Mark J. Schwartz to Oversee Operations and Expansion as CEO. Michael G. Frieze Named Chairman of the Company

Press Release
Boston, MA — Gordon Brothers Group, today announced that Mark J. Schwartz has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer and will continue to serve as the company’s President. Mr. Schwartz succeeds Michael G. Frieze, who has served as the company’s Chief Executive Officer since 1984. Mr. Frieze will become Chairman of the company.

Mr. Schwartz joined Gordon Brothers Group as President two years ago to work with the firm’s professionals in building the company’s strategic relationships with retailers and expanding its equity and lending operations. Since then, Gordon Brothers Group has completed seven acquisitions, doubled its lending portfolio, and become one of the leading advisory firms assisting retailers in the management of their operations or real estate portfolios. Gordon Brothers Group has been an advisor, lender or investor in many of the major consumer product transactions announced during this period.

“Mark’s investment and management expertise has been invaluable to us as we’ve expanded our strategic position with retail, consumer and industrial companies throughout the world,” stated Mr. Frieze. “During our 101-year history, Gordon Brothers Group has continuously evolved to meet the changing needs of our clients and investors. Today the firm is well positioned to use its industry expertise and capital resources to increase our market share. I’m confident that Mark is the right person to lead this effort.”

“The last two years have represented tremendous change for Gordon Brothers Group, and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to lead the company into the future,” stated Mr. Schwartz. “We have leveraged the expertise of our 250 store-level operational specialists to gain insight into the true, underlying value of both assets and brands. As a result, our firm has been able to focus on additional asset categories such commercial and industrial equipment and has been able to increase its product offerings, geographic reach and emphasis on merchant banking activities. Gordon Brothers Groups' ability to achieve such a strong position in this competitive environment is a tribute to Michael Frieze’s leadership. I look forward to continuing to work with Michael and our talented professionals as we help both our clients and our portfolio companies improve their operations, use their resources more effectively and increase their competitive market positions.”

Mr. Schwartz has more than 22 years of experience in advising, acquiring and managing consumer product companies in the United States and Europe. Prior to joining Gordon Brothers Group, he founded Palladin Capital Group, a New York merchant banking firm. Mr. Schwartz was also responsible for acquiring Nine West Group for Jones Apparel Group (NYSE:JNY) in 1999 and managed that firm’s successful restructuring as its Chairman and CEO. As a former investment banker at Merrill Lynch, Mr. Schwartz has managed many high profile merger and acquisitions and initial public offerings in the retail, consumer, commercial and industrial sectors.

Mr. Schwartz is also the former President of Rosecliff, Inc., a New York leveraged buyout firm, and was an Officer of Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co., now part of JP Morgan Chase. He has been the Chairman or Director of numerous public and private companies and is currently a Director of Restoration Hardware (Nasdaq: RSTO), Spencer Gifts, Andrew Marc and Laura Secord, all current or former Gordon Brothers Group portfolio companies. He is also a Trustee of the Big Apple Circus, a non-profit charitable and performing arts organization. Mr. Schwartz earned an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Frieze joined Gordon Brothers Group 38 years ago and became its Chief Executive Officer in 1984. During his tenure, Gordon Brothers Group has expanded to a full service provider of strategic and capital solutions for retail, consumer product and industrial companies. Prior to joining Gordon Brothers Group, Mr. Frieze served as a management consultant and owned and operated his own consumer marketing business. Mr. Frieze currently is a Director of Smart Bargains and Party America, both Gordon Brothers Group portfolio companies. He exemplifies Gordon Brothers Groups’ commitment to the community through his service on the boards of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, American Technion Society, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Children’s Hospital, Brandeis University and several other charitable organizations. Mr. Frieze earned an MBA from the Sloan School of Management of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is a graduate of Bowdoin College.

Founded in 1903, Gordon Brothers Group, LLC ( provides customized global advisory, acquisition, disposition and capital solutions to companies at times of growth or restructuring. The firm has over 150 professionals and 250 consultants operating out of 20 offices in North America, Europe and Asia. During the past three years Gordon Brothers Group has acquired or started more than twelve companies, converted $12 billion of assets into cash, managed more than 5,000 locations, mitigated over $3 billion of real estate obligations and conducted appraisals on $100 billion of assets and 7,000 properties. Gordon Brothers Group currently has eight divisions and majority or minority investments in seven portfolio companies. The firm is headquartered in Boston, MA.

Contact: Stacy Berns/Michael McMullan
Berns Communications Group, LLC