Innovative Consumer Investors
Fortune 500 C- Suite Operator
Chairman of the Board
Co-Founder of IVEST Consumer Partners,
Jones brings decades of Fortune 500 c-suite operating experience to identify and combine with a leading innovative consumer company. Throughout his career Mr. Jones has created significant shareholder value while serving as the:
Chief Executive Officcer of Borders,
Chief Executive Officer of Saks Department Store Group, President of Warner Bros Consumer Products, Chief Executive Officer of Roses and, Executive Vice President of Target. Over a 40+ year career, Mr Jones has served on numerous boards, including Dan Dee International (Chairman), Saks Inc., Borders Group, Liz Claiborne Inc, Guitar Center, Spence Diamonds (Chairman), M&M Food Markets (Chairman), Roses Stores, Lund Industries and the Grammy
J "Sam" Bremner
Chief Executive Officer
J “Sam” Bremner, our Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of IVEST, leads our management team. Mr. Bremner has a 20-year track record of sourcing successful proprietary private equity transactions and for the past eight years has led IVEST’s deal sourcing efforts. Prior to his career in private equity, Mr. Bremner worked in Global M&A consulting for Fujitsu and led the IT post-merger integration team for the largest telecom merger in Canadian history, the Telus/BC Tel merger, which achieved over $300 million in annual IT synergies. Mr. Bremner also built the second-largest alternative telecom company in Canada and sold it to Sprint Canada/Rogers Communications.
Private Equity Executive
Private Equity Executive
Chief Operating Officer
Aston Loch, our Chief Operating Officer, is part of the founding team at IVEST, where he has served as Managing Director since 2019. From 2014 to 2019, Mr. Loch was a Vice President at IVEST. Mr. Loch is a sophisticated private equity executive with extensive experience in managing formal financial diligence processes across a broad array of consumer industries. Mr. Loch is an experienced deal maker across strategy and negotiations, specifically managing third-party teams, including legal, tax, consultants, insurance, advisors, and accounting during the transaction process. Mr. Loch serves on the board of Dan Dee International, an IVEST portfolio company, and is experienced at investor reporting.
Chief Financial Officer
Christopher J. Munyan, our Chief Financial Officer, most recently served as the President and CEO of CSS Industries (NYSE: CSS) from 2006 to 2020, when the company was sold to IG Design Group. CSS sold over $350 million annually into the craft, seasonal and gift markets. Mr. Munyan has extensive experience in M&A, having closed over 20 acquisitions during his tenure at CSS Industries. In 2019, Mr. Munyan led his management team to cut over $30 million in expenses at the company. From 2005 to 2006, Mr. Munyan was the Chief Operating Officer of CSS Industries. He was responsible for three operating companies with combined sales of over $500 million.
Public Company Executive
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
General Wesley Clark
Former NATO Supreme Commander
Wesley K. Clark is a businessman, educator, writer and commentator. General Clark serves as Chairman and CEO of Wesley K. Clark & Associates, a strategic consulting firm; Chairman and Founder of Enverra, Inc. a licensed investment bank; Chairman of Energy Security Partners, LLC; as well as numerous corporate boards. In the not-for-profit space, he is a Senior Fellow at UCLA’s Burkle Center for International
Relations, and Director of the Atlantic Council. Clark retired as a four-star general after 38 years in the United States Army, having served in his last assignments as Commander of US Southern Command and then as Commander of US European Command/ Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. His awards include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Defense Distinguished Service Medal (ve awards), Silver star, bronze star, purple heart, honorary knighthoods from the British and Dutch governments, and numerous other awards from other governments, including award of Commander of the Legion of Honor (France). He has also been awarded the Department of State Distinguished Service Award and numerous honorary doctorates and civilian honors.
