OUR TEAM

Obviam's leadership team has over 20 years of private equity investment experience in emerging and frontier markets. The investment function is backed by the finance function and a group of enabling functions.

  • All
  • EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
  • INVESTMENT FUNCTION
  • FINANCE FUNCTION
  • ENABLING FUNCTIONS
CLAUDE BARRAS
CEO
+41 (0)31 310 09 31

Claude is the CEO of Obviam. He has more than 20 years of experience in investing in developing countries and emerging markets. After beginning his career in economic diplomacy, Claude served as advisor to the Swiss Executive Director at the World Bank Group and has held numerous chairs, including the Global Corporate Governance Forum of the OECD and World Bank. Since then, he has been responsible for management of the Swiss government’s portfolio of SME-focused private equity funds in developing countries and emerging markets. Claude holds an MSc in economics from the University of Fribourg.

CHRISTOPH ACHINI
CFO
+41 (0)31 310 09 32

As the CFO of Obviam, Christoph is responsible for financial planning and reporting, and for the risk management at Obviam. His tasks involve asset/liability management, cash management, budgeting, and overseeing the various controlling and internal audit matters. Christoph is also managing the investment portfolio of CEE/CIS.
Christoph finished his studies with his PhD thesis in 1999. After working for UBS, he joined SECO where he was involved in building the future SIFEM investment portfolio. Christoph joined SIFEM and later Obviam at the time of establishment. He is also a CFA Charter holder.

STEPHANIE ARNOLD
ESG Analyst
+41 (0)31 310 72 74

Stephanie joined the ESG team in 2019. She supports the integration of high environmental, social and governance standards in Obviam’s investment processes as well as the implementation of sustainable practices by Obviam’s clients. Previously, she held roles in responsible and development finance at Amundi and Proparco and worked as a Sustainability Consultant at EY. Stephanie graduated from the University of St.Gallen (BA) and from HEC Paris (MSc). 

 

SARITA BARTLETT
HEAD OF ESG
+41 (0)31 310 09 60

Sarita is responsible for ensuring that Obviam’s approach to responsible investment reflects international best practice, and Obviam and its clients meet or exceed the requirements. She participates actively in forums on the promotion of ESG in investments, particularly in emerging markets. Before joining Obviam, Sarita was an investment manager ESG at Norfund. Her other previous positions include head of socially responsible investment at Storebrand and head of sustainability at KMPG Norway. She has held numerous board, advisory and academic research positions. Sarita holds both BA and MA degrees in economics.

THIERRY BUCHS
HEAD OF POLICY
+41 (0)31 310 09 63

Thierry’s main tasks are related to the management of the institutional relationship with SIFEM’s shareholder, and to all development policy issues linked to SIFEM. He also supports the investment team on economic analysis and development-related issues. Thierry has more than 15 years of international experience in the field of economic analysis, investment and project management. Before joining Obviam in 2016, he worked at the International Financial Corporation, World Bank and SECO. Thierry holds a PhD in international economics. 

BARBARA BUTTON
OFFICE MANAGER / HR-ASSISTANT
+41 (0)31 310 09 30

In her role as Office Manager, Barbara is responsible for the smooth running of office operations. She prepares meetings, provides KYC documents for investments, supports the Finance team with investment transactions, and monitors invoicing/billing/expenses and bank accounts. In her role as HR assistant, Barbara is part of the recruitment committee and is the employee contact for all staff-related matters. After her commercial apprenticeship, Barbara worked for Swisscom for several years, before moving to the United States. She has worked for Obviam since her return to Switzerland in 2011.

SIMON DENOTH
COMMUNICATION MANAGER / HEAD OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS (SIFEM)
+41 (0)31 310 09 30

Simon is responsible for Obviam’s communication activities, including corporate publishing and media relations. In his role as Head of Public Affairs for SIFEM, Simon also deals with SIFEM’s relationships with its political stakeholders. Prior to joining Obviam, Simon was Deputy Head of Public Affairs at the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG SSR). He studied political science at the University of Geneva (BA), international relations at the University of Manchester (MA), and recently completed a Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) in communication management and leadership at ZHAW. 

FLORENCE DERRON
IMPACT MANAGER
+41 (0)31 310 09 51

Florence’s main tasks consist of ensuring the proper monitoring of the development effects of Obviam’s investments and coordinating the respective work. This includes providing support to Obviam’s investment team in assessing the development effects of potential investments, and also analysing and reporting the actual outcomes to shareholders, clients and other stakeholders. Before joining the Obviam team, Florence worked as a journalist for broadcasting stations in Switzerland and Germany while obtaining her master’s degree in modern history and communication.

