Advent appoints Buzzard as operating partner

Advent International has hired James Buzzard as an operating partner. Buzzard is the former president of MeadWestvaco Corp.


BOSTON, November 3, 2016 – Advent International, one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors, today announced that it has engaged James Buzzard, former president of global packaging company MeadWestvaco Corporation, as an Operating Partner. Mr. Buzzard will work closely with Advent’s industrial team to identify and assess investment opportunities in the packaging sector globally.

Most recently, Mr. Buzzard assisted Advent in evaluating the acquisition of Fort Dearborn Company, a leading North American supplier of high-impact decorative labels for the food, beverage and other markets. Since the closing of the investment on October 19, he has assumed the role of chairman of Fort Dearborn’s board of directors and is working with the company on the development and execution of its value creation plan.

Prior to his engagement with Advent, Mr. Buzzard served as president of MeadWestvaco from 2003 to 2014, during which time he helped lead the transformation of the company. These efforts included divesting numerous business units, completing acquisitions of leading global packaging businesses, making significant investments in growth and implementing a comprehensive cost reduction program that led to strong margin expansion. In 2015, MeadWestvaco merged with Rock-Tenn Company to form WestRock, one of the world’s largest paper and packaging companies with $15 billion in annual revenue.

A 35-year veteran of MeadWestvaco, Mr. Buzzard began his career with the company’s predecessor, Westvaco, in 1978 in the controller’s department. After holding a series of increasingly senior operational and sales roles, he rose to the position of senior vice president and manager of the Fine Papers Division in 1999. In 2002, Mr. Buzzard was named executive vice president of MeadWestvaco with responsibility for merger integration and the Consumer & Office Products Group.

“Jim brings more than three decades of experience at one of the leading global players in the packaging industry to our growing efforts in this dynamic sector,” said Kevin Feinblum, a managing director at Advent. “We believe his in-depth knowledge of the industry and operational excellence will enhance our ability to find attractive investment opportunities and add value to companies post-investment. We look forward to working with him on these initiatives.”

“I have long admired Advent’s successful track record of investing in and developing companies in the industrial sector,” said Mr. Buzzard. “I look forward to applying the experience I have gained over my long career at MeadWestvaco to assist Advent in finding new investment opportunities in the packaging sector and supporting the growth of Fort Dearborn Company.”

Mr. Buzzard is the most recent executive to join Advent’s Operating Partner Program, a long established and successful element of the firm’s highly operational approach to investing. The program includes over 70 senior industry executives who work in specific sectors as independent consultants to Advent and its portfolio companies. These executives typically assist in activities such as finding attractive investment opportunities, conducting due diligence and creating and supporting value creation plans for Advent’s portfolio companies.

Advent has been active in the industrial sector for more than 25 years, during which time it has invested in over 65 companies in 23 countries worldwide. Over the past two years, it has invested $1.8 billion in eight companies in the sector: Culligan, Fort Dearborn, Quala, VIAKEM, Ammeraal Beltech, Distribution International, GTM and Corialis.

Mr. Buzzard currently serves on the board of ACCO Brands (NYSE: ACCO). He earned his BS in pulp and paper technology from North Carolina State University and his MBA in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors. The firm has invested in more than 315 private equity transactions in 40 countries and as of June 30, 2016, had $40 billion in assets under management. With offices on four continents, Advent has established a globally integrated team of over 190 investment professionals across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. The firm focuses on investments in five core sectors, including business and financial services; healthcare; industrial; retail, consumer and leisure; and technology, media and telecom. After more than 30 years dedicated to international investing, Advent remains committed to partnering with management teams to deliver sustained revenue and earnings growth for its portfolio companies. For more information, visit