John P. Rochon, has more than three and a half decades of wide-ranging success in finance, operations, business planning, sales, brand-building and marketing. He is a highly accomplished investor and business strategist. By the time he was 40 years old, Mr. Rochon was chairman and CEO of a Fortune 500 global consumer goods company, serving in that role for nearly a decade.
His career has included more than 300 business transactions across various industries. Mr. Rochon is founder and chairman of Richmont Holdings, a private investment and business holding company based in Dallas, Texas.
Over the course of two decades, Mr. Rochon has assembled at Richmont a seasoned team of marketing-driven merchant bankers and industrialists.
Richmont's extraordinary financial returns result from unique methods that distinguish its approach from that of more classical investors or traditional private equity firms.
Richmont uses its own proprietary diagnostic system to build (or, in the case of turnarounds, to rebuild) the top line of a company. Using this unique methodology, which has been refined over many years, Richmont determines how consumers think about a company's equities and dis-equities. It then mathematically analyzes this information and crafts a plan to drive top line growth. Using patented decision-making measuring techniques, combined with integrative thinking, Richmont designs the framework to communicate with customers and targets to influence purchasing behavior.
Mr. Rochon respects the role of leadership intuition when setting a strategic course. Nevertheless, Richmont's conclusions are built firmly upon quantitative data, not simply upon intuition. While deploying the standard PE techniques to improve cash generation, Richmont focuses on the "velocity of capital," ensuring that returns to investors are achieved early in the investment process, while still holding investments for a decade or more.
The combination of these approaches has yielded remarkable success: compounded annual returns in excess of 92% over 27 years, generating a combined $37 billion of increased value for Richmont, its investment partners and co-investors.
Mr. Rochon's career has included significant international operating experience, including the planning and execution of a major global expansion into 37 countries on five continents. His companies have done extensive business in Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. He has been a leader in the global direct selling industry, guiding one of the world's major direct sellers, Mary Kay Inc., through a period of major expansion while in the same time period developing a blueprint for the revival and growth of Avon Products.
Mr. Rochon is chairman of CVSL Inc., a highly innovative company that in 2012 began a strategy of acquisitions in the direct selling industry. CVSL serves as an umbrella within the industry for individual companies of varying sizes and product lines, each of which keeps its own individual brand and sales force.
Mr. Rochon's companies also include a nationwide network of providers of imaging supplies and services to businesses. One of his major investments, Realpage Inc., a provider of services to large residential rental properties, recently conducted a successful initial public offering and has a market value in excess of $2 billion.
He is an investor and member of the board of directors of Jameson Bank, a chartered Schedule I financial institution in Canada. He founded several investment funds, including a hedge fund, a fund of funds and a debt investment fund.
Other ventures include Rochon Premium Brands, a line of high-end gourmet products including sustainable-farmed Siberian sturgeon caviar, 100% Arabica coffee, organic Canadian maple syrup and Seven. spring water produced on his family's land in Ontario.
Mr. Rochon holds a B.Sc. and an MBA from the University of Toronto and began his career as a chemist before moving on to management positions in manufacturing, operations, marketing and finance.
In his first career assignment, he was part of a turnaround team in support of Laura Secord, a division of Labatt's in Canada. He spent the early part of his career working for Chesebrough-Ponds (Unilever), where he was affiliated with such major brands as Prince Matchabelli, Q-Tips, Ragu, Vaseline and Prince tennis racquets. He later joined Ecolab International, one of the world's leading providers of cleaning, sanitizing and maintenance products and services.
Mr. Rochon joined the direct selling cosmetics company Mary Kay Inc. in 1980. In 1984, he became chief financial officer, and subsequently became chairman and chief executive officer. Mr. Rochon was the architect of Mary Kay's management-led leveraged buyout in 1985, arranging the financing and executing the transaction.
That LBO is regarded as one of the most successful in business history. During the following 16 years, the company's retail revenue grew from $500 million to almost $3 billion and Mary Kay became the world's best-selling brand of skin care and color cosmetics. Mr. Rochon became vice chairman and chief financial officer in 1987 and chairman and CEO in 1991.
Mr. Rochon has been an innovator in the use of multiple channels to market to consumers and was a leader in bringing the power of the Internet to consumer sales. With Mr. Rochon as its General Partner, Richmont Capital Partners I and II became the largest shareholder in Avon Products, Inc., which subsequently experienced tremendous growth.
During the same period he also managed the growth of a portfolio of Richmont companies, in such varied industries as financial services, marketing, international trading, food services and office supplies. Richmont's major investments included such companies and brands as Armor Holdings, Royal Appliance/Dirt Devil, The Dial Corp., Harvey's Casinos, Black and Decker and Maybelline.
Mr. Rochon has written and spoken on topics relating to business strategy. He has served on the President's International Alumni Council of the University of Toronto and as a member of the School of Administration Advisory Board of the University of Texas at Dallas and is a past trustee of the University of Scranton.
In 2003, Mr. Rochon established the Rochon Family Foundation, which is dedicated to preventing violence against women, particularly sexual violence.
He and his wife Donna have three grown children and five grandchildren and reside in the Dallas area.
Mr. Rochon is Vice Chairman and CEO of Richmont Holdings. He is an expert in capital markets and is experienced in financial analysis, mergers and acquisitions, technology and the review, structuring and management of new business opportunities. After receiving his degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University, he worked on Wall Street at JP Morgan Chase before returning to Dallas, where for more than a decade he has run the Rochons' family office. He now oversees the holding company's financial analysis of potential business transactions and plays a leading role in guiding strategic planning for Richmont.
