Merchantwise Licensing Announces General Manager Appointments

Kerryn McCormack has been promoted to general manager, licensing and Natalie De Freitas-Ariente has been named general manager, licensing and retail.
License Global

September 8, 2020

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Australia and New Zealand’s Merchantwise Licensing has announced the promotion of Kerryn McCormack to general manager, licensing, as well as the appointment of Natalie De Freitas-Ariente as general manager, licensing and retail.

Having been with Merchantwise Licensing since 2012 and instrumental in the business’ growth in that time, McCormack has more than 25 years of experience in the licensing entertainment brand sector, having kick-started her career with Warner Bros. Consumer Products in London as creative manager before time at Cartoon Network Enterprises Asia as associate director. 

Since joining Merchantwise, McCormack has spearheaded many successful consumer product programs, live theatrical events as well as character costume live shows, home entertainment and publishing opportunities for brands including Shopkins, emoji, “Shaun the Sheep,” Sony Pictures, King Features, “The Gruffalo,” “Sonic the Hedgehog” and “Pac-Man” which have resulted in record growth for the company’s business.

Since joining Merchantwise, McCormack has spearheaded many successful consumer product programs, live theatrical events as well as character costume live shows, home entertainment and publishing opportunities for brands including Shopkins, emoji, “Shaun the Sheep,” Sony Pictures, King Features, “The Gruffalo,” “Sonic the Hedgehog” and “Pac-Man” which have resulted in record growth for the company’s business.

In her new role, McCormack will continue to develop and execute extensive strategic brand and creative initiatives as well as manage the extensive kids’ entertainment, film, TV and music portfolio.  McCormack will continue to be based in Merchantwise Licensing’s Melbourne office.    

As a senior licensing and retail executive of more than 15 years, and with a strong, consistent record in delivering profitable sales growth and leading teams to deliver exceptional results in the consumer goods retail market, entertainment, tourism and leisure and technology, Natalie De Freitas-Ariente has had experience in many markets including Australia, Greater China, New Zealand and South East Asia.

De Freitas-Ariente has worked across various B2B and B2C channels ultimately driving business growth for some of the most iconic brands and companies including Chanel, Berlei Intimates, Goldwell Haircare, Merlin Entertainment Group and Universal Music.  In her most recent roles, she was general manager for Bravado Merchandise Group where she represented a 100-plus artist roster, establishing and driving cross-category programs for the likes of Justin Bieber and The Rolling Stones’ 50th anniversary and was chief executive officer of Australian fashion brand, Karen Gee. 

De Freitas-Ariente’s role with Merchantwise Licensing will see her oversee the business’ portfolio of digital and gaming brands as well as select licensee partnerships and promotions. She will drive collaborative programs with the business’ retail partners, licensors and licensees to develop innovative in-store and online brand events. She will be based in Merchantwise Licensing’s new office in North Sydney. 

“Our brand management businesses, Merchantwise Licensing (entertainment) and Asembl (food and lifestyle) are enjoying strong continued growth, so it’s exciting to be adding new high caliber personnel to our teams, as well as establishing a new office in North Sydney,” says Alan Schauder, chief executive officer, Merchantwise Group. “Kerryn McCormack has been a highly valued senior member of our team for many years and will relish this new opportunity and challenge. Natalie is a great new addition to the business, coming to us with years of experience in licensing, location-based entertainment, retail and consumer products with businesses such as Bravado, Merlin, Berlei and Karen Gee. With Kerryn and Natalie at the helm, we really feel we have put together a dream team of licensing, marketing and creative professionals to drive the ongoing success of our clients’ brands and properties in Australia and New Zealand.”

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