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Jack Wills owner drafts in retail and PE expert Rob Templeman

Lauretta Roberts
20 August 2018

Jack Wills' private equity owner BlueGem is understood to have enlisted private equity and retail expert Rob Templeman as an adviser as its fall-out with the brand's founder Peter Williams continues.

Last week it was reported that Williams was in the process of exiting for the second time. He co-founded the brand in 1999 and left for the first time in 2013. However Williams returned in 2015, after the brand's fortunes took a turn for the worse, and led a buyout of the business with BlueGem, which now owns a 60% stake, in 2016.

It is understood that he and BlueGem, which also backs department store Liberty, have since had disagreements over strategy after the slide in value of sterling increased its costs and a move into wholesale had hit its cashflow.

Rob Templeman Jack Wills

Rob Templeman

Templeman is believed to have been behind the move to install Suzanne Harlow, former trading director of Debenhams, as an adviser to Jack Wills earlier this year. She is now believed to be in line to replace Williams as CEO.

A private equity and retail expert, Templeman led a number of retail buyouts, including Halfords and Homebase, and was chief executive of Debenhams from 2003 to 2011. He is currently chairman of RAC.

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