Mr. Bouras has many years of high-level experience in finance, law and strategy. A former CFO of Richmont Corporation, Mr. Bouras spent many years as a senior member of the leadership team working with Mr. Rochon to manage the Richmont portfolio of companies. He previously served as Vice President, Investments, having earlier served as Assistant Treasurer and Tax Manager. Mr. Bouras previously was a tax accountant with Ernst and Whinney and a senior tax accountant with Touche Ross and Company. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude, his MBA and Juris Doctor degrees from St. Louis University. He is a member of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Mr. Mack, a former Reagan White House staff member, has more than 30 years of experience in communication, public relations and marketing. He served for four years as Executive Vice President for Communication and Public Affairs at Mary Kay Inc. and, simultaneously, was President and CEO of Richmont Communications, a public relations and creative design firm. Mr. Mack was a senior PR executive at American and United Airlines, head of the public relations division at Temerlin McClain Advertising and Senior Vice President at Lyrick Studios. The first part of Mr. Mack's career was spent in Washington, D.C. Mr. Mack was special assistant to President Ronald Reagan and Director of Public Affairs on the White House staff. Earlier, he served as a staff member in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, head of Public Affairs for the U.S. Department of Education and with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He received his bachelor's degree cum laude from American University and his Juris Doctor degree from George Washington University Law School.
Mr. Kittrell has more than 15 years of experience in mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance consulting, advising clients on sell-side mandates, buy-side engagements, valuations, capital raising and management buyouts. He most recently provided financial advisory services to clients while at Bank of America as a Managing Director in the Private Company Advisory Services practice. Mr. Kittrell has also served as a Director in the Mergers & Acquisitions practice at Ernst & Young Capital Advisors LLC, in the Corporate Finance practice at KPMG Peat Marwick, and recently as a Senior Consultant at Bickel & Brewer. Mr. Kittrell has executed transactions in a wide range of industries including automobile retailing, communications services, food distribution, manufacturing, newspaper publishing, oil field services, and physician staffing. He has authored articles appearing in Professional Review magazine and the Houston Business Journal, and has been a frequent speaker on corporate finance and valuation topics. He is a member of the CFA Institute, and obtained the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1996. Born in South Carolina, Mr. Kittrell obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Alabama in 1980. After working in banking and financial analysis, he attended graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin, where he obtained his MBA in 1985, and was named a Sord Scholar.
Ms. Hafer serves as General Counsel for Richmont Holdings, a position she has held since 2001. A 1995 graduate of Southern Methodist University, she received her Juris Doctorate from Loyola University College of Law in 1998. Ms. Hafer oversees the company’s legal matters and works with outside counsel on a variety of corporate as well as litigation matters. She has particular interest in the area of intellectual property. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas and served on the Visiting Committee of Loyola University College of Law. She has been honored by her peers as a "Texas Rising Star" in the Super Lawyers issue of Texas Monthly magazine. Since 2004, she has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Rochon Family Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes protection for women against sexual violence.
Dr. Reynolds is an accomplished researcher, consultant and innovator in the field of marketing strategy. He has worked in the area of marketing strategy for consumer goods and services as well as for technology-driven products for three decades in 25 countries. His models for optimizing strategy based upon understanding customer decision making have become the international methodological standard. His work in this area has led to recent patents with respect to both a general model of decision making and the direct application to the strategy development process. He has authored dozens of studies, papers and articles on such topics as business and marketing communication strategy, advertising strategy, decision models and evaluation, research methods, politics, fundraising strategy, education, ethics.
He has worked on behalf of such major corporations as S.C. Johnson, Coca Cola, Federal Express, Procter & Gamble, Walmart, VISA International, Intel, IBM, General Motors, Georgia Pacific and 3M, as well as the U.S. Army, major advertising agencies such as Young and Rubicam, and various nonprofit organizations. He was a partner in the well-known research firm Wirthlin Reynolds, whose clients included major political organizations such as Reagan-Bush 84 and the Republican National Committee.
Dr. Reynolds has taught at such prestigious institutions as the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza School of Business, Michigan State University, the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of California at Berkeley.
He received his undergraduate degree from Notre Dame, and his M.A. and Ph.D degrees in mathematical psychology from the University of Southern California.
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James Lau brings a wide range of international banking and investment expertise to Richmont. As founder of a foreign exchange house that later became a Schedule I Canadian chartered bank, he offers a global perspective and many years of operating experience in the financial services arena. Through his extensive network of relationships in global capital markets, he assists with Richmont's fundraising activities.
Mr. Lau identified an underserviced niche in Canada, corporate foreign exchange in 1989 and founded Jameson International Foreign Exchange Corporate ("Jameson FX"), the second corporate FX house in Toronto, to service the one million small to mid-sized enterprises in Canada.
In 1999 he founded a fund of funds, Royalton Principal Protected Fund, raising $87 million within 12 months.
In 2007 Jameson FX applied to become a chartered Schedule I bank. Jameson obtained its bank license the following year, one of only 24 such banks in Canada. Jameson became the first (and currently remains the only) FX house in Canada to become a bank, as well as the first treasury bank in Canada and the first private bank in Ontario.
Mr. Lau negotiated a deal with Bank of Montreal for Jameson to offer credit and trading facilities for BMO.
Mr. Lau was nominated as Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year.
He received his Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and Master of Business Administration from McGill University.