Elena Pantazi, Amy Burr, Sarah Gestetner, Melanie Campbell and Alice Lawson receive promotions

From our Women's PE Briefs - week commencing July 5, 2021

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Anna Haghgooie joins Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe as an operating partner

Anna Haghgooie steps down from her role as a managing director with Sandbox Industries and Sandbox’s Blue Venture Fund to join Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe. Anna joined the New York-based private equity firm as an operating partner in its health care group. While at Blue Venture Fund, Anna served on the boards of Quilted Health, Somatus, ZeOmega, Contessa Health, Axial Healthcare, Origin, SonarMD, PWNHealth, ExactCare, naviHealth and Change Healthcare.

In a statement, Anna said, “I am thrilled to join the WCAS team. Helping health care businesses grow, innovate, and deliver value has been WCAS’s focus for over 40 years and is also my passion. I look forward to working with the WCAS team on this mission and being part of their collaborative culture.” Also in a statement, David Caluori, a WCAS general partner, said the firm has known Anna “and followed her successes building next generation health care companies for many years. Anna’s focus on enhancing the development of value-based care and transforming the way patients experience health care will be of tremendous benefit to WCAS as we continue to expand our relationships with innovative and growth stage companies across the health care ecosystem. Anna is a great fit with our values and culture, and we are fortunate to have her on the WCAS team.”

Over the past four decades, WCAS has invested approximately $10 billion of equity in more than 90 health care companies. Founded in 1979, WCAS has raised and managed funds totaling more than $27 billion of committed capital.

Stephanie Yeh joins KKR as a managing director

KKR adds Stephanie Yeh to its global private credit team. Stephanie is now a managing director and will be responsible for co-leading the sourcing of private asset-based finance investment opportunities in the United States.

Stephanie was previously a managing director with Credit Suisse where she was head of early-stage financing. She helped launch that group and expanded the bank’s coverage to early-stage clients across asset classes. Prior to Credit Suisse, Stephanie worked at Goldman Sachs in structured finance and asset-backed securities finance.

KKR’s global credit business had approximately $165 billion of assets under management as of March 31, 2021, including approximately $58 billion within its overall private credit platform. KKR’s asset-based finance business now has approximately 35 dedicated investment professionals specializing in assets classes and regions across the world. The ABF strategy has invested more $4 billion of capital across over 40 investments since 2016.

BGF appoints Julia King to its specialist advisory board

BGF appoints Julia King, who is formally known as Baroness Brown, to its specialist advisory board. Julia is now the chair of BGF’s new Clean Growth Advisory Board.

BGF recently announced the creation of a specialist advisory board to accelerate its investment activity in companies engaged in carbon reduction and the energy transition. Investments include a diverse range of businesses, such as those that develop hydrogen fuel cells, maintain wind turbines, recycle organic waste and apply energy efficient practices in building and construction.

Julia is an engineer who previously held senior business and engineering roles at Rolls-Royce.

Under her leadership, the board will advise BGF on high-level sector trends and government policy, contribute to BGF’s investment strategy and offer guidance on sub-sector trends and opportunities so that BGF is better equipped to accelerate its investments and support the clean growth companies in which it invests.

Hala Zeine joins Blackstone as a managing director 

Blackstone adds Hala Zeine to its team in a newly created role. Hala is now the managing director for the technology sector in Blackstone’s portfolio operations group. In this role she will work in partnership with the firm’s technology portfolio companies on accelerating growth and innovation. She will also advise the firm’s investment teams in identifying and evaluating opportunities in the technology sector, with a particular focus on the European market.

Hala was formerly the chief product officer for Celonis, where she was responsible for running product and go-to-market strategy, product management and product-related partnerships. Prior to Celonis, she spent more than a decade at SAP, working in corporate executive roles ranging from business development to leading their digital supply chain product business.

The Carlyle Group appoints Shiho Takano to its Japan advisory team

The Carlyle Group appoints Shiho Takano to its Japan advisory team. Shiho is now a senior advisor at Carlyle. In this role, she will primarily advise the Carlyle Japan team on investment activities, including identifying and assessing new opportunities in the consumer and retail sector.

