Beauty Veteran David Olsen Joins Private Equity Ranks

David Olsen, who was most recently chief executive of luxury beauty retailer Cos Bar, is joining private equity firm Highlander Partners LP as a managing director, WWD has learned.
There, Olsen will be in charge of sourcing investments in beauty and personal-care companies. He'll also be involved with any beauty investments the firm makes.
Before joining Highlander, Olsen spent three years as the ceo of Cos Bar, where he brought digital and e-commerce capabilities to a brick-and-mortar retail business. Before that, he launched Net-a-porter's beauty business, where he brought in niche and luxury brands onto the platform. Prior to that, he founded and led DermTeam, a cosmeceutical business that was sold to Dermstore, which was eventually sold to Target.
Jeff Hull, president and ceo of Highlander said in a statement that Olsen's beauty expertise "has allowed him to closely evaluate thousands of brands and build relationships with hundreds of founders, owners and executives."
"The addition of David affirms the importance we place on retaining top operators in the industries we wish to pursue aggressively. The beauty and personal category fits perfectly with Highlander's buy-and-build approach and we are excited to create a sizable platform leveraging David's operational experience and deep industry knowledge," Hull said.
Olsen said that he expects Highlander's investment approach to resonate with the current crop of beauty brands. "Highlander does not have the typical constraints of the traditional LP-based fund, and its differentiated investment platform will make for an attractive partner in this industry," Olsen said in a statement.
Historically, Highlander makes majority investments in companies and builds-out multibranded businesses. The firm is said to be evaluating opportunities across the full spectrum of the beauty industry, from brands to manufacturing.
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