech.
Brett holds an MBA, BSc Petroleum Engineering from the University of Calgary