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John Pound is an investor, board leader, adviser, executive, and researcher.  His focus is on leadership, value creation, and governance.  For the past 25+ years, he has invested in, advised, and helped to oversee and lead expansions, evolutions, and turnarounds of national consumer-facing brands and retailers; led investments in early stage brands; and coached consumer-focused and nonprofit CEOs on vision, value, and governance.  Previously, he spent more than 15 years in academia and policy, focused on value, leadership, and governance in public companies.  


Pound earned an AB in Political Economy at Harvard, and then earned a PhD in Economics at Yale, focusing on financial market efficiency and the market for corproate control.  He spent a decade on the Harvard faculty and two years at the Securities and Exchange Commission, where he helped, through research and policy proposals, to lead the development of modern activist public equity investing.  He advocated also for more engaged, expert, value-focused boards, and better, deeper partnership between boards and CEOs.  He advised numerous Fortune 50 CEOs and boards during periods of governance conflict and crisis, and helped investors, including the largest American institutions, develop agendas and straategies for active engagement with companies.  He spoke on governance reform at leading universities, US and foreign government bodies, and policy organizations, including the World Economic Forum in Davos.  His research appeared in a spectrum of leading publications including The Journal of Finance, The Journal of Financial Economics, The Journal of Law and Economics, The Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal,


In 1999, Pound established Integrity Brands to pursue a program of focused investments and involvements in a narrow sector:  product-led, art-and-science driven, consumer-facing brands.  Its mission was expert, supportive engagement;  to work closely with leaders, based on deep domain expertise, to create value.  Through Integrity, Pound has invested in and helped guide - as a board member, board chair, executive chair, co-chair, and formal and informal advisor - turnarounds, evolutions, and growth at over two dozen public companies including Gymboree, Cost Plus World Market, Vans, Guess, Christopher and Banks, United Retail Group, Kirkland's, and others.  He has helped build and support vision-driven leadership teams; helped leaders develop and evolve visions and plans and navigate governance and public market challenges; and led strategic reviews and sale and restructuring processes.  The Integrity program evolved to encompass investments and engagements in other parts of the lifecycle and through other ownership structures, including partnering on private equity acquisitions, and early stage investments in impact-oriented emerging consumer brands.  While living in the UK, Pound also invested in and worked with small heritage English brands.  


Pound maintains an advisory/coaching practice working with CEOs, founders, and boards on strategy, value creation, and goverrnance.   He has served as a strategic advisor to private equity firms, investment banks, and public equity funds; developed strategy for large activist investment organizations; advised leading institutional investors; and helped to found the first $1B US public equity fund focused on activist investments.  He has advised leaders in higher education on branding, strategy, and program and organizational development, and has recently served in various capacities at the University of Arizona, focused on program development, including work across the University to create better support for campus-based student and faculty entrepreneurship.  


Pound resides in Tucson, Arizona with his family, his two rescue dogs, and a small, rotating assortment of vintage vehicles.  

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