Women of Influence: Secondaries professionals recognised

Professionals from Evercore, KKR, LGT Capital Partners Morningside Capital and StepStone Group have been included in this year's list.

A number of secondaries professionals have been highlighted in this year’s Women of Influence in Private Markets list.

Compiled by PEI Group following nominations across the market, the list highlights the achievements of the many impressive women working across the alternatives landscape, in a bid to help balance the scales in this traditionally male-dominated industry.

By the time the submissions window closed for this year’s list at the end of March, the editorial team had received over 630 nominations. Competition was fierce and editorial teams from Infrastructure Investor, Private Equity International, Private Debt Investor, PERE and Venture Capital Journal had to make some tough choices. Based on the many worthy submissions, industry recommendations and our editorial teams’ reporting, just 10 women were selected for each of the categories: infrastructure; private equity; private debt; real estate; venture capital; and cross asset class.

Congratulations to the five secondaries market participants highlighted in this year’s list.

Tori Buffery profile picTori Buffery
Morningside Capital

As one of the earliest members of GP-led specialist firm Morningside Capital, partner Tori Buffery has been a driving force within the secondaries market. Last year, she headed one of the first funds globally to focus on single-asset secondaries transactions. The firm held the final close for its second fund dedicated to these transactions in April 2023. Buffery has been variously described by those who have worked with her as a “smart”, “consummate professional” who “always finds time to give back to the community”. One advocate says Buffery, who previously covered primaries and secondaries at CPP Investments, has capabilities and a breadth of knowledge that are “almost unmatched” in the secondaries space.

Saleena Goel profile picSaleena Goel

KKR partner Saleena Goel is described by a peer as “a true visionary” who has the “ability to spot emerging trends and see around corners to seize opportunities others simply don’t see”. Goel is head of KKR Customised Portfolio Solutions, which supports long-term strategic partnerships and builds diversified private equity exposures across funds, co-investments and secondaries. Goel established CPS in 2010 and today the unit oversees $16 billion in AUM. Goel co-led the creation of one of the largest single-asset secondaries processes of 2022, the $2 billion-plus recapitalisation of software company Internet Brands, which was crowned Secondaries Deal of the Year in the Americas by Private Equity International.

Ariel Goldblatt profile picAriel Goldblatt
StepStone Group

Ariel Goldblatt is a partner at StepStone Group and oversees the private debt team’s co-investment and secondaries activities. With her support, the team’s co-investment and secondaries commitments have grown to over $1 billion and $2 billion, respectively. Last year, the firm closed StepStone Credit Opportunities Fund I and StepStone Corporate Lending Fund II, with Goldblatt currently deploying capital from both funds. Goldblatt is also committed to enhancing the team’s DE&I efforts – she focuses on showcasing underrepresented talent and is involved in StepStone’s mentoring programme. Peers say she is “smart”, “diligent” and demonstrates “strategic vision”.

Martha Heitmann profile picMartha Heitmann
LGT Capital Partners

Martha Heitmann has led some of LGT Capital Partners’ largest and most complex secondaries transactions spanning both LP and GP-led deals. Having joined the firm in 2007, she was promoted to partner in 2019. After 15 years in Europe, in 2022 she returned to the US from LGT’s Switzerland-based headquarters in order to establish an office in San Francisco. Heitmann is chair of LGT’s DE&I committee and is a mentor at the firm and to rising female talent in the wider industry, including through her involvement in organisations such as Level 20 and 100 Women in Finance.

Lea Lazaric Calvert profile picLea Lazaric Calvert

Lea Lazaric Calvert, senior managing director and head of the European private capital advisory team at Evercore, has led on some of the most high-profile GP-led secondaries transactions in the region. Described by one advocate as the “GP whisperer”, she has played a pioneering role in the development of new structures in the GP-led space, including fund recapitalisations and single-asset deals, among others. Lazaric Calvert also works with LPs on strategic sales and has been pivotal in growing Evercore’s private capital advisory business – the firm has been named Secondaries Adviser of the Year in Europe in Private Equity International’s Annual Awards for the last three years in a row.

Read the whole list here.