Dr. Leonard Makowka
Former Chair of Surgery Cedars-Sinai
Dr. Leonard Makowka is a sophisticated healthcare technology investor and world- renowned medical professional with expertise and global relationships in healthcare and healthcare technology. During his medical career from 1985 to 1995, Dr. Makowka was the Director of Surgery, Director of Transplant Services and Chairman of the Cedar-Sinai Medical Center Department of Surgery. From 1995 to 1997, Dr. Makowka was the Executive Director of St Vincent Medical Centre Comprehensive Liver Disease and Treatment Center and Liver Transplant Program. He was the Chief Scientific Advisor of Universal Detection Systems and a Founding Consultant of IVIVI Technologies (NASDAQ: IVVI). Dr. Makowka served on the board of Hollis Eden Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: HEPH) and Kinamed INC (biotech)
Dr. Courtney Lyder
Expert in Senior Care
Former Dean UCLA Nursing School
Dr. Courtney Lyder is an international expert in gerontology. His clinical research has focused on chronic care issues affecting older adults. Dr. Lyder served as the Dean of the UCLA School of Nursing from 2008 to 2018, and he has over 200 publications. Dr. Lyder is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the New York Academy of Medicine. In 2011, he was appointed by U.S. Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to the National Advisory Council for Nursing Research. In 2012, he was presented with the coveted National League of Nursing, President’s Award and awarded an honorary doctorate from Saint Xavier University for his significant contributions to nursing and advancing health.
Former President Lululemon
Brett Conrad is an industry-leading brand builder, investor and philanthropist.
Mr. Conrad is the Founder of Longboard Capital Advisors LLC, a California-based hedge fund focusing on the consumer sector and has served as a director at Longboard Capital Advisors, LLC since 2006. Mr. Conrad was the President of Lululemon USA from 2003 to 2006, working closely with his brother, who founded the company to lead Lululemon in becoming one of the world’s most recognizable brands, synonymous with healthy living and sustainability. Mr. Conrad was the Chairman of the Imagine1day Foundation, an international development organization enabling primary education in Ethiopia, for 7 years.
Global Brand Expert
Gaming and Technologgy Expert
Director of Business Development and Strategy for Microsoft
Sarah Boatman is the Director of Business Development and Strategy for Microsoft Studios in Vancouver. In June 2009, Sarah joined Microsoft through the acquisition of BigPark where she was the Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining BigPark, she was the Director, of Financial Planning and Analysis for Electronic Arts Blackbox and Montreal studios, a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. Sarah is a Board Director for UBC IMANT. She served on the AWRS board from 2004 through 2012 and on the BC Premier's Economic Council from 2008 to 2009.
BOARD OF ADVISORS
Co-Founder of Hootsuite
Dario Meli is a highly experienced and successful technology entrepreneur. Mr. Meli is a Co-Founder of Hootsuite Media, Inc., an industry-leading unicorn social media company. Mr. Meli also co-founded Quietly Media Inc, Foodee and Brightkit.
Growth Advisor to Tik Tok
Greg Isenberg is a Co-Founder and CEO of Late Checkout, a product studio, fund and agency that designs, creates and acquires internet communities. Mr. Isenberg is also a growth advisor at TikTok. Previously, he was the Head of Product Strategy at WeWork. Mr. Isenberg was the Founder/CEO of Islands, a messaging/community app that was acquired by WeWork, and was the Founder/CEO of 5by, acquired by StumbleUpon.
Unicorn Tech Expert
Private Equity Fund Placement Specialist
Michael T. Pilson is an experienced private equity and fund of funds investor and is Michael Pilson joined Triago in July 2021 as a Partner on the firm’s secondaries advisory team. Prior to that he was Managing Director of Eaton Partners, a division of STIFEL Group (NYSE: SF). Previously, he was a Director and Senior Portfolio Manager in the Private Markets Group at DuPont Capital
Institutional Investment Expert
Co Founder of Mogo
Praveen Varshney is the Director of Varshney Capital, a Canadian private family merchant banking, venture capital and corporate advisory services firm based in Vancouver, BC. Mr. Varshney is a Co-Founder & Director of Mogo, Canada’s largest Fintech company (NASDAQ: MOGO). Mr. Varshney is a Co-Founder and Advisor of Nexe Innovations Inc (the world’s first biodegradable coffee pods), and a Director at Pyfera
Software Engineer & Tech Expert
Michael Chen is he founder and CEO of Evolution Designs Lab Inc. (EDL), a branded footwear company that specializes in sales, manufacturing, and supply chain. Mr. Chen developed a cutting-edge virtual supply chain system for his company and continues to nd innovative ways that software can enhance the performance of consumer companies.