JAVIER DOMENECH
Investment Manager
+41 (0)31 310 09 52

Javier heads the debt team and leads the origination, structuring and execution of new debt investments in emerging markets. He oversees Obviam’s global portfolio of financial institutions and microfinance debt funds. Prior to joining Obviam, Javier held positions in internal audit, risk management and debt investments at several banks and asset managers in Spain and Switzerland. Javier holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in accounting and finance.

KERSTIN FOLKINGA
Financial Analyst
+41 (0)31 310 28 73

In her role as Financial Analyst, Kerstin is engaged in any tasks related to fund administration, such as investment transactions and capital account management or liquidity planning. She is also involved in the business plan monitoring, budget controlling and treasury, among other finance specific business management activities. Kerstin started her career in impact investing at Oppenheim Asset Management Services in Luxembourg. She holds a master’s in agricultural economics from University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna.

SEVERIN FRIES-MARTINEZ
FINANCE AND RISK MANAGER
+41 (0)31 310 09 55

As Finance and Risk Manager, Severin is responsible for the coordination of the financial monitoring and reporting procedures. He is accountable for the execution of investment-related control and risk management activities, which includes portfolio financing, valuation and audit operations.
Severin joined Obviam at the time of establishment as a student while completing his MSc in finance. Before that, he worked as a controller for Techdata, a consulting firm in the construction sector. Severin also has experience in project management and holds a professional degree in architecture.

SILVANO GALLI
FINANCIAL OFFICER
+41 (0)31 310 09 56

As Financial Officer, Silvano ensures a seamless implementation of portfolio monitoring, valuation and reporting processes. He thereby seeks to improve and maintain the reporting quality by investees, analyses the financial performance of investment positions and underlying assets and guarantees data consistency among the entire valuation process and various partners. Silvano studied business and economics at the University of Bern with a focus on finance and data analysis. During his studies, he worked in project controlling for a major Swiss insurance company.

ANDREA HEINZER
CIO
+41 (0)31 310 09 34

As the CIO of Obviam, Andrea is responsible for the firm’s investment activities. Her task is to oversee and coordinate Obviam’s investment team and execute the various mandates. Andrea also manages a portfolio of fund investments in sub-Saharan Africa. She joined Obviam in 2006 and led the investment programme in Africa. Before that, she worked at SECO in the Bilateral Economic Relations and Economic Development and Cooperation divisions. Andrea holds an MSc from the University of Zurich in history and international relations.

FLORIAN KOHLER
MANAGING DIRECTOR ASIA
+41 (0)31 310 09 35

Florian’s main task is to oversee Obviam’s investment activities across Asia and he is involved in the company’s management and business development. Florian originally joined Obviam at inception in 2005, where he was responsible for Asia and North Africa. He then worked with Cordiant Capital on its African PE portfolio and with Teralys Capital, helping to manage Canada’s largest FoF dedicated to VC fund investments, before returning to Obviam in 2011.  Florian holds separate master’s in business administration and law.

CHRISTINA MEYER
Legal Counsel
+41 (0)31 310 28 70

Christina is responsible for ensuring that Obviam meets the applicable regulatory and compliance standards. She advises all our departments on legal and regulatory matters and assists the deal teams in on-going transactions. Before joining Obviam, Christina was counsel at Prager Dreifuss AG, a Zurich-based business law firm, and a legal counsel at ODDO-BHF Bank in Zurich. Christina holds a law degree from the University of Bern and is admitted to the bar. She holds an LL.M. degree in international business law from ESADE University.

NICOLAS MULLER
INVESTMENT MANAGER
+41 (0)31 310 28 75

Nicolas is responsible for new private equity fund investments and the management of a portfolio of private equity funds across Obviam’s regions. Nicolas has over 10 years of relevant experience. Prior to joining Obviam, Nicolas was a Principal at Capital Dynamics, a global alternative asset manager, within the US Primaries team and was working as a Private Equity Analyst at the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations in Paris, France. Nicolas holds a master’s degree in Asset Management from the INSEEC Group, Paris, and a master’s degree in Corporate Finance from the Ecole de Commerce Européenne (ECE), Lyon. He holds the professional designation of Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA).

RANA MUSA
CORPORATE CONTROLLER
+41 (0)31 310 09 50

Rana is responsible for the accounting-related processes of Obviam and SIFEM. In her role as Corporate Controller, she supervises the budget, manages and coordinates treasury-linked tasks and steers third-party operations, such as external custody, accounting and audit procedures. Rana is also responsible for the implementation and operation of the Internal Control System. Before joining Obviam in 2014, Rana worked as an external auditor. She studied finance at the University of Applied Sciences in Neuchâtel.

