Northleaf hires London MD

The Toronto-headquartered firm, which last year raised $1.3bn for secondaries, has appointed Sophia Damianou as MD of EMEA business development.

Northleaf Capital Partners has hired its first London-based business development executive as it looks to boost its presence in the EMEA region.

The Toronto-headquartered private markets investor has appointed Sophia Damianou as managing director, business development, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, according to a statement. She will be responsible for developing relationships with institutional investors, consultants and advisors across the region.

She previously held the role of director of marketing and investor relations at UK hedge fund manager CapeView Capital, according to her LinkedIn profile. Before that she was manager of EMEA businesses development for the hedge fund arm of Mesirow Financial.

In September Northleaf hit $1.3 billion final close on its sophomore secondaries fund, consisting of $800 million of commingled capital and $500m in separate accounts, Secondaries Investor reported. Managing director Michael Flood told Secondaries Investor at the time that it would target transactions of less than $100 million, half in LP stakes, the other half in GP-led restructurings, tender offers, fund level financings and direct secondaries.

“We have consistently found that the mid- and small market is less efficient and offers opportunities to purchase quality assets at attractive prices,” he said. “Focusing on the mid-market also means providing our investors with something different from larger secondaries ‘mega-funds’ because we are giving them access, by definition, to smaller and sometimes less well-covered names.”

Deals it backed recently include a stapled tender offer on LBO France’s 2010-vintage Hexagone III fund, which was worth around €50 million altogether, Secondaries Investor reported.