Private Equity in Retail: What’s next? June 2022

Barracuda Search was delighted to partner with Alteri Investors, to co-host a reception for leaders in the retail and private equity sectors at Somerset House, London. 

Barracuda Managing Partner, Justin Linger, welcomed all guests and introduced the two speakers for the evening: Gavin George, CEO of Alteri Investors & Ian Shepherd, Chairman of Bensons for Beds. Both offered insight into the important relationship between private equity firms and retail brands and their views on how this was likely to grow and strengthen over the coming years.

The evening was a great success and provided the opportunity for over 60 CEOs, Chairs, NEDs and investors to catch up with old friends and colleagues and make new connections. 

Both Barracuda and Alteri would like to thank all who attended for their participation and stimulating conversations.

 We look forward to seeing you next time. 


Covid-19, April 2020: Message from Justin Linger, Managing Partner at Barracuda

As the world adjusts to the frightening spread of Covid-19, we felt it important to update you on both our actions and aims at this very difficult time. Firstly, our thoughts go out to all of the front-line workers around the world putting themselves at risk for the greater good of their communities.

Our aim is to protect the safety of our people whilst at the same time delivering our normal high standard of service to our clients and candidates. We are an agile and modern business and were all already equipped to work remotely, at home or where required, so were quickly able to secure safe working environments for our teams in the UK and Hong Kong.

Despite the circumstances, we are completing our current mandates without interruption and have been newly briefed on a number of urgent requirements as our diverse clients react to unexpected and extraordinary situations.

As ever, we continue to talk with our clients and candidates, networking to gain insight and market intelligence to better understand individual and collective circumstances.  When normality returns, we will be well placed to help our clients kick start their businesses and candidates progress their careers.

Challenging times personally and for business – please do not hesitate to get in touch if we can help in any way.

Stay safe and well,


Sustainability & Circular Fashion Breakfast, July 2019

In July 2019, Barracuda hosted a breakfast around Sustainability and Circular Fashion.

Both fashion leaders and sustainability experts attended, to discuss and debate how retailers and brands can mitigate the major impact that the fashion industry has on the planet (8% of all greenhouse gas emissions; 20% of all water pollution; 50 billion bottle equivalents of plastic shed into the ocean each year, tens of billions of garments landfilled/incinerated).

We heard from former Marks and Spencer Director of Sustainable Business Mike Barry, who spoke about the development of Plan A and the relatively low priority that many companies place on sustainability. The three most important elements of a sustainability strategy that Mike discussed were Integration, Collaboration & Innovation, and you can read more about his thoughts on sustainable fashion here.

In attendance we also had entrepreneurs Hasna Kourda, CEO & Founder of Save your Wardrobe, and Jack Ostrowski, CEO & Founder of Yellow Octopus, who spoke about the importance of Mike’s third element, innovation, and the disrupters in the fashion space that are aiding consumers to reuse, recycle and re-sell their products, combating fast fashion with fast recycling.

Thank you to those that attended, we really enjoyed the richness of the conversation had and the ideas shared. Barracuda are excited to explore this area and what our clients might need in terms of talent to push the sustainability agenda forward, as well as to keep up with competitors.

‘Reinventing Retail’ Book Launch, afterthought

In June 2019, Barracuda hosted the launch of Ian Shepherd‘s new book ‘Reinventing Retail’ at the Pearson Publishing Event Space.

The evening was a roaring success, with Ian pointing out that of the 2.8m people working in retail in the UK, an astonishing 1.1m of them had a colleague in the room to debate and discuss how retailers can thrive in these changed times.

Along with words from Peter Pritchard, Group CEO of Pets at Home, we heard from Ian who outlined the main points he covers in the book, including the 6 rules that he uses to define the ‘New Normal’:

1. Someone is going to sell your product at cost, or less

2. Everyone knows everything

3. Reputation matters

4. Location matters

5. Knowing your customer is key

6. If a product can be simplified, it will be

Barracuda would like to thank all those who attended the evening, and hope you enjoy Reinventing Retail as much as we did.

‘Reinventing Retail’ Book Launch, June 2019

June will see the launch of ‘Reinventing Retail’, written by former Barracuda director and retail CEO Ian Shepherd. All of us at Barracuda are excited about the book, which comes at a time when many long-standing retail brands face a critical fight for survival.

Justin Linger, Managing Partner at Barracuda is quoted on the cover of the book. He says:

“I’ve worked with retail leadership teams all around the world – this book is the one they need to read as they grapple with the new economy”

Barracuda will be hosting an exclusive discussion evening for retail CEOs and Chairmen in June to mark the launch of the book, with speakers including Ian and also Peter Pritchard, CEO of Pets at Home.

Reinventing Retail


Berry Bros & Rudd, October 2018

In October, we hosted a wine tasting event at Berry Bros. & Rudd to celebrate our 15th Year Anniversary and as a thank you to clients and candidates for their support and for being a part of the Barracuda journey.