André is a dual citizen of France and Brazil. André grew up in Brazil and graduated from the University of Pernambuco with a B.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering in 1981. André spent the first 15 years of his career working for Alpagatas of Brazil and then for the Brown Shoe Company, acquiring an indepth knowledge of the manufacturing, design, marketing and sales of apparel and footwear. He rose to become Vice-President for Latin America for the Brown Shoe Company.
In 1996, together with investors from Brazil and Mexico, André formed Referencia International to acquire the license holder for Reebok in Mexico. As CEO and based in Mexico, André led Reebok Mexico through the aftermath of the peso devaluation crisis and grew sales from less than US$ 6 million to US$ 53 million by the time the business was sold back to Reebok in 2004.
In 2005, André relocated to Europe –first to Italy and then to France- and successfully launched Referencia International I as a small private equity vehicle focused on small to medium sized consumer companies in Europe and South America.
Overall, André has nearly 30 years of experience in the consumer sector, both as a hands-on manager and investor with a sales and sourcing network in all key global developed and developing markets.
Cyrille is a Swiss national and grew up in Geneva before moving to the UK and graduating from Cambridge University with a M.A. in Economics and Politics in 1995. Cyrille trained in the Corporate Finance division of SBC Warburg in London before moving to SBC's then private equity division new London office, set up to help originate and finance leverage buy-outs in Germany and Switzerland.
In 1998, Cyrille joined the private equity division of UBS and, over nearly 10 years, was involved in and co-led a number of buy-outs of mid-size European companies as well as representing UBS on the Supervisory Board of a number of investee companies..
Cyrille has been involved in companies spanning a number of sectors where UBS was both a majority and a minority direct investor. In the consumerrelated sector, Cyrille was involved in companies such as Heiploeg (one of Europe's largest seafood processors), CFS (a leading provider of equipment to the meat and fish industry) –in both the latter as a Superviosry Director representing UBS-, bag and luggage branded manufacturer Kipling and Minit.
From 2006 to 2008, Cyrille was a managing director and advisor to UBS on the sale and closing of Heiploeg Shellfish International Holding and then acted as an independent advisor and consultant to investors and a financial services company in the Far East and Europe before joining Referencia International. Overall, Cyrille has nearly 15 years of experience in direct private equity, covering all stages of the investment cycle from acquisition to sale and helping companies defining strategy through both internal growth and add-on acquisitions and ensuring best management practice and optimal tax and legal structuring.