Managing Partner, CEO: Gerhard Pries provides the leadership and vision that defines Sarona. During his 20 years of frontier and emerging market investing with MEDA, Pries 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 Grand Challenges Canada, ImpactAssets, and a number of companies in the Sarona portfolio. Pries is a Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant, and started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, with formative experiences in international development finance, and work with Mother Teresa.
Paulus J. Ingram
Partner, Deputy CEO: Paulus is responsible for firm-wide management and supervision of Sarona’s investments and investment professionals. He has over twenty years of investment and asset management experience focused on alternative investments, including multiple leadership and investment roles at €450 billion AUM Dutch pension asset manager APG Asset Management in both Amsterdam and New York, including global Head of Hedge Fund Investments, Senior Portfolio Manager of the Opportunity Fund, Sustainability and Governance Specialist and active participant in the firm’s private market investment committee, investing approximately $20 billion per year. Ingram also serves as a Strategic Advisor to Capricorn Investment Group, the investment manager and family office of Jeff Skoll and the Skoll Foundation. He has a Masters in International Finance from the University of Amsterdam, a Master of Laws from Vrije University and the University of Amsterdam, and a BA from Amherst College. Ingram completed Oxford University’s Said School of Business Private Equity Program. He holds a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designation and CFA Society of the UK Investment Management Certificate (IMC). He is a member of the British-American Project, an international fellowship.
Partner, Strategy and Marketing: Laura Brightsen focuses on strategic business issues and marketing. Brightsen was the head of marketing for Apax Partners and American Securities in New York. She has run a boutique consulting firm specialising in strategy and marketing for the venture capital and private equity industry and served as Managing Director of Golden Seeds, a venture capital fund investing in early-stage companies founded or run by women. In her early career, she spent over 12 years in various strategic, corporate development, acquisition, marketing and operational roles at public companies, including MCI, ADP and Winstar Communications. She holds a Masters of Finance from Johns Hopkins University, a BA from James Madison University in Marketing and Economics, and has completed the Said Business School at the University of Oxford Private Equity Program.
Partner, Managing Director Impact Investment Advisory & CCO: Serge LeVert-Chiasson is accountable for the impact investment advisory and compliance activities of Sarona. He has worked with Sarona Asset Management (formerly MEDA Investments) since 2008. LeVert-Chiasson serves on several private equity funds’ advisory committees, corporate boards, and chairs the Canada Forum for Impact Investment and Development (CAFIID). Prior to Sarona, LeVert-Chiasson was an underwriter and loan officer at Export Development Canada, a 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.
Managing Director Fund Investments: Menno Derks is responsible for selecting, reviewing, and negotiating investments in private equity funds. Derks 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. Derks 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 an MA in Business Engineering from the University of Twente, and is a CFA charter holder.
Deborah de Rooij
Managing Director Trade Finance: Deborah de Rooij is responsible for sourcing, diligence and monitoring of trade finance investments at Sarona Asset Management. She has over 30 years’ investment experience in fixed income, alternative credit and manager selection. Prior to joining Sarona in 2019, Deborah served as Head of Emerging Market Debt and Head of Global Manager Selection at €450 billion AUM Dutch pension asset manager APG Asset Management. De Rooij also worked as Senior Portfolio Manager Global Credits and Emerging Markets for Achmea Global Investors, a large Dutch asset manager for pension funds. She holds an RBA (certified European financial analyst) designation from the CFA Society VBA Netherlands and has a BA in Economics from the Economic School of Amsterdam.
Investment Associate: Emre Karabekirogullari is responsible for sourcing and analysing investment opportunities, performing due diligence, as well as participating in the internal investment decision process. In the last ten years, he has had several roles in M&A, and the private equity industry, focused mainly on impact investing. He worked as an M&A advisor at Dexia in the Istanbul office, was a fund of funds investor at European Investment Bank, served on the board as a consultant to the investment committee of Microfinance Enhancement Facility (MEF) Fund through Innpact, a Luxembourg-based consulting firm, and more recently, Karabekirogullari led fundraising and deal sourcing efforts for Fidesa Ventures, which is a private impact investing fund. Karabekirogullari holds an MBA degree in corporate finance from La Salle University, Philadelphia.
