Ken Sweder

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Ken Sweder
BradyPlus
CEO

Ken Sweder is CEO of BradyPlus, the new name of the combined BradyIFS and Envoy Solutions businesses following their merger in 2023. That transaction created a $5 billion packaging, foodservice and jan/san distribution giant in the US.

Sweder has been involved in B2B distribution since 2007, when the former banking exec and Bain consultant joined Interline Brands. He was appointed CEO of the company in early 2016 shortly after it had been acquired by The Home Depot. 

In 2020, he became CEO of Individual Foodservice (IFS), prior to its merger with Brady Industries at the end of the year. After a further two and a half years of feverish acquisition activity, BradyIFS combined with Envoy Solutions in November 2023.

For more details on BradyPlus, click on the following links:

2024

Rebrand for BradyIFS and Envoy Solutions

2023

OPI Talk podcast with Ken Sweder

BradyIFS and Envoy Solutions deal closes

BradyIFS and Envoy Solutions to merge

Envoy owner looking at strategic alternatives

BradyIFS acquires in California again

BradyIFS acquires on US east coast

BradyIFS acquires in California

Brady acquires again

BradyIFS acquires in the Midwest

2022

Two acquisitions for BradyIFS

BradyIFS to exceed $1.3 billion mark

Brady and Imperial Dade acquire

Background information

2022: Another new entry into the 2022 Top 100 list, it was less than two years ago that Brady Industries and Individual Foodservice (IFS) merged to become one of the largest independent jan/san supplies and foodservice distributors in the US.

The deal came about following private equity firm Kelso & Company acquiring a majority stake in IFS in October 2019. Kenneth Sweder, then CEO of Kelso-owned speciality tool and fastener distributor SouthernCarlson – incidentally now owned by Kyocera – was appointed Chairman of the board at IFS. In July 2020, he became CEO.

A few months later, in December 2020, Kelso/IFS acquired Brady Industries, significantly boosting both businesses’ activities in terms of customers, combined facilities, distribution footprint, product portfolios and geographic diversification.

This is another hugely acquisitive operator which is reaching into the business supplies space. Under Sweder’s watch as CEO of the new BradyIFS entity, he has overseen eight acquisitions, expanding the company’s reach across the country and enhancing its core categories of jan/san, packaging and foodservice supplies.

The latest purchase, made in July, was New York-based Hill & Markes, a reseller of jan/san, industrial packaging, foodservice, farm and office products to various market segments around the US. The addition of Hill & Markes to the fold has pushed BradyIFS’ annual sales to more than $1.3 billion.

Other acquisitions this year include two New Jersey-based firms – Camden Bag and Paper and SupplyitAll – while BradyIFS also expanded its presence in the Southeast with Georgia-based Associated Paper.