Team Member
Title
Region/s
Tavneet Bakshi
Partner, Head of Project Management & Due Diligence
UK
Tavneet  Bakshi

Tavneet is Head of Project Management and Due Diligence. Tavneet spent the majority of her career with Morgan Stanley in London and Hong Kong. Most recently, Tavneet worked with Pioneer Alternative Investments (Hong Kong) as a Senior Analyst in Fund of Hedge Funds business with responsibility for Asia Hedge Fund Managers. Tavneet received a BSc(Hons) in Economics from the London School of Economics.

Christian Benigni
Senior Advisor
USA UK
Christian  Benigni

Christian serves as a Senior Advisor to FIRSTavenue. Prior to co founding FIRSTavenue, Christian worked principally at GLG Partners LP in London. Christian has developed extensive coverage of Germanic speaking Europe including a particular reach into the family office market. Christian graduated as Diplom Kauffmann from Westfalische Wilhelms-Universitat in Munster.

 

Philip Young Wen Binn
Senior Advisor
USA UK
Philip  Binn

Philip sits on the Advisory board of First Avenue Partners LLP and brings with him a wealth of experience in the Asian markets.  Mr. Young also serves as the advisor to NOAH Holdings in Shanghai, China and as an independent director on the board of directors of TransGlobe Life Insurance Ltd in Taiwan. Prior to these non-executive positions, Mr. Young was appointed the Chief Investment Officer of multiple life insurance companies located within Mainland China, including the China Pacific Insurance Group and Ping An Insurance Group. Mr. Young has also spent 4 years in Tokyo as the managing director and CIO of Aetna Heiwa Life Insurance Company, and was the director and CIO of MassMutual Japan. In addition to his employment in Japan, Mr. Young has represented large multinational financial companies such as the Bank of America, the Continental Illinois National Bank, and Nomura Asset Management and for multiple local companies within Taiwan. Mr. Young holds an MBA from the University of Chicago. He took an International Investment Management Program in Stanford University in 1989.

Clenia Bloom
Finance Assistant
UK
Clenia  Bloom

Clenia joined First Avenue in August 2011 to support the finance team. She has a breadth of experience in financial services and in particular the hedge fund industry, enjoying stints at Man Investments and RAB Capital. Clenia holds a BA in International Business and is currently studying towards becoming a Chartered Accountant.

Rachael Boorman
Executive Assistant
UK
Rachael  Boorman

Rachael is responsible for the coordination of logistical and administrative aspects of fundraising campaigns. Rachael has coordinated over 20 global campaigns since joining First Avenue in 2009. Prior to joining FIRSTavenue, Rachael worked at Houlihan Lokey Investment Bank in the Finance team.

 

Jo-Anne Brown
Vice President, Head of Non-US Administration
UK
Jo-Anne  Brown

Jo-Anne joined First Avenue at inception to assist the Partners in setting up the company.  She has since moved to become Head of Administration. Prior to First Avenue, Jo-Anne worked at Standard Chartered Bank and Bank of New York and has 20 years experience working in the financial sector.

 

Paul Buckley
Partner, CEO
UK
Paul  Buckley

Paul is Partner and Chief Executive Officer. Prior to co-founding First Avenue Partners LLP, Paul worked in the European capital markets principally at Credit Suisse First Boston in London. He has covered investors and run coverage groups across every region of Europe since 1987.

Nick Chronias
Principal, Project Management
UK
Nick  Chronias

Nick is responsible for preparing private equity managers for institutional fundraising. This includes defining and differentiating the investment proposition; and, creating the marketing and due diligence materials necessary for a successful fund raise. Prior to First Avenue, he held similar roles as an independent fundraising adviser and as head of research at Helix Associates. Nick has a post graduate degree in Finance from London Business School.

Jonathan Davie
Partner, Co-Chairman
UK
Jonathan  Davie

Jonathan is Chairman of and provides corporate governance to First Avenue Partners LLP. He has operated in a number of senior roles across Credit Suisse and its predecessor organisations.  Most recently, he served as Vice Chairman of Credit Suisse (formerly Credit Suisse First Boston). Jonathan is a full time operating partner while also serving as Chairman of the Board of IG Group plc and on the board of Persimmon plc.

