Vennette Ho is a Managing Director at Financo, where she leads the firm’s global Beauty and Personal Care practice. She focuses on mergers and acquisitions as well as capital raises for young, rapidly growing companies.

Vennette’s transaction experience include representing Pacifica Beauty in its minority sale to Alliance Consumer Growth, IT Cosmetics in its sale to L’Oréal, Shiseido in its acquisition of Laura Mercier, Bain Capital in its investment in Sundial Brands, First Aid Beauty in its minority recapitalization by Castanea, Kate Somerville in its sale to Unilever, and e.l.f. Cosmetics in its sale to TPG Growth.

Vennette was named one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Beauty by WWD and serves on CEW’s Board of Governors. She lives in New York City with her husband David, and her children Dylan and Kira.

Q&A with Vennette

1. How did you get into beauty?
As a junior investment banker starting out at Financo 13 years ago, two of the first deals I was randomly “staffed” on were representing the buyer of Stila out of Estée Lauder and representing Neiman Marcus on the sale of Laura Mercier. It was the beginning of a love affair with the industry that has only grown over time!

2. Why do you love indie beauty?
Indies are truly the heartbeat of the beauty industry. So many of the most exciting brands, product innovations, and ideas come from entrepreneurial founders who are breaking the mold and trailblazing new paths every single day. In beauty, the barriers of entry are low and consumers cast votes for “winners” every day; it’s as close as one can get to a true meritocracy in business. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work in an industry with such dynamic individuals and whose mission is to simply make women feel good.

3. How can you help indie beauty brands?

As an investment banker, I work with a wide range of beauty businesses that are looking to raise capital or sell. A huge part of my job is understanding what drives “value creation”—the DNA and operational elements of what makes a company great and enables it to sell for an outsized price.

4. If you could give indie beauty brands one piece of advice, what would it be?
Stay disciplined and focused—as it relates to your brand, products, distribution, and cash management.

5. What is the best piece of advice you’ve gotten?

It’s better to do a few things well than a lot of things poorly.

6. Favorite motto or inspirational quote

“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different” – Coco Chanel

7. Must-read email, blog, publication?
So many! CEW Beauty Insider, WWD, Beauty Inc, Kelly Kovac’s Beauty Matter, PopSugar, Refinery29, Business of Fashion and Man Repeller.