Jewellery house Garrard today confirmed the appointment of Joanne Milner as chief executive.
She has joined the company from iconic British luxury brand, Debrett’s, where she had been chief executive for the last three years.
Milner is credited with a regeneration of Debrett’s, leading its global expansion and overseeing the launch of its first overseas office in China in 2014.
She also broadened the scope of Debrett’s activities, rolling out a training academy that works with schools and businesses.
“It is an incredible privilege for me to lead Garrard in this next phase of its history,” said Milner. “Garrard is a unique brand, having designed for Royal Families for centuries. There are not many companies who can point to the fact that its archive is showcased at the Tower of London. Nor are there many brands who, after 280 years, remain as relevant and contemporary as Garrard does. And while Garrard is a powerful international brand, our presence in the UK is very important for us, and I shall be directing a lot of my energy towards the domestic market.”
Stephen Webster, chairman of Garrard, added: “I am delighted to welcome Joanne to Garrard. I am looking forward to working with her, and I believe she has the vision, energy and experience to propel the brand forward. Her understanding of the luxury market will be invaluable, as will her experience of leading a venerable brand in the modern world.”
Previously, Milner worked in private equity, and has extensive experience in leading and transforming businesses. She qualified in law and began her career at global accountancy firm Arthur Andersen, where she specialised in corporate finance.
She subsequently joined Royal Bank of Scotland Leveraged Finance before moving into private equity with Lloyds Development Capital. While at LDC, Joanne worked in the Hong Kong office, investing in management buy-outs in China in retail and education.