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Direct Lending Outlook Europe 2022 Speakers

How has the pandemic changed the European direct lending market?

Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - London | 8am GMT - 1pm GMT

With the world gradually emerging from a pandemic, it is an interesting time to visit the fast-growing direct lending asset class. Government debt yields are at unprecedented lows, forcing investors to hunt for yields in other areas of the credit market. Private credit, and direct lending specifically, has become a diverse and sophisticated part of the alternative investment universe, with assets under management at historic highs, but selecting the right funds can still be challenging. Direct Lending Outlook Europe 2022 is a half-day, in-person event in London that will feature panel discussions between leading private credit and direct lending specialists, and investors active in the space. It represents an ideal opportunity to catch up in-person on the latest in thought leadership on the topic.


Sophie Batoua: Chief Investment Officer, Fintex Capital

Sophie Batoua

Sophie leads Fintex Capital’s capital origination as well as the execution of the firm’s investments on marketplace lending platforms.

Bringing 17 years of credit structuring and investment experience, Sophie has held a diverse set of senior roles at Société Générale in London. Most recently, Sophie served as senior Director in SocGen’s Cross Asset Advisory business. She was previously Director in the bank’s Special Situations Group, reviewing SocGen’s legacy positions to identify risk reduction opportunities and capital management solutions. Prior to this, Sophie served as CDO Credit Structurer and as Head of Operations in Credit Derivatives.

Sophie has a wide range of technical abilities across fixed income as well as the proven ability to devise smart solutions as credit structurer, advisor and principal. Sophie graduated from EDHEC Business School in France and has a Diploma in Business Studies from the London School of Economics (LSE).


Trevor Castledine: Senior Director, bfinance

Trevor Castledine

Trevor is a Senior Director in bfinance’s private markets team, responsible for the research and manager selection functions across private debt, including Corporate Direct Lending and Real Estate debt.

Before joining bfinance, Trevor was Deputy CIO and Credit Strategy Investment Director at the UK LGPS pooling entity LPPI, having previously been Deputy CIO at LCPF.  As a pension fund investor, he had broad responsibility for alternative asset allocations which included Private Equity, Private Credit, Real Estate and Infrastructure.

Whilst at LCPF, Trevor oversaw significant changes in portfolio strategy which included the creation of a ground-breaking £1.5bn allocation to alternative credit.  He has long been a champion of the inclusion of alternative investments to create efficient investment portfolios and has been recognised by numerous industry awards including the Institutional Investor European peer-to-peer award for ‘Best use of Private Markets’.  PDI magazine named him as one of the 30 global most influential investors in private debt and he continues to be widely quoted in industry media.  Trevor is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and holds an MA from Cambridge University.


Thomas Deinet: Executive Director, Standards Board for Alternative Investments

Thomas Deinet

Thomas Deinet was appointed Executive Director of the Standards Board for Alternative Investments (SBAI), previously known as the Hedge Fund Standards Board (HFSB) in September 2008. In 2007, Thomas joined the Hedge Fund Working Group to project manage the development of practice standards proposed by a group of 14 leading hedge fund managers that led to the establishment of the HFSB.

Before joining the HFSB, Thomas was a senior manager at Oliver Wyman, the management consulting firm, where he extensively worked with major financial institutions in Europe in both asset management as well as corporate and investment banking. He joined Oliver Wyman in 2002 after working as an analyst in energy trading for a major commodities trading firm.

Thomas is a regular speaker at hedge fund and regulatory conferences, and represents the SBAI at the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). 

He is a holder of a Master Degree in Industrial Engineering from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany and an MSc from Purdue University, USA. Thomas Deinet is a CFA charterholder.


Stuart Fieldhouse: Director, Hawksmoor Partners

Stuart Fieldhouse

Stuart Fieldhouse is a Director of Hawksmoor Partners, offering outsourced marketing and PR support for fund managers and fund service providers globally. Stuart has a 25-year track record in the fund management sector, including six years as a funds editor with the FT group. He was the founder editor of The Hedge Fund Journal in 2004. He has also worked as part of the IR team for the $15bn Zurich Capital Markets fund of funds business, was head of product development and trader education at CMC Markets and was director of marketing for third party Irish manco Carne Group for five years. He currently advises clients across the global asset management sector, including fund managers, technology firms, family offices and listed companies.


