The Avanz Capital Team
The Avanz Capital team is comprised of 35 dedicated professionals including 11 exclusive experts and advisors with experience in direct investing in equity, debt and fund investing, with over 370 years of combined experience in over 100 emerging, developing and frontier countries.
The core senior investment team includes:
Ms. Celaya is a co-founder of Avanz Capital where she is CEO and CIO. She is an accomplished investment manager with 35 years of emerging markets expertise, including as the head of the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC’s) Private Equity and Investment Funds Group and Chairperson of the IFC Global Funds Investment Committee for six years. She is a former Regional Director for the IFC in Sub-Saharan Africa and headed the Latin America Financial Institutions Group. During her tenure at the IFC, Ms. Celaya was responsible for numerous direct investment transactions. She served on several advisory committees for IFCʼs portfolio funds.
Ms. Celaya helped establish the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA) and served on its Advisory Committee from 2004-2010. She was also responsible for cementing IFC’s reputation as a leading global emerging markets fund investor and promoter of the asset class through its premier annual conference (www.globalpeconference.com). Prior to joining IFC in 1991, she worked in international banking for ten years.
Mr. Assaad is a co-founder of Avanz Capital where he is Chief Portfolio and Risk Officer. He is a respected senior investment and finance professional with over 30 years of experience, including serving as CIO in IFC’s Private Equity Funds Group and as investment manager for IFC’s sector-specific funds, such as clean energy, extractive industries, infrastructure and healthcare. He held various positions across IFC with regional responsibilities in companies, financial institutions and funds covering the Middle East and North Africa, South and Southeast Asia and Emerging Europe, with transactional experience in Latin America and Africa. Mr. Assaad was responsible for a number of initiatives at IFC including the mainstreaming of environmental and social finance through financial intermediaries and funds across emerging and frontier markets; the development of commercially-focused investments in microfinance, small business finance and carbon finance.
Ms. Liu is a Managing Director with Avanz Capital and leads the activities of the group’s Asia affiliate. Ms. Liu has over 18 years of experience in Asian private equity fund investments (primary and secondaries) and fund of funds management. She was formerly the Chief Investment Officer at ING Pomona Asia based in Hong Kong where she built out the team, developed the investment strategy, reviewed over 400 investment opportunities and led investments in a portfolio of private equity funds. Prior to joining Pomona, Ms. Liu spent ten years at Pantheon Capital (Asia) Ltd, evaluating, selecting and investing in Asian private equity funds. She is a native Mandarin speaker.
Judy MacKay is Managing Director and Chief Compliance Officer of Avanz Capital. She is responsible for fund administration, operational due diligence, and financial and regulatory compliance matters for the firm. Ms. MacKay is a senior executive with over 20 years of experience in global private equity with a focus on Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin and Central America and Europe. She brings extensive experience, having spent a majority of her career with EMP Global LLC, which managed seven private equity funds investing in emerging and frontier markets with approximately $6 billion in AUM. In her role as CFO of EMP Global LLC, Ms. MacKay’s responsibilities included fund accounting and reporting, fiscal management, financial reporting, tax, regulatory compliance, and human resources. Prior to EMP, Ms. MacKay worked in a variety of roles, including accounting services as an independent consultant and as a manager of information technology at Intelligent Electronics. She began her career at the audit division of Deloitte.
Jamie Foran is a Director focused primarily on portfolio management for Portfolio Investments. She participates in the sourcing, assessment, recommendation and negotiation of Fund Investment and Direct Co-Investment opportunities across all regions. Previously, Ms. Foran was a Senior Associate with SVB Capital’s fund of funds group. From 2007 to 2010, she led screening, selection and investment recommendations for venture and growth capital funds from SVB Capital’s San Francisco and London offices. From 2003 to 2007, Ms. Foran was an Analyst with Probitas Partners on the project management team interacting with senior management of several private equity funds, creating marketing and due diligence materials for investors, and coordinating road shows for the fund managers.
Mr. Chin is a Senior Associate with Avanz Capital and participates in the assessment, recommendation and negotiation of fund investment and direct co-Investment opportunities across all the regions and oversees portfolio investments. Previously, Mr. Chin was as an Analyst in the Global Funds Group at IFC working closely with Ms. Celaya and Mr. Assaad. In addition to his investment and portfolio responsibilities in IFC’s Global Funds Group, he was also responsible for analyzing and tracking the group’s development impact results. Between 2009-2010 he relocated to India where he assisted in establishing IFC’s private equity practice and implemented IFC’s first initiative to outsource its business processes. He has over eight years of experience in emerging markets through investments in South East Asia, South Asia, Latin America, and Southern Europe. Prior to joining the Global Funds Group, he worked on revising the corporate environment and social policy used by IFC and the Equator Principles for Financial Institutions.