LONDON — Advantage Smollan, the joint holding company between Advantage Solutions (Advantage) and Smollan Group (Smollan), announced today that it has appointed Hans Savonije as its Executive Chairman, effective March 1, 2016.
Advantage Smollan provides unified sales, marketing, and technology solutions for consumer goods manufacturers and retailers across Europe. The company combines Advantage’s and Smollan’s best practices and resources with the extensive local knowledge, leadership, and experience of each portfolio company to address the unique dynamics of individual markets. Advantage Smollan is represented in the UK through the leading field marketing company REL, in Portugal through the SelPlus and Seldata group, and it is actively pursuing other like-minded acquisition partners.
As Executive Chairman, Mr. Savonije will serve as a senior external advisor to the company, providing strategic direction and contributing to its strategic discussions and decisions on how to compete and structure its various businesses in Europe. He will also support high-level due diligence on acquisitions and help the leaders of newly acquired companies assimilate into the organization.
Mr. Savonije brings a wealth of business, marketing, and management skills with cross-cultural experience to his new role. He currently serves as Chief Operating Officer at Royal Unibrew Group Denmark, a flourishing, large-cap beverage company listed on the OMX Copenhagen Stock Exchange. Prior to this, he managed global commercial operations at Rémy Martin / Cointreau, the Paris-based luxury spirits group. From 1997 through 2006 he held several executive positions at the Coca-Cola Company, including division president for Central Europe and the Russian Federation and CEO of Beverage Partners Worldwide, the company’s global joint venture with Nestlé for coffee and tea. He began his career at Unilever, spending nearly two decades in various marketing, sales, and general management positions in The Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, UK, Poland, and Turkey.
He currently lives in Zürich and speaks Dutch, German, French, English, Swedish, and Polish.
“We are delighted to have found our Executive Chairman in Hans, whose wealth of international executive business experience will be invaluable to us as we develop of our pan-European business” said David Smollan, CEO of Smollan and board member of Advantage Smollan. “We look forward to the several contributions he will make to our organization, leveraging the insights, best practices, and relationships he has accumulated across Europe over his distinguished career.”
“I am excited to further Advantage Smollan’s compelling vision of offering unified sales, marketing, and technology solutions across Europe, tailored to the unique characteristics of individual markets” said Mr. Savonije. “I look forward to partnering with leaders across the company to establish an outstanding platform, where stakeholders are all aligned in service excellence, thought leadership, and entrepreneurial spirit to deliver better results for clients and customers.”
About Advantage Smollan
Founded in 2015, Advantage Smollan is a jointly-owned holding company of Advantage Solutions (Advantage) and Smollan Group that provides unified sales, marketing, and technology solutions for consumer goods manufacturers and retailers across Europe. Advantage Smollan offers the industry’s best capabilities and technology along with the local knowledge to address the unique dynamics of individual markets. The company combines Advantage’s and Smollan’s best practices and resources with the extensive experience and market leadership of each portfolio company – all aligned in service excellence, thought leadership, and entrepreneurial spirit to deliver better results for clients and customers. For more information, visit www.advantagesmollan.com.
About Advantage Solutions
Founded in 1987, Advantage Solutions (Advantage) is a premier sales and marketing solutions company committed to building brand value for our clients and customers. Advantage’s customized sales and marketing solutions include headquarter sales, retail merchandising, and marketing services such as shopper, experiential, digital/social, and multicultural marketing, for the grocery, drugstore, club, convenience, natural/specialty, consumer electronics, home center, and foodservice industries. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Advantage has more than 45,000 associates and offices throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. For additional information, visit advantagesolutions.net or call 949-797-3105.
About Smollan Group
Smollan was founded in 1931 as a Regional South African based sales agency. Today, Smollan is an international retail solutions company that delivers growth for retailers and brand owners across five continents through leading solutions in field sales and retail execution, activation, information and technology. With extensive industry experience, an exceptional human platform of over 60,000 employees and sophisticated systems, Smollan has provided consistent service excellence to retailers and manufacturers for three generations. We see ourselves as the pivot point where the retailer, brand owner and shopper intercept. In 2009, Smollan established a strategic partnership with WPP, the global leader in advertising and marketing services, which has greatly assisted with Smollan’s subsequent expansion. For additional information, visit www.smollan.com.
Advantage Solutions: Smollan Group:
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Tel: 949-797-3105 Tel: +27 11 640 8000
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Bryce Robinson, General Counsel