Shiho has held several leadership roles at L’Occitane Japan, where she served as president and chairperson. Prior to L’Occitane Japan, she worked for global and Japanese consumer brands including Boots, Coca-Cola, Yves Saint Laurent Parfum and Meiji Dairies.

The Carlyle Group is a global investment firm that deploys private capital in global private equity, global credit and investment solutions.

Elena Pantazi is promoted to partner at Northzone

Northzone promotes Elena Pantazi. Elena is now a partner at the venture firm, dedicated to talent and portfolio development. She joined Northzone in 2019 and has been instrumental in building out its services, recruiting most of the firm’s internal hires and significantly expanded the firm’s efforts in supporting portfolio companies.

Before joining Northzone, Elena was the director of operations and head of marketing and communications at Bain Capital. Previously, she was an early employee at the start-up Third Bridge.

Martina Schliemann leaves Hamilton Lane to join HarbourVest Partners

Martina Schliemann leaves her role as a business development manager with Hamilton Lane to join HarbourVest Partners. Martina is now a principal focused on investor relations in Germany and Austria. She will also help lead HarbourVest’s new Frankfurt office.

Martina’s background includes roles with Deutsche Asset Management and Credit Suisse. HarbourVest now has 12 locations globally, including Singapore, which it opened earlier this year.

HarbourVest, a private markets asset manager, has $76 billion in assets under management.

Amy Burr is named president of JetBlue Technology Ventures

Amy Burr flies into a key role with JetBlue’s venture arm. Amy is now president of JetBlue Technology Ventures. In that role, she will shape the strategic venture investment direction of JetBlue and facilitate integration of start-up programs into the airline’s overall corporate innovation initiatives.

Amy has been with JetBlue since 2018 as JTV’s managing director of operations and partnerships. In that role, she built an ecosystem of partners and deployment opportunities for JTV’s portfolio companies.

Amy was a founder of Virgin America in 2004 and ended her time with the company as the Virgin America leader of the integration of the merger with Alaska Airlines.

Amy fills a role vacant since last year when Bonny Simi departed to join portfolio company Joby Aviation as head of people and operations. Bonny, who founded JTV in 2016, remains an advisor to the JVT team.

Inflexion has promoted Sarah Gestetner, Melanie Campbell and Alice Lawson

Inflexion has promoted Sarah Gestetner, Melanie Campbell and Alice Lawson. Sarah, who leads the UK private equity firm’s marketing team, is now a partner, while Melanie and Alice became assistant directors. Sarah joined Inflexion in 2017 from Warburg Pincus where she was director of communications for EMEA and India as well as having responsibility for ESG. Her background also includes stints with Citigate Dewe Rogerson and Lazard. Sarah becomes Inflexion’s fifth female partner, joining Catherine Richards, Irina Hemmers, Flor Kassai and Kirsty Tikerpae.

Melanie, a member of the firm’s investment team, joined Inflexion in 2019 from Fulcrum Capital Partners. She is on the boards of Medik8 and Ridgewall.

Alice, who is also on the investment team, also joined Inflexion in 2019. She was previously with Citi. Alice worked on Inflexion’s investments in Ridgewall, Systal and CMSPI – on whose board she sits.

Susan Soh leaves Two Sigma to join GrowthCurve Capital

Susan Soh leaves her role as chief of strategy and capital development with Two Sigma to join a newly created private equity firm. Susan joined GrowthCurve Capital as a founding member and chief of capital formation and investor relations.

Susan spent nearly four years at Two Sigma, where she led marketing, strategy and new business development. She is a past speaker at the Women’s Private Equity Summit. Susan has also held roles with Perella Weinberg, Highbridge Capital Management, Lightyear Capital and Bear Stearns Merchant Banking.

GrowthCurve was founded by Sumit Rajpal, the former global co-head of the Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division. GrowthCurve’s team also includes vice president Andrea McGuirt, principal Kate Peachway, chief operating officer Rehana Wijenayake Murphy and chief financial officer Susan Yan.

New York-based GrowthCurve focuses on building businesses using AI, human capital and digital transformation. GrowthCurve’s strategic advisory board includes Barbara Novick, co-founder and former vice chairman of BlackRock; Julie Dodd, former chief operating officer, chief strategy officer and general manager of Ultimate Software; and Julie Klapstein, former CEO of Availity.

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