Management team

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Gerhard Pries

CEO & Managing Partner: Gerhard provides the vision and leadership that define Sarona. During his 20 years of frontier and emerging market investing with MEDA, Gerhard has founded a number of investment firms and funds, including the Latin America Challenge Investment Fund, MicroVest Capital Management and Sarona Asset Management.  He currently serves on the Board of MicroVest, Grand Challenges Canada, ImpactAssets, and a number of companies in the Sarona portfolio.  Gerhard started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, with formative experiences in international development finance and work with Mother Teresa.

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Vivina Berla

Co-Managing Partner: Vivina joined Sarona in 2011 to lead the growth and evolution of the firm into the institutional market.  Prior to Sarona, she worked for 20 years in the institutional investment world, of which 11 years included private equity in the US and Europe.  She held senior positions during 10 years at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers in London and left her role as Managing Director Alternative Investments to join Gartmore Investment Management as Head of EMEA in 2004. Vivina’s first career included 11 years in the steel industry in Latin America, Asia, Africa and Middle East.  She graduated from the London School of Economics and obtained an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.  She is a member of the London School of Economics’ Court of Governors and Finance Committee.

Serge

Serge LeVert-Chiasson

Senior Partner, Managing Director, Operations & CCO: Serge leads the operations and compliance activities of Sarona.  He has worked with Sarona Asset Management, formerly MEDA Investments, since 2008.  He serves on several private equity funds’ advisory committees, corporate boards, and is on the advisory committee of B Lab Analytics.  Prior to Sarona, Serge was an underwriter and loan officer at Export Development Canada, business analyst at Crédit Lyonnais, and founding chair of Agro Capital Management, a Ukrainian agricultural equipment leasing company.  He holds an MSc in Accounting and Finance from the London School of Economics, an International MBA from the Schulich School of Business and is a CFA charter holder.

Menno

Menno Derks

Partner & MD Fund Investments: Menno is responsible for selecting, reviewing and negotiating investments in PE funds.  He also leads Sarona’s activities in market mapping, portfolio construction and investment monitoring. Prior to Sarona, he served as senior investment manager and investment committee member at PGGM, a large Dutch asset manager for pension funds.  Menno also worked at FMO, a Dutch development bank, and ABN AMRO Asset Management, where he designed and launched investment funds for institutional and private clients.  Menno holds a MA in Business Engineering from the University of Twente and is a CFA charter holder.

Independent

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J. Alex Hartzler

Chair of the Investment Committee: Alex has always been a strong supporter of Sarona as it evolved from its historical role within MEDA to becoming an independent privately owned firm.  He is Managing Partner of WCI Partners, and Chairman of the Board of Ten Thousand Villages.  He served as Executive Vice President and Partner of Webclients.net from 2000 until the company’s sale to ValueClick in 2005.  Initially he worked as a corporate attorney for Buchanan Ingersoll.  He is a graduate of Penn State University (BA, Econ), The George Washington University Law School (JD), and was a Fulbright Scholar in Cologne Germany.

Team

Marina-Leytes

Marina Leytes

Head of Investor Relations, ESG & Impact Based in Amsterdam, Marina is leading Sarona’s business development and investor relations.  She is also responsible for considering ESG issues in Sarona’s investments as well as looking at managing and measuring social an environmental impact of the investee funds and companies.  During the previous four years, Marina has dedicated herself to Impact Investing, collaborating with organisations such as the World Economic Forum, ImpactAlpha and The ImPact.  She holds a Master in Economic and Political Development from Columbia University.  Prior to completing her postgraduate degree, Marina worked in the alternative investment space in NYC for a $3 billion AUM real estate fund of funds now part of Carlyle.

Patrick

Patrick Hergt

Senior Investment Analyst: Patrick is responsible for sourcing and analysing new investment opportunities, providing support throughout the due diligence process.  He started his career in private equity as an Analyst with Munich Private Equity Partners.  Patrick holds an Honours’ degree in Business Administration from Brock University and a BSc in General Management from EBS University, Germany.  He passed Level II of the CFA Programme.

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Harrison Green

Portfolio Analyst: Harry is responsible for monitoring and analysing fund investments and their portfolio companies.  He is also involved in due diligence and monitoring for the MEDA advisory mandate.  Prior to Sarona, Harry worked in the capital advisory team at Greenhill & Co. in London –a leading global independent investment banking firm- and as investment advisor at Fusion Capital, a private equity and real estate fund manager in Kenya.  Harry holds a BSc in Politics and Economics from the University of Bath.

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Mat LeRoux

Finance Manager: Mat is responsible for financial management, accounting and reporting on Sarona and its investment funds.  Prior to Sarona, Mat spent six years in various Canadian companies and developed experience in audit, tax, financial reporting and business management.  Mat holds an honours diploma in Accounting and is currently a Certified Professional Accountant student.

Kwaku-Addo-Abedi

Senior Fund Accountant: Kwaku is responsible for financial and data analysis f our investment portfolios to support portfolio monitoring, fund financial reporting, investor reporting and compliance, fundraising and due diligence. Kwaku has seven years of experience in the Fund administration industry having held a few different roles such as Manager, Client integration at MUFG Fund Services and prior to joining Sarona as a NAV Supervisor/ Business Analyst at State Street. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CMA/CPA) and holds a Masters of Business Administration (Finance) from Wilfrid Laurier University.

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Cindy Wang

Accountant: Cindy provides accounting and reporting assistance to Sarona and the firm’s financial activities.  Before joining Sarona, Cindy earned a master degree in Accounting from McGill University in Montreal.  Prior to leaving China, she worked three years at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu in Beijing as an auditor.  She holds a Bachelor in Management from Beijing Wuzi University.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Management and a graduate diploma in Accounting.  Cindy is currently a Chartered Professional Accountant student.

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Mahmoud Salama

Junior Data Accountant: Mahmoud provides data analysis and reporting for Sarona’s investment funds.  Prior to joining Sarona, Mahmoud worked at Allianz Insurance where he gained experience in financial reporting and budgeting.  He holds a Master of Business, Entrepreneurship, & Technology (MBET) from the University of Waterloo and is currently pursuing the Certified Management Accountant designation.

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Khanh Huynh

Personal and Investor Relations Assistant: Khanh supports Sarona’s CEO and provides guidance, support and information to Sarona’s investors.  Prior to joining Sarona, Khanh served as a Law Clerk for seven years at a local Canadian firm as well as a bookkeeper for a small company.

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Daniel den Ronden

Personal and Investor Relations Assistant: Daniel manages the office operations in Amsterdam and supports the European co-managing partner in liaising and supporting European prospective and existing investors.  He finished his education at the HES International School of Business and University VLEKHO in Brussels.