Uri Ferster names new MD at Frostbland

A fascinating backstory of this 70-year-old start-up is revealed as Uri Ferster, MD moves over and names his successor

With Frostbland naming its new Managing Director, esprit chats with Uri Ferster as he moves over to Executive Chairman.

It’s not a name that rolls off the tongue, however the company bearing the name Frostbland owns and distributes many a brand that does roll off our tongues…and most Australian households would have one of their brands in their personal care arsenal. With a change of guard at the head of the company, esprit chats with Uri Ferster who, after 25 years at the helm, steps aside to the Executive Chairman role, making way for Amanda Gani to take over as Managing Director. Effective July 1, 2019.

Frostbland was founded in 1949 by a gentleman by the name of Izzy Leibovitch. Leibovitch migrated from Europe to Hong Kong and worked in the finance industry. He became friends with the Serra family in Spain who, through their business Dana, famously commissioned the creation of Tabu by Jean Carles of Roure Bertrand Dupont (now Givaudan-Roure) in 1932.

Frostbland distributes Bondi Sands, Tabu, Sebamed and many other fan favourites – Image courtesy of Bondi Sands

Leibovitch decided to migrate once again, this time to Australia and he asked his friend Javier Serra if he could distribute Tabu in Australia to which Serra agreed. Leibovitch needed start-up capital and so he asked his then employer, his two bosses from the Hong Kong finance company for the start-up capital, to which they agreed. Their names were Mr Frost and Mr Bland and so in recognition of their generosity, Leibovitch named the company Frost Bland & Co (Aust) Pty Ltd.

Leibovitch built an impressive distribution business which once had brands such as Rimmel, Brut and Princess Cosmetics which arguably broke the record of the time by selling one million lipsticks in one year in the 80s. When Leibovitch passed away, his wife took over the management and the company coasted for a period but by the early 90s, the business hit financial hard times.

In 1994 the business was to be sold to Alberto Culver. Mrs Leibovitch was reluctant as she feared it would be broken up. Through family connections, Uri Ferster was encouraged to look at the business as he had left his corporate work, was moving on from a former start-up of his own and was looking for a new challenge. He liked what he saw and purchased the business in 1994.

The formative years were incredibly difficult, restructuring the business, finding new brands to distribute and getting rid of old brands that were failing, says Ferster. He simplified the company name to one word ‘Frostbland’. By 1999 the business was growing and returning to its more successful trading days. In 2005 Frostbland purchased the Tabu trademark for many markets including Australia and New Zealand. Fast forward to today and Frostbland ships over 7,000,000 units of consumers products in a year with category leading brands such as Bondi Sands, Ardell, Lanolips, Sebamed, Sun Bum, Alya Skin Care, Drug Alert while still being heavily involved with fragrances Tabu, Tweed, Panache, White Satin, Lace So…? and the Elizabeth Arden house of fragrances. Frostbland’s most recent launch being the amazingly successful new entrant to hair care, Bondi Boost.

Amanda Gani appointed as new MD at Frostbland

After 25 years as the Managing Director, Ferster decided it was time to work more on strategic development as the business’ Executive Chairman and hand over the day-to-day running to Amanda Gani who has worked in the business for over 13 years and most recently successfully operated as the company’s Director of Sales & Marketing. Ferster says:I couldn’t be happier with the appointment of Amanda as the new Managing Director which will ensure the business will continue to be run with experienced, capable and trustworthy hands.

Amanda says: I am honoured to be appointed as the Managing Director of Frostbland and excited to be leading this great team to the next level. We are in an excellent position to capitalise on growth opportunities. Frostbland are leading the way in building great brands, ensuring we continue to be known for our exceptional service to both retailers and brand principals. We have a tremendous opportunity to further develop our marketing capabilities, which is relevant to today and is geared for the future.

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