Investment Associate: Patrick Hergt is responsible for sourcing and analysing new investment opportunities, performing due diligence, as well as monitoring and reporting on fund investments for Sarona’s portfolio companies. He started his career in private equity as an analyst with Munich Private Equity Partners. Hergt holds an honours degree in business administration from Brock University and a BSc in general management from EBS University, Germany. Hergt has passed level II of the CFA exam.
Controller: Mat LeRoux is responsible for financial management, administration, and reporting of Sarona and its investment funds. He joined Sarona in 2013 as an accountant before transitioning to accounting manager in 2016. In 2017, he transitioned to his current role. Prior to Sarona, LeRoux spent six years in various Canadian companies and developed experience in audit, tax, financial reporting, and business management. He holds an honours diploma in accounting and is a candidate in the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) program.
Senior Fund Accountant: Kwaku Addo-Abedi is responsible for financial and data analysis for Sarona’s investment portfolios to support portfolio monitoring, fund financial reporting, investor reporting and compliance, fundraising, and due diligence. Prior to joining Sarona, Addo-Abedi worked at State Street as a NAV supervisor/business analyst. He is a Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant (CMA, CPA) and holds an MBA in finance from Wilfrid Laurier University.
Corporate Accountant: Victoria Harvie joined Sarona in 2018 and is responsible for the corporate accounting. Harvie has seven years of progressive experience within corporate accounting at several companies. At her most recent position, she was responsible for managing the accounting cycle, including financial statement preparation, forecasting, and tax preparation. She holds a Bachelors degree of business administration and is a candidate in the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) program.
Accountant: Geoffrey Henry joined Sarona in 2017 and is responsible for corporate accounting while also providing additional support on fund reporting. Henry has an education and working background in accounting from the U.K., where he was born. In his education, he received a Higher National Diploma in business & finance and a certificate from the Association of Accounting Technicians before setting out on a career as a bookkeeper/accountant, working primarily in manufacturing and technology industries. He is a candidate in the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) program.
Daniel Den Ronden
Personal and Investor Relations Assistant: Daniel den Ronden 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.
Investor Relations Assistant: Brynn Mongeon provides guidance and support to Sarona’s investors while working in conjunction with the Finance and Marketing teams. She previously worked in the not for profit sector, working as an Office Assistant at MEDA as well as the research and education sector, with experience as an Intern for ACUNS and as a Writing Tutor for Wilfrid Laurier University. Mongeon earned an Honours BA in Global Studies and Spanish from Wilfrid Laurier, where she graduated with High Distinction.
Personal Assistant: Adam Pries manages the office operations in Canada, and supports the managing director of impact advisory, while also continuing to develop internal IT and compliance systems. Pries rejoined Sarona after spending a few years in other roles working with domestic SMEs in a variety of different fields.
Marketing and Communications Associate: Sheila Scott is responsible for guiding the production of marketing materials, developing content for various channels, and coordinating external marketing efforts. Prior to Sarona, Scott was Marketing Manager for a regional destination marketing organisation and was a Senior Marketing and Communications Specialist at one of Canada’s largest public accounting firms. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from Western University and a post-graduate certificate in graphic design from Humber College.
Sarona Senior Advisors
Vijoy P. Chattergy is an independent member of Sarona Asset Management’s investment committee. Chattergy has nearly 30 years of experience in financial markets in the U.S., Asia and Europe. Chattergy served in leadership positions with public, private and nonprofit sector financial services entities, covering major asset classes such as equities, fixed income, foreign exchange and alternatives.
For most of the past decade, Chattergy was primarily the Chief Investment Officer at the Employees’ Retirement System of the State of Hawai‘i (HIERS). As a recognised thought leader, he restructured the investment program and office, improving performance to become a top-quartile performing pension fund. He was awarded the 2017 Industry Innovation Award for the Public Defined Benefit Plans Between $15 -$100 billion.
Previous experience includes investing in hedge funds for a Hong Kong and Tokyo based asset manager and at Federal Reserve Bank of New York in the Markets Group, which included work on the foreign exchange trading desk, foreign reserves operations and Treasury auctions.
Chattergy is active with several industry organisations, including the Milken Institute Global Capital Market Advisory Council and the Hawaii Council on Economic Education Board of Directors. He is a co-founder of the Truman Scholars Association and was an original member of Teach For America. He earned an MBA from Cornell University and an MSc from the London School of Economics. He holds a charter from the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association (CAIA).
