Neuberger Berman Private Equity Announces Establishment of Marquee Brands LLC to Enter Brand Acquisition and Licensing Industry
Alexander Samuelson, 212.476.5392, Alexander.Samuelson@nb.com
New York, NY, September 10, 2014 – Neuberger Berman Private Equity, a business of Neuberger Berman, one of the world’s leading employee-controlled investment managers, today named two industry veterans to lead its entry into the brand acquisition, licensing and management industry. The platform, Marquee Brands LLC, will seek to identify, acquire, and manage high quality brands with global opportunities across all consumer segments.
Michael DeVirgilio will serve as President of Marquee Brands and Cory M. Baker will serve as its Chief Operating Officer. Neuberger Berman’s team focused on Marquee Brands will include Samuel Porat, Managing Director, who is responsible for royalty strategies, Zachary Sigel, Vice President, who lead the development of Marquee Brand’s acquisition and licensing strategy and will be dedicated to the platform going forward and Jacqueline Fish, an Associate with Neuberger Berman Private Equity.
“As we analyzed the current marketplace of the brand acquisition and licensing business, we are confident that Neuberger's private equity business has the global reach and network of professionals to provide us with a uniquely strong opportunity to acquire and build brands. We are excited to have Michael and Cory help execute this compelling investment strategy alongside Neuberger Berman” said Anthony Tutrone, Global Head of Neuberger Berman Alternatives, which manages over $24 billion of private equity commitments for institutions and individuals.
Prior to joining Marquee Brands, Michael DeVirgilio was at Kenneth Cole Productions for 17 years most recently serving as President, Licensing & International, a role he held since February 2009. Mr. DeVirgilio led the expansion of the Kenneth Cole brand into various product categories and retail channels across 80+ countries and strategic projects as well as acquisitions that focused on alternative revenue streams. Mr. DeVirgilio will join Marquee Brands full time as of October 1, 2014.
Cory M. Baker joins Marquee Brands from Julian Wolf, Inc., an integrated branding consultancy and business development agency he founded in 2013. Mr. Baker was previously the Managing Director of Brand Strategy and Development at Infinity Lifestyle Brands, heading the company's brands division within the private equity portfolio. Mr. Baker also served as Vice President of Business Affairs at Iconix Brand Group, Inc. where his role on the management team included closing on over $1 billion in brand acquisitions and joint ventures during his tenure. Mr. Baker began his career as an intellectual property attorney focused on developing and monetizing brand extension programs.
“Neuberger Berman Private Equity has been a terrific partner in this vision by helping to position Marquee Brands to build on a proven investment model,” said Mr. DeVirgilio. “The global footprint of the firm across 17 countries will be an important driver to forming long-term relationships with brand owners and licensee partners as we extend our brands globally and build long-term value. Marquee Brands also looks forward to offering a flexible solution for brand owners.”
“Marquee Brands is well positioned to become a global leader in the brand acquisition and licensing business", said Mr. Baker. "Neuberger Berman has created an exciting platform to build and evolve this business model and develop a consumer focused portfolio of relevant lifestyle brands."
About Marquee Brands
Marquee Brands is a brand acquisition, licensing and development company. Operating in conjunction with Neuberger Berman Private Equity, a business of Neuberger Berman, one of the world’s leading employee-controlled investment managers, Marquee Brands targets high quality brands with strong consumer awareness and long term growth potential. Marquee Brands seeks to identify brands in various consumer product segments with the goal of expanding their reach across retail channel, geography and product category while preserving the brand heritage and enhancing the ultimate consumer experience. Through its global team of professionals and partners, Marquee Brands monitors trends and markets in order to grow brands in partnership with retailers, licensees and manufacturers through engaging, impactful marketing and strategic planning. www.marqueebrands.com
About Neuberger Berman
Neuberger Berman is a 75-year-old private, independent, employee-controlled investment manager. The firm manages equities, fixed income, private equity and hedge fund portfolios for institutions and advisors worldwide. With offices in 17 countries, Neuberger Berman’s team is more than 2,000 professionals and the company was named by Pensions & Investments as a 2013 Best Place to Work in Money Management. Tenured, stable and long-term in focus, the firm fosters an investment culture of fundamental research and independent thinking. It manages $257 billion in client assets as of June 30, 2014. For more information, please visit our website at www.nb.com.