Cathy Leonhardt is a Partner and Co-Head of Consumer Retail, Co-Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Council, and Head of the Women’s Network. She joined Solomon Partners in 2003.


Regarded as an innovative thought leader with deep industry knowledge, Cathy is a trusted advisor to established and emerging retailing, consumer-branded and apparel companies. As an industry leader, Cathy regularly discusses trends in the retailing sector including for CNBC, Bloomberg, Yahoo! Finance and WWD.

From visionary entrepreneurs to large public companies, she has advised a range of clients on important domestic and cross-border transactions throughout her 20-year career, including OpCapita’s recent acquisition of specialty retailer maurices, Groupe Rocher’s acquisition of Arbonne, PVH’s acquisitions of Tommy Hilfiger and Warnaco Group, Bare Necessities on its sale to Walmart, and Athleta on its sale to The Gap.

Additionally, Cathy has advised Kering, Moose Knuckles, The Jones Group, Quicksilver, Fred’s Inc. on its announced sale of 185 Store’s Pharmacy Prescription Files to Walgreens, TA Associates on its investment in Dutch LLC, PPR on its sale of The Sportsman’s Guide and OneStopPlus, Ariat International on its expanded partnership with the Fisher family, Deckers on its acquisition of Sanuk, PPR on its acquisition of Volcom, PVH Corp. in its acquisition of Superba Inc., Kate Spade LLC in its sale to Liz Claiborne, J. Jill in its sale to Talbots, May in its merger with Federated, Loehmann’s in its sale to Crescent Capital Investments, and Barneys in its sale to Jones Apparel Group.

Prior to joining Solomon Partners, Cathy was a Vice President at Morgan Stanley, M&A Group. While there, she advised on Sears’ acquisition of Land’s End, Tommy Hilfiger Corporation’s acquisition of Tommy Europe, Jones Apparel’s acquisition of McNaughton, merger of Monsanto and Pharmacia, Georgia-Pacific’s spin-off of The Timber Company to Plum Creek, and the sale of Donna Karan’s beauty business to Estée Lauder. Cathy began her career at Wachovia as an officer in the US Corporate Banking Group.


Cathy holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BS, summa cum laude, from the University of Alabama.

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW)
  • Member, Culverhouse Board of Visitors, Culverhouse College of Commerce, University of Alabama


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