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
SENIOR ADVISOR
+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.

Jérôme Blanco
Head of Legal ad interim
+41 (0)31 310 28 74

Jérôme is responsible for ensuring that Obviam meets the applicable legal standards. He advises all our departments on legal matters and assists the deal teams in on-going transactions. Before joining Obviam, Jérôme worked for CMS von Erlach Partners SA, a Geneva-based business law firm and for the Swiss Federal Tax Administration.
Jérôme holds a bilingual law degree from the Universities of Lucerne and Neuchâtel and is admitted to the bar.

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.

JAVIER DOMENECH
Investment Director
+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 OFFICER
+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
CFO ad interim
+41 (0)31 310 09 55

As CFO a.i., Severin is responsible for the finance function and -operations at Obviam. He directs financial planning, accounting, and reporting processes and oversees portfolio financing, valuation and risk management activities as well as the execution of controlling and audit procedures for clients and Obviam. 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.

MAXIME GUIONIE
INVESTMENT OFFICER
+41 (0)31 310 09 37

As part of Obviam’s debt team, Maxime provides support to Obviam’s debt portfolio, particularly in terms of deal origination responsibilities, investment analysis and structuring, deal execution and monitoring. Before joining Obviam in 2020, Maxime worked as a senior analyst at Qivalio, a financial service provider. Previously, he was an associate at Crescent Capital Group, an international private debt fund, and worked at Société Générale CIB. Maxime holds an MSc in corporate finance and a master’s degree in management from EDHEC Business School.

REMY HE
INVESTMENT OFFICER
+41 (0)31 310 09 30

Remy is part of the Obviam private equity team and is focused on the Asian portfolio, providing support on the deal origination, the due diligence, and the monitoring of existing investments. Prior to joining Obviam in 2020, Remy worked as a private market buy side research analyst at Wellershoff & Partners and UBS AG, and as a private equity analyst at Bennani & Marchal Associates. Remy holds a master’s degree in management and an MSc in corporate finance and banking from the EDHEC Business School. 

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 in history and international relations from the University of Zurich.

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.

Basile Nguyen
ESGI Data Management Specialist
+41 (0)31 310 09 75

As part of the ESGI team, Basile's main role is to manage the ESG-Impact database and reporting tools. This includes managing the collection and validation of development effects indicators, the analysis and report of actual outcomes to shareholders, clients and other stakeholders. Before joining Obviam in 2022, Basile worked for Lombard Odier as an quantitative ESG Analyst. Basile holds a PhD in physics from the University of Stuttgart in Germany and a master's degree in engineering physics from EPFL in Switzerland.

Tri Anh Nguyen Khoa
Investment Analyst
+41 (0)31 310 28 77

As part of Obviam’s private equity team, Tri Anh’s role encompasses participating in deal origination, due diligence, and working on investment proposals. Before joining Obviam in 2021, Tri Anh worked for BNP Paribas Asset Management, gaining experience in valuation, accounting, and reporting. Tri Anh holds a MSc Finance from HEC Lausanne with a specialization in corporate finance.

ROSA-MARIA ORTEGA
ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
+41 (0)31 310 09 62

Rosa-Maria’s main responsibility is to support the finance and investment functions by carrying out secretarial, administrative and documentation tasks to ensure effective and efficient operations.
After her commercial studies, Rosa-Maria specialised in bank operations management. She had in the leadership responsibility for several bank administration teams in various Swiss and international private banks in Geneva and Zürich.

IOANA SABAU
INVESTMENT OFFICER
+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.

PIETRO SCOTTO DI CARLO
INVESTMENT ANALYST
+41 (0)31 310 09 30

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
ESGI Specialist
+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.

LOUIS TSCHANZ
DATA AND IT SYSTEMS ARCHITECT
+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
ESGI RESULTS SPECIALIST
+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, PRIVATE EQUITY
+41 (0)31 310 09 54

Philip is Managing Director, Private Equity and a member of Obviam’s Executive Committee. Philip co-heads the team responsible for private equity investments, with a lead responsibility for investment and portfolio construction in Africa. Prior to Obviam, Philip was a founding member of the team that developed and launched the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment. Philip has a master's degree in finance from London Business School.