MILAN – In a multi-tasking move, Marco Bizzarri is taking on another additional role in the investment sphere.

After setting up his Nessifashion holding, which is buying a stake in fashion brand Elisabetta Franchi, on Monday the former Gucci president and chief executive officer revealed he would lead an advisory company called FOREL. This will support a sub-fund of the newly launched FARO Alternative Investments. The FARO Fashion, Luxury and Design sub-fund will “target global companies with strong brand recognition and high business potential,” said FARO in a statement.

“The FOREL team includes industry experts and private equity professionals who boast a vast network of information and talent, a deep understanding of the industry and a concrete vision of its future evolution,” FARO said.

FARO Alternative Investments SCSp SICAV-RAIF is a Luxembourg-based umbrella fund managed by Crestbridge Management Company S.A.R.L with FARO Value S.p.A. S.B. operating as lead advisor.

FARO aims to fundraise 1 billion euros.

FARO Alternative Investments was founded by four partners: Augusto Balestra, serving as chief executive officer, Sergio Serra, Mario Gardini, and Giancarlo Galeone, chairman.

Gardini is a longtime friend of Bizzarri and co-founder of Orienta Capital Partners, which focuses on majority buyout operations and specializes in investments in small- and medium-sized companies with strong growth potential.

As reported, Bizzarri has been an investor in Orienta since 2021.  Bizzarri and Gardini worked together early in their careers in Bologna at both Arthur Andersen and Mandarina Duck in the 1990s.

Bizzarri enthused about the format of FARO. “It’s a scalable model that can add as many dedicated sub-funds and advisories as needed or wanted.” He said he was happy to bring his “network of contacts and relationships built over the years working in fashion.” He added that Gardini and his team “have the technical knowledge and experience in private equity, while I bring the ‘soft’ skills.”

The new fund comprises two other sub-funds: FARO Real Economy and FARO Innovation, and each is managed by one or more specialized advisory companies, led by experienced executives in their respective areas.

“We are working on a robust pipeline of investment opportunities, with the aim of overturning the usual paradigm of capital-seeking employment,” said Giancarlo Galeone, chairman of FARO Value. “FARO Value and its advisory companies are joined by a common vision to leverage specialized know-how to collaborate with high-potential companies as business partners.” 

The FARO Real Economy sub-fund will invest in multiple sectors including agri-food, cosmetics, mechanical and aerospace, among others, targeting small and medium-sized enterprises in Europe with high growth potential. The sub-fund is supported by three advisory companies, including Orienta, IC-Flex led by Monique Deloire and IRTOP Consulting led by Anna Lambiase.

The FARO Innovation sub-fund invests globally in fintech, artificial intelligence, space tech and other disruptive industries, as well as in top venture capital funds in Silicon Valley.

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