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The Influencers in Depth

Lori Haram

Sphere of Influence: Implements M&A strategy, which consists of growing by at least one percent annually through acquisitions

As senior vice president of new business development for Estée Lauder Cos. (NYSE: EL), Lori Haram implements the company’s M&A strategy. Estée Lauder aims to grow by at least one percent annually via acquisitions.

Haram is responsible for identifying, evaluating and negotiating acquisitions, joint ventures and licensing activities. She has led several acquisitions, including: fragrance company Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle; skincare brand Glamglow; fragrance distributor Le Labo; and skincare brand Rodin olio lusso. And she was instrumental in developing the business unit responsible for nurturing new brands.

Prior to rejoining Estée Lauder in 2010, Haram served as general manager of Carol’s Daughter, the multicultural beauty brand created by entrepreneur Lisa Price, sold to L’Oréal USA in 2014. She had previously worked at Estée Lauder as vice president, global finance and strategic planning, for the Mac Cosmetics and Sean John Fragrances divisions.

"Each of the nine deals that I have overseen for the company since 2010 reinforce our strategic imperatives, provide meaningful engines of growth, and further diversify and strengthen our portfolio, bringing new consumers to our company," says Haram.

Estée Lauder has been active in dealmaking as of late. One of the challenges companies in the beauty business face is tapping into new consumer markets while keeping up with a booming e-commerce market. That’s where some of the acquisitions come in. In 2016, New York-based Estée Lauder agreed to buy cosmetics company Too Faced for about $1.45 billion in an effort to expand e-commerce offerings. Los Angeles-based Too Faced sells makeup for the eyes, face and lips in quirky packaging. Estée Lauder also bought skincare products company Becca Cosmetics to grow online. Becca, located in New York, is known for selling primers, concealers, foundations and blushes under its own brand. In a deal designed to reach new markets, Estée Lauder invested in Have & Be Co. Based in Seoul, South Korea, Have & Be makes moisturizers and cleansers that are sold in the U.S. and Asia under the Dr. Jart+ and Do The Right Thing brands.

“At Estée Lauder, we consistently assess acquisition and investment opportunities in the fastest-growing channels, categories and regions. And, we seek out brands that are a strong fit culturally, including deep roots in entrepreneurialism, prestige products, and personalized, experiential service at all points of sale. We are a Company founded by an entrepreneur, and we understand how essential that entrepreneurial spirit and drive is to any brand," says Haram.

Some of Estée Lauder’s competitors, including L’Oreal SA and Revlon Inc. (NYSE: REV) have been expanding into other regions as well, including Asia. L’Oreal bought IT Comestics for $1.2 billion, while Revlon acquired Elizabeth Arden for $870 million.