Management team

Gerhard

Gerhard Pries

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 is a Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant and started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, with formative experiences in international development finance and work with Mother Teresa.

Serge

Serge LeVert-Chiasson

Partner, MD Impact Investment Advisory & CCO:  Serge is accountable for the impact investment advisory 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 chairs the Canada Forum for Impact Investment and Development (CAFIID).  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

Alice Catalano

Alice Catalano

Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and Business Development, North America: Alice is responsible for growing relationships with clients and contributing to the firm’s overall business development. She joined Sarona in July 2018 and has over 20 years of private equity business development experience.  She was previously Managing Director of Fundraising and Marketing for Prostar Capital where she helped grow the start-up private equity firm to over $500mm AUM. Prior to that, she was Director of Investor Relations with NGP Energy Capital Management where she led the investor relations and fundraising efforts of 10 funds and was actively involved in business development efforts, helping to grow the firm to over $13bn AUM.  Ms. Catalano has also been a leader in providing ILPA compliant reporting and developed matrices to recognise ESG awareness at both Prostar and NGP.  Ms. Catalano has a B.S. in Finance from Northeastern University.

Dirk de Vlaam

Dirk de Vlaam

Managing Director Investor Relations – Europe: Dirk is responsible for growing relationships with clients and contributing to the firms overall business development. He joined Sarona in August 2018. Dirk was previously a Senior Officer Institutional Marketing and Sales with Triple Jump and prior to that was Head of Sales and Marketing Netherlands at Franklin Templeton.

Marina-Leytes

Marina Leytes

Director Investor Relations – Europe: 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 and environmental impact of the investee funds and companies.  During the previous four years, Marina dedicates 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.

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Emre Karabekirogullari

Investment Associate:  Emre is responsible for sourcing and analysing investment opportunities, performing due diligence as well as participating in the internal investment decision process. In the last 10 years, he had several roles in M&A and private equity industry with impact investing angle. He worked as M&A advisor at Dexia Istanbul office, fund of funds investor at European Investment Bank, board and investment committee consultant to Microfinance Enhancement Facility (MEF) Fund, through Luxembourg based consulting firm Innpact, and more recently; he led fundraising and deal sourcing efforts for Fidesa Ventures, which is a private impact investing fund. Emre holds an MBA degree in Corporate Finance from La Salle University, Philadelphia.

Patrick

Patrick Hergt

Investment Associate:  Patrick is responsible for sourcing and analysing new investment opportunities; performing due diligence as well as monitoring and reporting on fund investments and their portfolio companies. 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

Investment Associate:  Harrison is responsible for sourcing and analysing new investment opportunities; performing due diligence as well as monitoring and reporting on fund investments and their portfolio companies.  Prior to Sarona, Harrison 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.  Harrison holds a BSc (Hons) in Politics and Economics from the University of Bath.

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Sheila Scott

Marketing and Communications Associate:  Sheila is responsible for guiding the production of marketing materials, managing the Sarona brand, developing content for various channels and coordinating external marketing efforts. Prior, Sheila led the marketing program for a regional destination marketing organisation and was a senior specialist in marketing and communications for a leading public accounting and advisory firm. She holds an Honors Bachelor of Arts from Western University and a post-graduate certificate in graphic design from Humber College.

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Mat LeRoux

Controller: Mat is responsible for financial management, administration and reporting of Sarona and its investment funds.  Mat joined Sarona in 2013 as an Accountant before transitioning to Accounting Manager in 2016. In 2017, he transitioned into his current role.  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 working towards his Chartered Professional Accountant designation.

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Victoria Harvie

Corporate Accountant:  Victoria has seven years of progressive experience within Corporate Accounting at a few companies.  In her most recent position, Victoria was responsible for managing the accounting cycle including financial statement preparation, forecasting and tax preparation.  Her experience is enhanced by her Bachelors of Business Administration.  She is also progressing towards her Chartered Professional Accountant designation.

Kwaku

Kwaku Addo-Abedi

Senior Fund Accountant: Kwaku 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, Kwaku worked at State Street as a NAV Supervisor/Business Analyst. He is a Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant (CMA, CPA) and holds a MBA (Finance) from Wilfrid Laurier University.

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Adam Pries

Personal Assistant: Adam manages the office operations in Kitchener and supports the Managing Director of Impact Advisory, while also continuing to develop internal IT and compliance systems.  Adam rejoined Sarona after spending a few years in other roles working with domestic SMEs in a variety of different fields.

Ashley Nagel

Ashley Nagel

Personal and Investor Relations Assistant: Ashley supports Sarona’s CEO and provides guidance, support and information to Sarona’s investors.  Prior to joining Sarona, Ashley completed a General Bachelor of Arts at the University of Guelph in Political Science. She also graduated from the Paralegal program at Mohawk College with honours and is a Licensed Paralegal in Ontario.

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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.