Former Clariant Executive Chairman and CEO joins Advent International’s Operating Partner Program

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Advent International (Advent), one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors, has appointed Hariolf Kottmann as an Operating Partner. 

Kottmann brings a unique wealth of management and industry expertise to his new role and will be a key advisor in helping Advent source, enhance and further successfully grow its investments in the global chemicals and materials sector. Most recently, he was Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Clariant AG, a leading Swiss specialty chemical company. He resumed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) responsibilities in July 2019 on an ad interim basis, having served as CEO from 2008 to 2018. Kottmann initially became CEO at the beginning of the financial crisis and reshaped the business operations and organisational structure, turning Clariant into a reliant and successful industry player.

In addition to working closely with Advent’s Chemicals and Materials team to identify and evaluate new investment opportunities, Kottmann is also serving on Röhm’s board of directors.

“Hariolf Kottmann is a proven leader in the chemicals industry. We are delighted to welcome Hariolf to our Operating Partner Program and count on his extensive chemicals experience after 35 years in this industry. He will help us pursue new investment opportunities and will provide support to current and future portfolio companies,” says Ronald Ayles, Managing Partner and Global Head of Chemicals & Materials at Advent International.

Kottmann says: “Advent International is one of the leading global chemical investors in the private equity sector. It employs a long-established strategy of operationally intensive, sector-focused investing to create sustainable value through revenue and earnings growth. I’m looking forward to working with the team to help Advent further grow its footprint in the industry I have been serving for many decades.”

Kottmann obtained a doctorate in organic chemistry from the University of Stuttgart, beginning his career in 1985 at the former Hoechst AG. He held various executive positions during his tenure at the company, most notably as Head of Inorganic Chemicals. In 1998, he became a member of the Executive Committee of Celanese Corp, where he lead the Organic Chemicals Business Unit. From 2001 to 2008, Kottmann sat on the Board of directors at SGL Carbon AG and was responsible for Graphite Specialties, Advanced Materials and Corrosion Protection. In addition, he oversaw the Eastern Europe and Asia regions and also led corporate functions such as SGL Technology and Innovation.