Merchantwise Licensing promotes Kerryn McCormack and appoints Natalie De Freitas-Ariente

Building on its continued growth across the Australian and New Zealand market, Merchantwise Licensing has promoted Kerryn McCormack to the role of general manager of licensing, and appointed Natalie De Freitas-Ariente as its new general manager of licensing and retail.

Having been with Merchantwise Licensing since 2012 and instrumental in the business’ growth in that time, McCormack has over 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 a number of 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, she 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.

Meanwhile, and as a senior licensing and retail executive of over 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 Natalie represented a roster of over 100 artists, 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.

She will now 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. De Freitas-Ariente 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 calibre personnel to our teams, as well as establishing a new office in North Sydney,” said Merchantwise CEO, Alan Schauder.

“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.”