Driving Real Alpha in Private Equity


Location: Jordan Auditorium, Mendoza College of Business

Presented by Scott Dahnke '87, Global co-CEO, L Catterton.

Pizza will be served in the Mendoza Atrium immediately following the presentation. Please let us know if you plan to attend. Faculty and staff, feel free to use the link to let us know you'll be attending!

About Scott:

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Scott A. Dahnke, Global co-CEO, L Catterton

Scott Dahnke is the Global co-Chief Executive Officer of L Catterton, the world’s largest consumer-focused private equity firm, with roughly $20 billion under management.  The firm has 17 offices spread across 5 continents spanning nearly a dozen time zones, and invests from 7 different fund strategies.  Notably, L Catterton was recently named “Global Consumer Private Equity Firm of the Year” for an unprecedented second consecutive year by Private Equity International (“PEI”), the leading industry trade publication, and “Private Equity Firm of the Year” by the M&A Advisor, M&A Atlas, Acquisition International, and The Deal.

Scott has a broad range of business experience in private equity, consulting, management, and finance. He has spent the last 22 years in consumer private equity and has completed over 30 investments, including Peloton, Restoration Hardware, The Honest Company, Zarbee’s Naturals, Kettle Chips, Equinox, Wellness Pet Food, Heartland RV, YoCrunch, Nature’s Variety, Edible Arrangements, Ferrara Candy, Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, Vroom, Build-a-Bear Workshop, Chop’t, Leslie’s Pool Supplies, and Noodles & Company, generating a realized track record over 3x cash-on-cash and a gross internal rate of return over 30%.  Three of the transactions that Scott has led or co-led, Restoration Hardware, Ainsworth, and Zarbee’s Naturals, have won PEI’s prestigious Award for Operational Excellence, in 2014, 2018, and 2019, respectively. 

Before entering the investment arena over 20 years ago, Scott was the CEO of infoUSA (since taken private as “infogroup”), a leading Nasdaq-listed provider of business and consumer marketing products and services. He led infoUSA to an unprecedented string of consecutive record quarters, growing the company’s market capitalization to nearly $1 billion and helping the company earn recognition as one of Forbes’ “Top 200 Small Companies in America” in 1997. Previously, Scott served consumer-focused clients on a wide array of strategic and operational matters as a Partner at McKinsey & Company in Chicago. His early career also includes experience in the Merger Department of Goldman Sachs and internationally with General Motors.

Scott received a B.S., magna cum laude, in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. He also earned academic honors while receiving an MBA from the Harvard Business School, and recently completed the Executive Education Program at Stanford Law School’s Directors’ College. Scott has been quoted in numerous business publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, WWD, the Washington Post, and Forbes, and has lectured at Notre Dame and the United States Military Academy at West Point. Amongst other accolades, the National Retail Federation named Mr. Dahnke as a “Power Player” for 2017.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM), the Advisory Council for the Student Athlete at Notre Dame, and as a Trustee of the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures, and has previously served in the not-for-profit arena as a board member of the American Red Cross of New York and the American Federation of Arts.