Partner at Fundamental Capital
Rich is a leader with extensive experience building brands, operating businesses and creating organizations for such companies as The Gap, Banana Republic and Giorgio Armani in the fashion apparel industry; then with several earlier-stage companies in a variety of consumer industries; and today as a partner in Private Equity.
After beginning his career with Bloomingdale’s in New York and Washington, Rich moved to San Francisco to join The Gap. As one of the original members of the merchandising team that re-built The Gap brand, Rich earned a track record of growing and developing businesses in his 12 years with the company. He held several leadership positions with The Gap, eventually moving to Banana Republic, where, as Executive Vice President, he led the turn-around of that troubled division. In 1994, Rich became the President of A/X Armani Exchange, where he re-built that failing licensee of Giorgio Armani into a profitable growth vehicle by re-focusing the product and significantly increasing revenue and profits; adding new store locations, including international expansion. In 1999, Rich was the President and CEO of Naartjie Custom Kids, a children’s apparel retailing start-up where he oversaw the acquisition and integration of an existing overseas brand and its operations into a newly-formed U.S.-based venture.
Expanding the scope of his experience beyond apparel retailing, Rich next became the President of PlumpJack, a California brand operating restaurants, resorts, wineries and retail businesses. There, he opened four new ventures, while establishing organizational and operating standards in a family-run business. Rich continued to diversify his resume as he then took on several consulting and advising roles in various consumer-driven industries, from start-ups to established firms – including serving in 2004/2005 as the President of Georgiou, a retailer of women’s apparel and accessories, where he drove the turn-around efforts for this brand.
In 2006, Rich became a Partner at Fundamental Capital, a San Francisco-based Private Equity firm, of which he was a founding investor. At Fundamental Capital, Rich helped hone its acquisition targets and investment criteria to focus on consumer-based industries and companies. As the co-manager of the firm, Rich leverages his deep branding and operating experience, working closely with Fundamental Capital’s portfolio’s management teams: providing true hands-on support, guidance, strategic leadership and governance.
Rich is currently a Director and Chairman of the Board of Voodoo Doughnuts; a Director and Chairman of the Board Pint Size Hawaii; a Director and Chairman of the Board of See Kai Run; and a Director of Bentek. In addition, Rich serves on the Board of Solful and as the Chair of the Board of Advisors for 24 Hours of Lemons.
Rich’s not-for-profit work includes service on the Vestry and as Senior Warden of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and the Board of the California Tennis Club, where he was President.
Rich is a graduate of Princeton University.