Alasdair Findlay-Shirras
Senior Advisor
USA UK
Alasdair  Findlay-Shirras

Alasdair serves as a Senior Advisor to FIRSTavenue. He is also a member of PATRIZIA Immobilien AG's team, where he is responsible to look after institutional clients internationally. Previously, Alasdair held at similar role at Citigroup Property Investors, Henderson Global Investors and prior to that was Head of FIG at HVB in Munich after an investment banking career in New York at Merrill Lynch and Bankers Trust. Alasdair has a M.A. in Modern Languages from St. Andrews University (Scotland) and an MBA from INSEAD.

 

Sacha Gornaya
Director, Project Management
UK
Sacha  Gornaya

Sacha is a member of the project management team responsible for private equity and infrastructure fundraisings. Prior to joining FIRSTavenue, Sacha worked at IFC Metropol as an Investment Professional and earlier, at Merrill Lynch in the CEE Mergers and Acquisitions team. Sacha started her career at Lehman Brothers in the European Mergers and Acquisitions team in London. Sacha holds an MBA from INSEAD and a Master's degree from ESSEC Business School in Paris, France.

 

Francesca Griffin
Director, Head of Campaign Management
UK
Francesca  Griffin

Francesca is responsible globally for project administration. In this capacity, she manages the interface with our clients.  In addition, her role is to enhance and institutionalise our understanding of investors. Francesca joined First Avenue from National Australia Bank in Sydney where she worked within the Wholesale Banking Division.

Alan J. Haig
COO & Head of Global Administration
UK
Alan  Haig

Alan joined First Avenue in September 2007 from Cambridge Place Investment Management (CPIM), a specialist credit-oriented investment manager. Prior to that he worked for Citigroup Asset Management in their long-only investment management business. Sometime CFO of international Financial Markets Trading. Alan has an MSc from The London Business School, is a Chartered Accountant and a member of the Securities Institute.

Jennifer Hay
Executive Assistant
UK
Jennifer  Hay

Jennifer is responsible for the coordination of logistical and administrative aspects of fundraising campaigns. Jennifer joined First Avenue in 2011 and has 7 years of previous finance experience working for Citigroup, London and Russell Investment Group, Sydney.

 

David Hunter
Partner, Co-Head of International Sales & Consultants UK/Ireland Coverage
UK
David  Hunter

David is responsible for First Avenue's consultancy relationships. With over 20 years' in institutional investment consulting, fund manager research, selection and ratings, David qualified as an actuary with Mercer. At Aon, he was responsible for UK asset-liability management and worldwide manager research. David also advised S&P on Asset Manager and Sponsor Covenant Assessment Services. He sits on the advisory council of AIMSE International. David holds a B.Sc. in Mathematics and Computing from King's College, University of London.

Caroline James
Principal, UK & Netherlands Coverage
UK
Caroline  James

Caroline is responsible for the private markets coverage of the UK and Netherlands. Prior to First Avenue Caroline worked as a surveyor for the Valuation Office Agency, an agency of HMRC. Prior to the Valuation Office Agency, Caroline served as Business Coordinator for the Global Asset Management and Private Banking business of Arab Bank London. Caroline started her career at Baring Asset Management in operations and client services. Caroline is a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Caroline holds a n M.Sc. in Estate Management from the London South Bank University and a B.A. (Hons) from the University of Greenwich. Caroline is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

David Arasnath Kimis
Director, South East Asia, MENA & UK Coverage
UK
David  Kimis

David is responsible for the coverage of the UK, Middle East and Asia ex-Japan. He joined First Avenue from Deloitte Consulting where he worked in the M&A Strategy team and advised private equity firms and large corporations on their acquisition strategies and provided commercial due diligence on potential acquisition targets. Prior to this, David spent time in JP Morgan, working with derivatives and foreign exchange trading. David has a Ph.D in Computer Sciences from Cambridge and a Master of Engineering from Imperial College.

Vicky Lai
Director, UK & China Coverage
UK
Vicky  Lai

Vicky is responsible for the coverage of the UK and greater China. Vicky joined First Avenue Partners from Hundredstone, a corporate finance firm engaged in facilitating China and European fund placement, where she was a founding partner.  Vicky is a qualified solicitor in England & Wales and has previously worked at Linklaters and Norton Rose. Vicky speaks and writes fluent Mandarin, Cantonese and English. Vicky received her honors degree in law by Zhong Nan University of Economics and Law, and was awarded her Master's degree by the University of Manchester.

