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Lawrence Benjamin named SymphonyIRI chairman


CHICAGO — SymphonyIRI Group on Thursday identified the executives sitting on its new board of directors, including the naming of Lawrence Benjamin as chairman.

A 25-year veteran, Benjamin most recently held several executive positions at Royal Ahold, including CEO of U.S. foodservice, COO of Ahold's U.S. retail businesses, EVP and a seat on the company's global board. Previously, he was CEO for NutraSweet and president of the frozen meals division of Kraft. Benjamin currently is a senior adviser at New Mountain Capital.

“This new board brings unparalleled experience and expertise in the consumer packaged goods, retail and technology industries,” prefaced John Freeland, SymphonyIRI president and CEO. “They offer a depth of understanding and rich knowledge about our industry, our clients and our technology that will significantly accelerate our innovation and growth initiatives.”

Joining Benjamin and Freeland on the board of directors are:

  • Jeffrey Ansell, president and CEO of Sun Products;

  • Raj Gupta, senior adviser for New Mountain Capital;

  • Lawrence Jackson, senior adviser for New Mountain Capital;

  • Don McGeorge, retired president and COO of Kroger;

  • Romesh Wadhwani, founder, chairman and CEO of Symphony Technology Group.;

  • Steven Klinsky, managing director, founder and CEO of New Mountain Capital;

  • Mathew Lori, managing director of New Mountain Capital; and

  • Matt Ebbel, director of New Mountain Capital. 

New Mountain Capital, a New York-based private equity firm that currently manages private and public equity investments totaling approximately $9 billion, became the majority shareholder of SymphonyIRI Group on June 1, 2011. The firm seeks out what it believes to be the highest-quality “defensive growth” leaders in carefully selected industry sectors and then works intensively with management to build the value of these companies, the company stated.

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