Coller unveils new leadership team – exclusive

The firm has completed a management review prompted by former chief executive Tim Jones’ sudden departure in January, opting not to replace him.

Coller Capital, the secondaries firm, has told its investors that it has promoted three existing partners into newly created leadership positions, effective immediately.

Michael Schad, a London-based partner, has been made head of investment management, while partners Francois Aguerre in London and David Platter in New York are now co-heads of origination and responsible for managing the firm’s deal sourcing worldwide. Schad, Aguerre and Platter first joined the firm in 2005, 2007 and 2013, respectively.

Between them, the trio will co-ordinate the activities of the firm’s 57 investment professionals, including 17 investing partners. They report directly to the firm’s founder, Jeremy Coller, who continues in his role as chairman and chief investment officer.

The move completes a review and internal restructuring process that had begun earlier this year after chief executive Tim Jones unexpectedly left the firm. In an interview, Jeremy Coller said there had been pressure to put in place new leadership quickly, but the firm chose to take some time to create a new structure that would keep it “match-fit for the future”.

Coller said: “We were taken completely by surprise by Tim’s unexpected departure, and of course everyone likes to have certainty, but sometimes it is better to be thoughtful. We could have hired or promoted someone to be CEO immediately. Instead, we looked at the three fundamental things we do, which are fundraising, investing and administration, and decided we wanted to have high-quality, super-experienced leadership in all three areas.”

With the three new heads of the investment team now working alongside fundraising and investor relations co-heads Susan Flynn and Stephen Marquardt as well as chief operating partner Helen Lamb, the firm believes an optimal management structure is now in place.

Coller described the review process as “consultative and seeking to build a consensus across the partnership”, and said the firm had been transparent with its limited partners throughout. “The investors wanted to know what the endgame would be and the [LP] Advisory Committee in particular wanted to be brought along, so we did.”

As part of the changes, the firm also created five new investment partners in June: Paige Brotherton and Paul Lanna in New York, Peter Kim in Hong Kong, and David Jolly and Rune Munk in London.

Existing investment partners Sebastien Burdel and Luca Salvato are to leave the firm after 13 and 16 years, respectively. The departures were amicable, the firm said, and prompted by Burdel and Salvato choosing to pursue new opportunities outside Coller Capital, rather than wanting to commit themselves to continuing in senior positions for another five to 10 years.

Coller Capital is currently investing Coller International Partners VII, which closed in December on $7.15 billion. According to the firm, the fund is currently 24 percent invested.