Chris Leach
Partner, Co-Head of International Sales & Private Equity Coverage
UK
Chris  Leach

Chris is Co-Head of International Sales including coverage of Europe, Australia, Asia and the Middle East and is responsible for origination and marketing of private equity funds. Prior to joining FIRSTavenue, Chris was with Park Hill Group, where he was a Managing Principal and senior coverage officer for Europe and Asia. Previously, he was an  Executive Director at UBS in their Private Funds Group. Chris earned a BA from Middlesex/Reutlingen University and a MSc in Finance from London Business School.

 

Kate Lyon
Principal, Finance
UK
Kate  Lyon

Kate joined First Avenue in June 2008 initially in the fund accounting team before moving to the corporate accounting area. Kate started her career at Martin Currie Investment Management in Edinburgh, a specialist investment manager, where she was the Client Service Accountant for a variety of major offshore funds, including hedge funds, Asian based equity funds and US Mutual Funds. Kate has an MA in Accountancy & Finance and is a Certified Chartered accountant.

Ayesha Mahomed
Senior Executive Assistant
UK

Ayesha joined First Avenue in 2012 as Senior EA to Jonathan Davie, Chairman and Paul Buckley, CEO. Prior to joining First Avenue Ayesha has worked in both the private equity and investment banking arenas for the past 10 years. Ayesha holds an LLB (Hons) from the University of London.

Frédéric Muller
Principal, Scandinavia, France, Italy & Iberia Coverage
UK
Frédéric  Muller

Frédéric is responsible for the coverage of Scandinavia, France and Southern Europe. Frédéric's background includes time at Old Mutual Asset Managers (OMAM) in London in charge of Hedge Fund Sales to European Investors. Prior to OMAM, Frédéric worked for Barclays Global Investors where we he was in charge of Business Development for France and Iberia across all of BGI products and solutions. Frederic has a Master in International Business Management from CESEM (Reims) and ICADE Madrid.

Clive Norton
Partner, Head of Private Equity
UK
Clive  Norton

Clive is Head of Private Equity and primarily responsible for origination and marketing of private equity funds. Clive was formerly a Managing Director at Helix Associates and Co-Head of the Fund of Funds Group at Goldman Sachs covering Europe and Asia. Prior to Goldman Sachs Clive worked in
the Private Equity Group at Merrill Lynch.

John Owens
Principal, Consultants & UK/Ireland Coverage
UK
John  Owens

John concentrates on the UK and Ireland institutional markets. John began his career as a pensions manager before moving to consultancy where he provided advice on all aspects of pension fund benefit design and investment strategy. For the last 20 years John has worked for a variety of asset managers responsible for investment sales, client service and consulting relationship teams across a wide range of market segments. John has a B.A. in Law and Economics from the University of Strathclyde.

 

Stefan Sarles
Legal Counsel
UK
Stefan  Sarles

Stefan Sarles has practiced law for over 20 years in the US and the UK.

Stefan Sarles has an extensive background in domestic and international mergers and acquisitions, capital markets and general business transactions.

Stefan Sarles worked with Mayer Brown in Chicago from 1990 to 1994, then in the London office until 1999. Before starting his own firm in 2003. Stefan was the Managing Partner of the London office of Fredrikson & Byron. Stefan received a B.S. with distinction from the University of Wisconsin and received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School.

Rebecca Tennis
Vice-President, Campaign Management
UK
Rebecca  Tennis

Rebecca is a member of the campaign management team. In this capacity, she is responsible for campaign management and managing the interface with our clients. In addition, her role is to enhance and institutionalise our understanding of investors. Rebecca joined FIRSTavenue from Wood & Company where she worked as Marketing Co-ordinator for the Equities division. Rebecca graduated from University of Glasgow with BaHons in Business and Management.

 

Kaz Yasuda
Principal, Japan, Korea & Australia Coverage
UK
Kaz  Yasuda

Kaz covers investors in Japan, Korea and Australia. Prior to joining First Avenue, Kaz was a Director of Nomura Funds Research responsible for private equity fund investments. Prior to Nomura, he had a range of experiences in manager research, investment product marketing and pension advisory at Watson Wyatt and ABN AMRO. Kaz holds an B.S. from Tokyo University and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

Daniel Zinic
Principal, Germany, Austria & Switzerland Coverage
UK
Daniel  Zinic

Daniel is responsible for the coverage of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Daniel was formerly at Citigroup's Alternatives Distribution Group in London where he was responsible for German speaking Europe. He planned and executed capital raising campaigns for a number of private equity, infrastructure and real estate funds. Daniel received a B.B.A. from the  Faculty of Business Darmstadt.

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