Tony Armand Joins Norwest Equity Partners as Consumer Products-Focused Operating Partner

April 16, 2018

  • NEP’s Consumer Platform Expanded to Include Sports and Outdoor Products Investment Opportunities
  • Armand Brings 20+ Years of Experience Growing Consumer Platforms Through New Product Development and M&A
  • Relationship with NEP Deepens after Serving as Portfolio Company CEO and Board Member for 10+ years

Minneapolis, Minnesota – Norwest Equity Partners (NEP), a leading middle market investment firm founded in 1961, has expanded its group of executive resources with the addition of Tony Armand as an operating partner. Armand will focus on sourcing and evaluating consumer, sports, and outdoor product investment opportunities and play an active role in strategic planning, business growth, and corporate governance for NEP portfolio companies.

“Tony’s experience will help us attract great investment opportunities and drive strong investment results. Having an operating partner like Tony provides us more flexibility and competitive advantages when seeking investment opportunities. He is also going to be a great resource for our portfolio at large, providing meaningful business experience to help position our companies to be better, stronger, and more successful,” stated Tim Kuehl, NEP Partner.

Armand has built strong ties to NEP over the years through former portfolio involvement, including serving as CEO of Shock Doctor Sports. As the undisputed leader in mouthguard technology and considered the leading innovator in sports protection around the globe, Shock Doctor Sports grew revenue 7.5x and doubled employee headcount under Armand’s leadership until NEP exited the investment in 2014. He also served as a board member for Momentum Group, a distributor of sustainable textiles for the commercial interiors industry, while it was under NEP ownership.

Armand shared, “After spending over 20 years on the operating side of a business with private equity investment partners, I am excited to help create value across an entire portfolio rather than in just one business. NEP was a solid partner during the critical stages of growth at Shock Doctor, and when the opportunity was presented to work with them to build out a more extensive consumer product investment platform, it made perfect sense for me. The firm has established a terrific track record over the years, and I’m excited to work together again. NEP is the natural home for me.”

Armand most recently served as CEO of United Sports Brands, a global leader in sports performance and protective products, where he helped grow the company over 30 percent annually. Brands within the United Sports Brands’ portfolio include Shock Doctor, McDavid, Cutters, and Nathan Sports. Armand’s career also includes serving as President and CEO at Bravo Sports, a worldwide leader for branded outdoor and sporting goods products, where he helped to increase Bravo’s revenue three-fold and grow its licensed business through top-tier brands, including Disney, Mattel, and Nickelodeon. Armand also has COO, CFO, and consulting experience from a variety of service and manufacturing businesses earlier in his career.

“Tony is a terrific addition to our operating partner group and consumer platform. NEP’s strategy is to buy and build companies, and having Tony on board to help us continue to bring this strategy to life is a huge win and helps position us for future success. His industry experience is tremendous,” stated Tim DeVries, NEP Managing Partner.

Upon joining NEP, Armand joined the board of directors for NEP portfolio company Christy Sports, one of the largest winter sports specialty retailers in the nation.