Advent International names ex-McDonald’s Corp president/COO as operating partner

Advent International has hired Raul Alvarez as an operating partner. Alvarez is a former president and chief operating officer at McDonald’s Corp.


BOSTON, November 6, 2017 – Advent International, one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors, today announced that it has engaged Raul Alvarez, former President and Chief Operating Officer of McDonald’s Corporation, as an Operating Partner. Mr. Alvarez is working closely with Advent’s retail and consumer team to identify and assess investment opportunities in the sector globally.

Most recently, Mr. Alvarez assisted Advent in evaluating its investment in First Watch Restaurants Inc., which operates more than 300 daytime cafés, providing customers a unique and fresh breakfast, brunch and lunch experience through a variety of healthy, traditional and indulgent offerings. Since the closing of the investment in August 2017, he has joined First Watch’s board of directors.

“Raul brings a wealth of expertise to our investment activities from managing and growing global consumer brands over the past four decades,” said Tricia Patrick, a Managing Director at Advent. “He has proven to be an invaluable partner to us, and we welcome his continued contributions to both our proactive deal sourcing and our efforts to support growth in partnership with our portfolio companies.”

Mr. Alvarez, a 40-year veteran of the restaurant industry, is currently Chairman of Skylark Co. Ltd., a Japan-based operator of over 3,000 restaurants. He spent 15 years in executive leadership positions with franchise leader McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE: MCD), culminating in his appointment as President and Chief Operating Officer from August 2006 until his retirement in December 2009. Prior to joining McDonald’s, he held executive positions with Wendy’s International Inc. (1990-1994) and the Burger King Corporation (1977-1989).

“Advent is one of the most experienced sector-focused investors in the world, with an effective process for identifying and capitalizing on opportunities in consumer-oriented businesses and the secular shifts they are facing,” said Mr. Alvarez. “I look forward to continuing to work with the Advent team and applying my experience to new opportunities in the years to come.”

Mr. Alvarez is one of the most recent executives 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 80 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 significant investment experience in the retail, consumer and leisure industry. Over the past 27 years, the firm has invested more than $10 billion in 74 companies in the sector worldwide. In addition to First Watch, recent North American investments include Sovos Brands, whose businesses include Michael Angelo’s Gourmet Foods and Rao’s Specialty Foods; Noosa Yoghurt; lululemon athletica (NASDAQ: LULU); The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf; Serta Simmons Bedding; Party City (NYSE: PRTY); Bojangles’ (NASDAQ: BOJA); and Five Below (NASDAQ: FIVE).

A graduate of the University of Miami School of Business, Mr. Alvarez currently serves on the boards of directors of Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY), Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW), Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. (NASDAQ: DNKN), Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY) and the University of Miami School of Business.

Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors. The firm has invested in more than 330 private equity transactions in 40 countries and as of June 30, 2017, had $43 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