Management team

Gerhard

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.

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Serge LeVert-Chiasson

Senior Partner, Managing Director, Operations & CCO: Serge leads the monitoring and operations 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 and portfolio construction. 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.

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Ash Shinh

CFO: Ash is responsible for accounting and financial management of Sarona as a firm as well as of its various portfolios.  Prior to Sarona he held financial leadership positions in companies across various industries including technology, manufacturing and consumer products distribution where his accomplishments included finance and business operations improvements, M&A transactions and successful integration, strategy development and execution.  Ash holds a BA in history from Wilfrid Laurier University, a CPA, a CMA and an MBA from Florida State University.

Independent

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Alex J. Hartzler

Chair of the Investment Committee: Alex is the chairman of MEDA’s Board and 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

Narina

Narina Mnatsakanian

Director Impact, ESG and Investor Relations Based in Amsterdam, Narina 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, Narina worked for MN, a large Dutch pension fund asset manager, where she led the ESG (environmental, social, governance) integration project across listed and non-listed asset classes and engaged with oil & gas and mining companies on ESG issues. Prior to MN, Narina was Head of Networks and Global Investor Outreach at UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and at UNEP Finance Initiative. She began her career at KPMG in Strategy Consulting and at Ernst & Young in Advisory. Narina holds a BA (Hons) and MA (Cantab) degree in Land Economy from Cambridge University and an MSc degree in Financial Economics from Erasmus University Rotterdam and is a CAIA charter holder.

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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Bruno Priuli

PR, Marketing & Communications Associate: Based in Amsterdam, Bruno bears the responsibility for all external communications of Sarona Asset Management. Previously, Bruno has had experience in the field of financial communications for a large Brazilian PE Fund. Bruno has an MBA from IE Business School in Madrid, Spain. Also holds a masters in Finance and Marketing from Fundação Getúlio Vargas in Brazil.

Rohit

Rohit Menon

Portfolio Analyst: Rohit 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, Rohit worked as an equity research analyst at CRISIL Ltd. (a subsidiary of S&P) and at a boutique wealth management firm in India.  He holds an MBA in Finance from the Schulich School of Business and is a Level II candidate in 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

Accounting Manager: Mat is responsible for 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.

Lei

Lei Zhang

Accountant: Lei provides accounting and reporting assistance to the Accounting Manager to monitor and reconcile the financial activities of Sarona’s investment funds.  Prior to joining Sarona, Lei served as Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant at the University of Manitoba and at Nankai University in China.  Lei holds an MSc in Business Administration from Asper Business School, University of Manitoba and is currently pursuing a Chartered Professional Accountant designation.

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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.