Retail Tech Enablement Expert
Consumer Products Expert
Mary Drolet has been an Operating Partner at IVEST since 2013 and was previously the President of Gifting Grace, Founder and CEO of Club Libby Lu, a Division of Saks Inc., and Chief Merchandising &
Marketing Officer of Claire’s.
Consumer Products Expert
Renowned Licensing and IP Expert
Mark is an Ivest Operating Partner and was previously President & CEO of Global Brands Group, Executive Vice President of International & Licensing at Warner Bros Consumer Products and served as the Chairman of LIMA (Licensing International Merchandisers
Licensing & IP Expert
Public Company Executive and Investor
Fortune 500 C-Suite Marketing Executive
Rob Gruen has been an Operating Partner at Ivest Consumer Partners since 2013 and was formerly an Executive Vice President with Borders, Warner Bros, Home Shopping Network and Array Marketing, as well as CEO of Parisian (a division of Saks Inc)
Luxury Branding and Sales Expert
Jim Schneider is an Operating Partner at Ivest for 8 years” to “has been an Operating Partner at Ivest Consumer Partners since 2013 and was the Managing Director- North America (Retail & Wholesale) at Waterford Wedgewood USA/Canada, Senior Executive Vice President- Marketing/Merchandising at Washington Mutual/JP Morgan, and held senior roles at Nordstrom/Faconnable, Warner Bros and Hermes of Paris
Luxury Brand Expert
Brand Builder/ Manufacturing Expert
Jim Williams has been an Operating Partner at IVEST Consumer Partners for the last 5 years and was President and Chief Executive Officer of International Legwear Group, President and Chief Executive Officer of Gold Toe Brands and Operating Partner for Vestar Private Equity and Blackstone owned portfolio companies.
Retail Operations Expert
Ken Armstrong is an Operating Partner at IVEST Consumer Partners and previously was the Executive Vice President of Stores at Borders Group, Senior Vice President/ Director of Stores at Parisian, a division of Saks Inc., and Senior Vice President/ Director of Stores at Lord and Taylor.
Social Impact & Equality
VALUES THAT GOVERN OUR INVESTMENT DECISIONS
Our team believes in equality and equal opportunity, and we believe that diversity drives strength in both investing and operations. Our diverse team reflects our values of inclusion and will ensure our combination target reflects our values
We look thru the lense of better for you good for you investment strategy.
Governance & Value Commonality
Our team prioritizes responsible practices and transparency. Research has made it clear that our ESG values are increasingly held by the greater market and they vote their support with their wallets, through
investment and as adoptive consumers
SWIFTMERGE is a NASDAQ listed Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) that completed its $200 million IPO on December 14th, 2021. The company intends to pursue consumer companies that are utilizing “technology and the internet to evolve the way that consumers interact with the market.”.
Thesis: Innovative Consumer
Disruptive: They are Future Leaders
Disruptive companies create a real and long term competitive advantage that will help drive future growth in revenue and equity value.
Leveraging Technology and the Internet: They Scale Faster! Technology based / Internet companies often circumvent traditional limitations to scalability including capex and working capital.
Gaining Market Share / Expanding the Market: They are Defensible
Companies that are successfully stealing market share or are expanding the market are generally already successfully competing with the leaders in the space.
Evolving the Consumer Experience: They are Long Term Creators of Value While many disruptive companies can make a big impact in the short term. If they are not evolving the consumer experience they are not solidifying their place in the long-term future competitive set. Our team will complete a combination that will be transactionally successful, but also a long term creator of value for shareholders