Industry and People: July–August 2019


Jerome Biard
Jérôme Biard

Roventa-Henex, a Swiss manufacturer of private-­label watches, has appointed Jérôme Biard its new CEO.

Christopher G. Croteau has joined Vibhor Gems as the New York City–based brand’s executive vice president. He is the former vice president of Madison L and director of sales for Hearts On Fire.

Audrey Finci
Audrey Finci

Robert Hanson, CEO of John Hardy since 2014, will step down later this year. He will be replaced by Kareem Gahed, currently the chief revenue officer. Following the transition, Hanson will serve as nonexecutive chairman of the board of directors. Audrey Finci, chief operating and financial ­officer, will take on the ­additional role of president.

Dorothee Gizenga
Dorothée Gizenga

Dorothée Gizenga, who for 13 years served as executive director of the Diamond Development Initiative, is moving on to the role of regional director for Africa, based out of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The group is looking for a new executive director.

Ashi Diamonds hired ­Steven Parks as sales representative and marketing consultant for the New England region. He previously worked for T&D Materials ManufacturingJK Findings, and W.R. Cobb.

Patek Philippe ladies Calatrava Diamond Ribbon watch
Ref. 4978/400G ladies’ Calatrava Diamond Ribbon in white gold with 4.4 cts. t.w. diamonds; $73,710; Patek Philippe; 212-218-1240;

Former Mercury Ring president Jeffrey Bergman has joined Overnight Mountings as national accounts manager.

Lisa Jones is the new president of Henri Stern Watch Agency, the American importer and distributor for Patek Philippe. She takes over from Larry Pettinelli, who has filled the role since 2007.

Caryl Capeci, president of Hearts On Fire since 2015, has been promoted to CEO of Chow Tai Fook North America. The new entity will oversee both the Hearts On Fire and Mémoire brands as well as Chow Tai Fook’s ­diamond jewelry collections and private label offerings.

Mahiar Borhanjoo
Mahiar Borhanjoo

Mahiar Borhanjoo, former executive director of sales and sightholder services of De Beers Diamond Trading Co. and managing director of Venus Jewel International, has joined online diamond company DFL Group as its CEO.

Veeral Rathod
Veeral Rathod

Spence Diamonds, the 13-store diamond retailer with stores in Canada and the United States, has named Veeral Rathod as its new CEO. Rathod, cofounder of custom menswear brand J. Hilburn, joined Spence last September as chief ­marketing officer. He takes over from Eric Lindberg, who will remain with the company as executive chairman.



Four-year-old jewelry brand Mejuri, which targets the female self-purchase market, has raised $23 million in a Series B funding round. New Enterprise Associates led the round.

On May 28, D & M Capital Group, a New York City–based diamond wholesaler run and owned by dealer Moty Spector, filed for ­Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Southern District of New York federal court.

On May 31, secondhand luxury e-tailer The RealReal filed for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company hopes to raise $100 million.

On May 30, ­multichannel luxury watch retailer ­Watches of Switzerland Group premiered on the London Stock Exchange. It owns Mayors as well as four Watches of Switzerland stores in the United States.

A group of shareholders, led by Hudson’s Bay Co. (HBC) executive chairman ­Richard Baker, has submitted a $1.3 billion bid to take HBC private. The company owns Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor, and ­Canadian ­department store chain ­Hudson’s Bay.



Novell Group mens bands
Men’s wedding bands in 14k gold; $1,200–$1,700; Novell Group; 888-668-3551;

Hong Kong–based ­Continental Jewelry has acquired an 85% stake in ­Novell Enterprises, the Roselle, N.J.–based ­jewelry manufacturer, for $5.1 million.

De Beers has shut the International Institute of Diamond Valuation, its foray into the diamond buyback business, though it has ­expressed interest in entering the ­burgeoning consumer-to-consumer diamond resale market.



Donna Sturm
Donna Sturm

Donna Sturm, ­manager of design and product ­development for storied New York City jewelry house Verdura, died May 4 from a traumatic brain injury she suffered after being struck by a bicyclist while crossing the street during her lunch hour. She was 67.

Carl Messler, a New York City jewelry sales rep who worked for five decades for companies including G.C.&G. and Izi Creations, died Feb. 20. He was 81.

Glenn Nord
Glenn Nord

Glenn Nord—who served as president of GIA from 1983 to 1986 and is widely credited with nursing the then-ailing institution back to financial health—died June 9. He was 90.



The Lab Grown Diamond ­Council, a new group that aims to set standards and possibly do marketing for the lab-created diamond industry, is up and running. Former National Jeweler publisher Chris Casey is its president; Silver Promotion Service head Michael Barlerin is chairman.

(Gizenga: courtesy of Diamond Development Initiative)

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