LARS NUSSBERGER
INVESTMENT ANALYST
+41 (0)31 310 09 64

As part of the private equity team, Lars analyses new fund investments and assists the management of the existing portfolio with a primary focus on the Africa region. Prior to joining Obviam in 2020, Lars acquired work experience at the Private Equity Fund of Funds Team of Ardian as well as in strategy consulting. Lars holds a master's degree in finance and a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of St. Gallen with international study experiences in South Africa and in Hong Kong.

CAROLINE RITTER
INVESTMENT OFFICER
+41 (0)31 310 09 65

Caroline primarily provides support to Obviam’s Africa portfolio, particularly in terms of monitoring and deal origination responsibilities. Caroline graduated from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, with a Bachelor of Commerce in international business and started her career in development finance at the European Investment Bank. She joined Obviam in September 2016.

IOANA SABAU
INVESTMENT ANALYST
+41 (0)31 310 09 66

As part of Obviam’s Debt team, Ioana’s main role is to help grow and manage the debt portfolio. Her tasks include screening new potential deals, drafting investment proposals and monitoring the existing portfolio. Before joining Obviam, Ioana worked for KPMG and the European Investment Bank, where she gained experience in financial accounting analysis and investments in financial institutions. Ioana holds a master’s in finance.

BAPTISTE SAVARY
INVESTMENT ANALYST
+41 (0)31 310 28 71

As part of Obviam’s Debt team, Baptiste’s main role is to help grow and manage the debt portfolio. This includes screening and assessing new potential deals, drafting investment proposals, and monitoring the existing portfolio. Before joining Obviam in 2018, Baptiste worked for Credit Suisse in Credit Research where he gained experience in the credit analysis of corporates and financial institutions. Baptiste holds a Master in Finance from the University of St.Gallen in Switzerland and a Bachelor in Economics from HEC Lausanne.

PIETRO SCOTTO DI CARLO
INVESTMENT INTERN

As part of Obviam’s Debt team, Pietro’s main role is to help grow and manage the debt portfolio. This includes screening and assessing new potential deals, drafting investment proposals, and monitoring of the existing portfolio. Before joining Obviam in 2020, Pietro worked for an Italian investment banking firm dedicated to mid-market clients, where he gained experience in financial analysis, corporate valuation and debt restructuring. Pietro holds a double master’s degree in finance and management from Nova SBE in Lisbon and LSE in London, and a bachelor’s degree in economic and social sciences from Bocconi University in Milan.

KYLIE SEGHI
IMPACT OFFICER
+41 (0)31 310 09 57

As part of the Impact team, Kylie’s main role is to support the monitoring of development effects in Obviam’s portfolio. This includes support for the assessment of development effects for potential investments, and the analysis and report of actual outcomes to shareholders, clients and other stakeholders. Before joining Obviam in 2014, Kylie studied in Australia, Munich and Zurich for a degree in international business; this included a focus on community development alongside related work for a family foundation in Zurich.

PHILIP SIEBER-GASSER
MANAGING DIRECTOR OPERATIONS
+41 (0)31 310 09 53

Philip is responsible for the efficiency and scalability of Obviam’s operations, serving as coordination node for aspects related to organisational development, operational policies, processes, HR, digital and physical infrastructure, and communication. Philip also manages a portfolio of investments, mainly in Asia. Before his current role, Philip managed Obviam investment activities in south-east Asia for eight years. He also worked at Nordkap Bank, the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and as an independent consultant. Philip holds a master’s in development finance.

LOUIS TSCHANZ
DATA ANALYST AND ADMINISTRATOR
+41 (0)31 310 09 61

Louis’ main task is to align information technology, people and tasks to facilitate the collection, processing and dissemination of data. This includes analysis of business procedures, adaptation of user interfaces and reports to evolving business needs. After his master’s in business administration with a major in finance, Louis specialised in the field of information systems and data management.

JEREMY WAKEFORD
Impact Manager
+41 (0)31 310 28 72

Jeremy’s primary role is to ensure the proper monitoring of the development effects of Obviam’s investments. This includes providing support to Obviam’s investment team in assessing the development effects of potential investments, and also analysing and reporting the actual outcomes to shareholders, clients and other stakeholders. Before joining Obviam, Jeremy worked as an economist in an Africa-focused think tank embedded within an investment firm in Switzerland, while his prior career was mainly in academia. Jeremy holds a Master’s degree in economics from Cambridge University and a PhD in sustainable development from Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

PHILIP WALKER
MANAGING DIRECTOR AFRICA
+41 (0)31 310 09 54

Philip is responsible for new private equity fund investments and management of a portfolio of private equity fund investments in Africa. Philip has invested in SMEs across impact sectors in Africa, from healthcare to renewable energy to sustainable forestry. Previously, Philip worked at the United National Environment Programme Finance Initiative, where he was a member of the team that developed and launched the Principles for Responsible Investment. He has also worked at Merrill Lynch and Capital International. Philip holds an MSc in finance from London Business School.