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Exclusive: Karen Millen CFO to depart

Karen Millen’s chief financial officer, Andrew Ware, is leaving the retailer to join a private equity fund, Drapers has learned.

Karen Millen AW15

Karen Millen AW15

He will be replaced by Emily Tate, currently CFO at footwear retailer Office, in September.

Ware joined Karen Millen in April 2013 from accountancy firm BDO, where he worked for more than 14 years as a senior corporate finance partner.

Before joining BDO in September 2009, he was investment director for Claridge House Consultants, part of New Look founder Tom Singh’s family office (a private company that manages investments for a single family), for two and a half years.

Ware worked with both Karen Millen and its former parent company, Aurora Fashions, in an advisory capacity while at BDO.

“I have really enjoyed my time with the Karen Millen,” said Ware, adding: “While I will be sad to leave, I am looking forward to a new challenge in the private equity arena.” The name of the fund he is joining has not been disclosed.

In December, Karen Millen revealed it has appointed Bonmarché chief executive Beth Butterwick in the same role. The retailer has been without a CEO since Mike Shearwood left last September, after it scrapped plans for a management buyout.

Butterwick’s start date has yet to be confirmed.

Karen Millen was spun off from Aurora, which also owns Coast, Oasis and Warehouse, in 2011. Aurora is majority owned by the winding-up committee of now-defunct Icelandic bank Kaupthing, which is in the process of breaking up the group to make it easier to sell the individual brands to new investors.



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