Director, Office of Brand Protection
Alan Swayne, CFI, is Director, Global Brand Protection, for L Brands. He ensures brand protection at multiple levels and is responsible for managing brand protection investigations. He has developed strong partnerships with global customs authorities and international enforcement agencies based on his past experience in law enforcement, loss prevention, and corporate central investigations.
What are you most excited about in your new position?
It is a privilege and honor to work for a company like L Brands, the parent company to five powerful retail brands of Victoria’s Secret, PINK, Bath & Body Works, Henri Bendel, and La Senza. The name recognition and exposure that these brands enjoy leave them susceptible to copyright/trademark infringement, counterfeiting, and diversion. It is the responsibility of the Office of Brand Protection to protect these brands on a global level. My experience has prepared me for the responsibility of protecting our brands beyond a container, warehouse, carton, store, and direct channels. Protection extends to origin, where the product is made. The supplier relationship and the proper management of this relationship are critical in protecting the brands. I get excited about building those relationships and emphasizing the supplier’s role in protecting our brands.
What interested you most in your new role?
L Brands is currently experiencing a period of international growth with our Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works brands. It has been interesting to see how the extension of these businesses has challenged our team to explore alternative options available to protect the brands. We have focused on educating and developing strong relationships with customs and enforcement agencies globally. Communication, training, and follow up are vital to maintaining and sustaining these strong relationships.
How has being a CFI helped you in your career?
The CFI certification has always been one that I have personally valued because of the work and effort it took to obtain it. I was fortunate enough to earn my credentials in June 2004. I think I was one of the first hundred or so to be awarded the certification. My skill level of interviewing was at its highest when I was conducting 140-170 interviews a year. Although the number of interviews I do now has declined, I still find myself using elements of my CFI training when making inquiries involving brand protection issues.
What are you most grateful for throughout your career?
I am most grateful for having the opportunity to be surrounded by, in my biased opinion, those who were the “best at” in the area of brand protection. I have had the opportunity to be part of the growth of this group, from a team of two in 2008, to a team of nine in 2015. Our growth has been strategically aligned to delivering maximum service to brand protection.
Fun facts about you…
If you could trade places for a day with anyone, who would it be?
I would love to trade places with Urban Meyer – O-H…….
If you were stranded on a deserted island what three things would you bring?
If I am on a deserted island I would want my Bible, some family photos, and a flare gun. (I am very optimistic!)
What’s your favorite movie?
Swayne: I love the film, Lean on Me