Mauricia A. Geissler
Mauricia A. Geissler is an independent member of Sarona Asset Management’s investment committee. Ms. Geissler retired in September 2019 from her role as Amherst’s first Chief Investment Officer after sixteen years with the College. Under her leadership, the investment office grew to eight professionals and the Amherst and Folger Shakespeare Library endowment assets grew from roughly $800 million to nearly $3 billion. Prior to joining Amherst College in 2003, she held senior investment positions sitting on all three sides of the fiduciary table – as a consultant with SEI Corporation, an investment manager with Putnam Investments and an asset owner with both Lucent Technologies. She has expertise on issues related to investment governance and fiduciary oversight, as well as across multiple asset classes. Ms. Geissler serves as a Trustee for the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts; serves on the investment committees for both the community foundation and the Amherst Survival Center; is a member of the Advisory Board of Harpswell Capital Advisors, LLC; and has served as a member of several investor advisory committees across various asset classes. She received her bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Wisconsin Madison.
J. Alex Hartzler
J. Alex Hartzler has always been a strong supporter of Sarona as it evolved from its historical role within MEDA to becoming an independently-owned, private firm. He is managing partner of WCI Partners, and Chairman of the Board of Ten Thousand Villages. Hartzler 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. Hartzler is a graduate of Penn State University (BA, Econ), The George Washington University Law School (JD), and was a Fulbright Scholar in Cologne, Germany. Hartzler also sits on the Sarona Advisory Board.
Bruce is a Senior Advisor at Sarona Asset Management. Pflug is a seasoned executive with over 30 years’ experience in investment management, consulting, and pension and retirement planning. His areas of expertise also include risk management, pension management, investment consulting, investor relations and business development. Pflug is a retired member of the Executive Committee for Crestline Investors, a well-known alternative asset management firm. Prior to Crestline, he served in an executive role at Pacific Investment Management Corp (PIMCO). He currently teaches economics and finance at Sacred Heart University and Western Connecticut State University. Bruce was also a founding partner of a firm dedicated to acquiring and restructuring small and mid-size firms for the purpose of rebranding and expansion growth. Pflug has served on local government pension boards, company advisory boards and non-profit advisory boards. He has a Master of Business Administration degree and has also undertaken extensive post-graduate studies in economics.
Anand Prakash is a Senior Advisor, Climate and Infrastructure, at Sarona Asset Management. He has extensive experience in principal investing, first as a corporate owner, investor and operator of energy businesses in North America and Asia and then as a private equity investor in the climate space with a focus on renewable energy projects in Asia. Prior to joining Sarona, he was a Managing Director at Asia Climate Partners (ACP), a ~$450mm private equity platform that targets mid-market, growth-oriented private equity opportunities in the clean energy, resource efficiency and environmental industry sectors. Prakash was also a Partner and Managing Director of FE Clean Energy Group (FE), where helped establish FE as one of the premier private equity investors in the clean energy space by identifying, developing and managing investments in India, China, Thailand, Philippines and Singapore. Prakash has a BA in Mathematics from St. Stephen’s College in New Delhi, an Economics Tripos degree from St. John’s College, Cambridge University and an MA in Public Administration from Cornell University.
Natalie Trunow is an independent member of Sarona Asset Management’s investment committee. Ms. Trunow has over 25 years of experience in diverse aspects of asset management business. Ms. Trunow serves on the boards of Columbia Threadneedle mutual funds, CCCMD (formerly Guidewell Financial) and Healthcare Services for Children with Special Needs Foundation investment committee. She also manages private investment portfolios and consults asset management firms on investment strategy and investment products as a CEO and owner of Millennial Portfolio Solutions, LLC. Among Ms. Trunow’s many professional roles were Chief Investment Officer for Calvert Investments, and Section Head and Lead Portfolio Manager for GM Asset Management. Over the years, Ms. Trunow presented extensively at industry conferences such as CFA Institute and Institutional Investor Forum. Ms. Trunow has served on the Agenda Advisory Committee for Institutional Investor Forum and was an active member of New York School Volunteer Program and Junior Achievement. Ms. Trunow graduated cum laude from New York University with Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and holds an MBA in Finance from New York University Stern School of Business.