Unigestion loses head of PR amid fundraise

Claire de Sousa has left the Geneva-based fund of funds, while the firm is in market with its Secondary Opportunity Fund III.

Geneva-based fund of funds Unigestion has lost its head of communications and public relations Claire de Sousa, Secondaries Investor has learned.

“We can confirm Claire de Sousa was Head of Communications at Unigestion. She has left the company. Her role will be replaced in due course,” a spokesperson from Unigestion said.

According to De Sousa Unigestion managing director Jean-Francois Hirschel will lead the firm’s press relations until a more permanent hire is found.

Claire de Sousa
Claire de Sousa

De Sousa’s last day at the firm was Friday, 19 September, according to an email seen by Secondaries Investor.

Unigestion is currently in market with its Secondary Opportunity Fund III, which held a first close on €100 million last November and was expected to hold a second close this summer. The fund began marketing in 2013 and is targeting between €250 million and €400 million. The firm declined to comment on fundraising.

Fund III had already invested about €40 million in six deals as of April. Unigestion invests in deals that are “off the beaten track” and that “can be complex to structure”, Unigestion managing partner and head of private assets Hanspeter Bader told Secondaries Investor last month.

“They are typically five or six years old haven’t had big realisations happen. We ‘cherry-pick’ the assets we want to buy and we don’t buy portfolios. Our deals are only between $5 million and $25 million,” he said.

De Sousa will continue to work in financial communications through freelance and short-term contract work in Geneva, Switzerland, the email disclosed. She joined Unigestion in June 2012, after working as the head of public relations at Octopus Investments, according to her LinkedIn profile.