Breakwater Investment Management has added Deborah Benton as a Partner to its investment team. Ms. Benton’s first role will be to serve as a strategic advisor to the board of directors of Breakwater’s portfolio company Planet Blue, a California-based lifestyle retailer and fashion brand.
“I am extremely proud to welcome Deborah Benton to Breakwater,” said Founder and Managing Partner Saif Mansour. “Deborah is a seasoned consumer retail executive who brings operational management expertise of the highest level to Breakwater. She has also been a leading example and advocate of women entrepreneurship, who adds incredible diversity, perspective and relationships to Breakwater’s investment activities.”
Prior to joining Breakwater, Ms. Benton served as President and COO of Nasty Gal, an online women’s fashion retailer that targets the millennials market. At Nasty Gal, Ms. Benton led revenue growth of 400%, while building the team and infrastructure to support the company’s expanding operations. During her tenure, Nasty Gal was named one of the fastest growing retailers in the country. Prior to Nasty Gal, Ms. Benton was COO of ShoeDazzle, an online women’s shoes and accessories company, where she managed over 20 times revenue growth in just over two years. Prior to joining ShoeDazzle, she served as Executive Vice President, Operations and Inside Sales at Teleflora.
“I am excited to embark on this next stage of my professional life and support the build out of Breakwater’s growth equity efforts in the branded consumer and specialty retail sectors,” said Ms. Benton. “My goal is to identify attractive investment opportunities in emerging growth companies and support their leadership teams to deliver outstanding value creation. I am especially excited to join the Breakwater team given its entrepreneurial spirit and its focus on partnership.”
Breakwater Investment Management specializes in direct investments in small to lower middle market growth businesses with annual sales ranging from $5 million to $100 million. The firm serves as general partner of Breakwater Structured Growth Opportunities Fund, LP, a $100 million open-ended private investment partnership organized in August 2008. The fund’s investment objective is to generate both current income and capital appreciation through secured debt investments accompanied with equity participation rights, primarily in growth-oriented companies across a variety of industries. Breakwater is based in Los Angeles (www.breakwaterfunds.com).
2014 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 11-20-14