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LONDON Compagnie Financière Richemont is raising the bar on its beauty business with the formation of Laboratoire de Haute Parfumerie et Beauté, a division aimed at scaling the fragrance brands in its growing portfolio.

Boet Brinkgreve has been named CEO of the division and reports to company chairman Johann Rupert.

The new platform “will leverage resources across our maisons to help develop the most refined creations and promising licenses,” according to Richemont.

The company added that Brinkgreve will help the six Richemont maisons already involved in fragrance “to reach critical mass in this highly competitive field, where scale is crucial.”

Richemont brands with fragrances include Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Chloé, Dunhill, Alaïa and Montblanc.

“Boet’s role will be instrumental in enabling our maisons to reach their full potential in this dynamic market, broadening their clientele base whilst enhancing the maisons’ capabilities to meet the needs of their highly discerning clientele,” said Rupert.

“With his deep knowledge of the fragrance industry, prior success in driving new ventures, remarkable track record in building winning international teams and commitment to sourcing sustainable ingredients, I am convinced that Boet will prove to be a notable addition to the group.”

Brinkgreve will also join Richemont’s Senior Executive Committee.

The company did not offer any further details about the new division. Richemont’s formation of a beauty platform comes just weeks after its longstanding partner Farfetch confirmed it was exiting the beauty category.

Brinkgreve joins Richemont from Dsm-Firmenich, where he held a number of senior executive positions from 2007 until 2023. His latest role was president of Ingredients & Group Procurement and a member of the executive committee.

He has also worked for DuPont in business development roles and is an entrepreneur who has founded several start-ups. A Dutch-born Swiss national, he holds a masters’ degree in business administration from Insead.

Separately, Richemont said that Gary Saage, the group’s former chief financial officer, will be proposed for election to the board at the company’s annual general meeting on Wednesday. If elected he’ll be named chairman of Richemont’s audit committee.

The straight-talking Saage is a Richemont veteran and has served on the board in the past. On the quarterly press calls and analyst presentations, he was engaging, thorough in his responses, and rarely swerved a difficult question.

Richemont said he brings with him “invaluable knowledge” of the company, relevant financial skills and the “financial discipline” to perform this important role.

A graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey and a Certified Public Accountant, Saage joined Cartier in 1988. In subsequent years served as chief operating officer of Richemont in North America and Dunhill in London.

In 2006, he moved to Geneva to act as group deputy finance director, and in 2010 was promoted to chief financial officer. He served on the board of directors from 2006 until 2021 when he stepped down from his CFO role.  

He returned full-time to the U.S. and served as chairman of Richemont North America and related companies until August 2023 in a non-executive capacity, overseeing governance matters. 

Richemont chairman Johann Rupert welcomed Saage back to the board, and said he would be an asset as head of the audit committee.

“This is a complex role that requires proficiency of accounting and regulatory matters, business acumen as well as the courage to speak up in challenging situations, all competencies that he has clearly demonstrated during his long career. It also requires deep institutional knowledge which Gary, having joined Cartier the year I founded Richemont and worked across different parts of the group, indisputably has,” said Rupert.

On Wednesday, Richemont also made other appointments to its senior executive committee. Swen Grundmann will join the committee in his new capacity as director of corporate affairs in addition to maintaining his role as group company secretary. He will continue to report to Rupert.

A Dutch national, Grundmann holds a law degree from the Faculty of Law from the University of Amsterdam. He started his career at Richemont in 1996 as legal counsel and was appointed group company secretary in 2017 and was involved in various merger and acquisition projects.