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Sep 6, 2023

Richemont has announced the creation of a perfume and beauty entity, following in the footsteps of its competitors such as France’s Kering, which launched its Beauty division last February, and Italy’s Dolce & Gabbana, which internalised its beauty activities in 2022 through Dolce & Gabbana Beauty. The Swiss luxury giant has also announced three key appointments to its management team.

Boet Brinkgreve will lead the new division – LinkedIn

The group, which took over leather goods manufacturer Delvaux in 2021 and Italian shoemaker Gianvito Rossi last July, has set up this new entity, called ‘Laboratoire de Haute Parfumerie et Beauté’, “to enable our six houses already involved in fragrance to achieve greater mass in this highly competitive field, where scale is crucial,” explains the multinational, which owns Cartier, Piaget and Chloé among others, in a press release.

Richemont has chosen an expert in the chemicals, fragrances and flavours industries, with a career spanning three decades in the United States, China and Europe, to head up the new division. Boet Brinkgreve has been appointed CEO of ‘Laboratoire de Haute Parfumerie et Beauté’. 

He is graduate in mechanical engineering from the University of Eindhoven/HTS Den Bosch, in the Netherlands, and holder of a master’s degree in business administration from Insead, in France. The Swiss national of Dutch origin held a number of high positions at DSM – Firmenich from 2007 to 2023, including most recently that of president of the group’s Ingredients and Purchasing division. Prior to that, he worked for DuPont in business development roles from 2003 to 2007 and founded several companies.

So it’s a big name who has just been recruited by the Swiss company to enter the world of beauty. An announcement that has not failed to worry companies in the sector, including Interparfums. The French group holds the perfume licences for Montblanc and Van Cleef & Arpels, two of Richemont’s flagship brands, and saw its share price fall on the Paris stock exchange during trading on Wednesday September 6.

Developing promising creations and licences

According to Richemont, this new entity will work “in partnership with the brands, while respecting their unique high-end positioning, to help them develop the most refined creations and promising licences”. In addition to Montblanc and Van Cleef & Arpels, the Group’s other brands that produce fragrances include Cartier, which has its own perfumer, Dunhill, Alaïa and Chloé.

“Boet’s role will be crucial in enabling our houses to reach their full potential in this dynamic market, broadening their customer base while strengthening their ability to meet the needs of their very demanding customers. With his in-depth knowledge of the fragrance industry, his track record of success in leading new ventures, his remarkable experience in building successful international teams and his commitment to sourcing sustainable ingredients, I am convinced that Boet will prove to be a significant addition to the Group,” commented Richemont Chairman Johann Rupert.

Swen Grundmann has also been promoted to director of corporate affairs. The Dutchman joined Richemont in 1996 as a legal adviser and rose through the ranks to take on the role of Group general secretary in 2017. This specialist in law and corporate governance, who has twenty-seven years of experience in these fields, now sees his skills broadened (he will retain his role as Corporate Secretary) with his new role and his entry into the Executive Management Committee.

Finally, Gary Saage has joined the board of directors. The manager joined Richemont in 1988, serving as the Group’s chief financial officer between 2010 and 2016. He is expected to head the Audit Committee.

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