Longtime beverage space dealmaker (and frequent BevNET Live speaker and panelist) Ross Colbert has departed media and consulting firm ZenithInternational for a global strategy position with international investment concern Rabobank, starting Feb. 7.
In his new position, Executive Director, Global Strategist-Beverages, Colbert says he will be working with the beverage companies in Rabobank’s portfolio — which typically works with “top-1oo” international food and beverage clients, out of the organization’s New York office.
“I’m looking forward to working with many of the world’s leading beverage companies and sharing Rabobank’s insights, research, financial and advisory services,” Colbert said. “Rabobank specializes in global food and beverage coverage and my goal is to help our clients to better understand the beverage growth opportunities in both established and emerging markets.”
While Colbert has spent the last three years working at Zenith, he also spent the eight years previous to that working in a similar position heading up the investment banking wing of Beverage Marketing Corp.
“I have loved working with beverage entrepreneurs over the past 20 years,” he said. “Over my career I advised the Snapple founders (Lenny, Hymie & Arnie) leading up to the deal with Thomas Lee in 1990, helped start Pepsi businesses in Africa and Eastern Europe in the mid 1990’s and read hundreds of beverage business plans.”
While he’s gotten to work with many entrepreneurial companies — (and spoken to them about market opportunities in live settings, a role he’s filled with enthusiasm and insight, at least from a BevNET Live point of view) — many of them will be too small for Rabobank, Colbert admitted. His portfolio of big company clients, however, will likely make the cut.