Stuart Fiertz: President and Head of Responsible Investment, Cheyne Capital

Stuart Fiertz

Stuart Fiertz is the Co-Founder, President and Head of Responsible Investment of Cheyne Capital. From 1991 to June 2000, and prior to establishing Cheyne Capital, Stuart worked for Morgan Stanley where he was responsible for the development and implementation of customised portfolio strategies and for credit research in the convertible bond management practice. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Stuart was an equity research analyst for the Value Line Investment Survey, and a high yield credit analyst in Boston at Merrill Lynch and in New York at Lehman Brothers. Stuart is a CFA® charterholder and a CAIA designee. He is chairman of the Alternative Credit Council (ACC) and a Founder & Trustee of the Standards Board for Alternative Investments (SBAI). From 2014 until 2020, Stuart was also a council director of the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) board. Stuart has been awarded the CFA Certificate in ESG Investing. Stuart was educated at the International School of Geneva and at Dartmouth College where he was awarded a BA degree in Political Science and Economics.


Sabrina Fox: CEO, European Leveraged Finance Association

Sabrina Fox

Sabrina is the Chief Executive Officer for the European Leveraged Finance Association, an investor-only trade association comprised of European leveraged finance investors from 50 institutional fixed income managers, including investment advisors, insurance companies, and pension funds. The ELFA seeks to support the growth and resilience of the leveraged finance market while acting as the voice of its investor community by promoting transparency and facilitating engagement among European leveraged finance market participants.

Sabrina is a recognised expert in the European leveraged finance market focused on increasing transparency, improving disclosure standards, and educating market participants on the importance of lender protections in documentation.

Most recently, Sabrina was Head of European High Yield Research for Covenant Review. Prior to that, she was Counsel with DLA Piper in London.


Patrick Ghali: Managing Partner, Sussex Partners

Patrick Ghali

Prior to co-founding Sussex Partners, Mr. Ghali worked for Bear Stearns where he was part of a team that established a global private banking operation in London, and where he advised hedge funds and funds of hedge funds on institutional and pension fund mandates. Before joining Bear Stearns, Mr. Ghali founded Strategic Solutions International, a firm that specialised in capital introduction, due diligence and M&A through which he launched and sold a number of businesses in Europe and the United States. Mr. Ghali is a member of the Board of Directors of Vedra Partners Ltd, a UK based, FCA regulated multi-family office, and has sat on the Boards of a number of asset management and other businesses. In addition, Mr. Ghali was a Founding Mentor of Henkel˟, a division of German conglomerate Henkel, tasked with accelerating the group’s entrepreneurial transformation, and is a member of the Human Rights Watch Zurich committee, a leading international non-governmental organisation for advocacy on human rights. A frequent speaker at industry conferences and contributor to the financial press, Mr. Ghali has written articles for Bloomberg, Financial News, the FT’s Mandatewire, and is frequently cited in publications such as the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, Pensions & Investments and other financial and sector specialist press. He was named as one of Financial News’ 40 under 40 Rising Stars in Hedge Funds 2015. Mr. Ghali received a B.S. in Finance from the Stern School of Business, New York University, and is a Swiss national.


Rahmin Maali: VP, Market Leader, Preqin

Rahmin Maali

Rahmin Maali is the Private Capital Market Leader at Preqin, the alternatives assets industry’s leading source of data, insights and solutions for professionals around the globe. Rahmin is responsible for Preqin’s private capital data offerings, including implementation and future advancements within the private capital dataset. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics with Spanish from Cardiff University.




Milko Pavlov: Managing Director, Houlihan Lokey

Milko Pavlov

Mr. Pavlov is a member of Houlihan Lokey’s Financial and Valuation Advisory business. He has nearly a decade of valuation and corporate finance experience across various industries and leads the firm’s financial advisory assignments across the EMEA region.

Over the past several years, Mr. Pavlov has focused on the valuation of illiquid securities, including performing and distressed debt, private equity investments, and real estate for transaction, financial reporting, restructuring alternatives, and litigation support purposes. During that time, he has worked on a range of valuation advisory assignments for both financial sponsors and corporate clients, including business enterprise valuation, capital structure valuation, fairness opinions, and mark-to-market of hedge and private equity fund exposures.

Mr. Pavlov has experience in a variety of industries, including, among others, power generation and transmission, infrastructure, food and consumer products, financial institutions, media and entertainment, telecommunications, engineering and construction, manufacturing, and chemicals.

Before joining Houlihan Lokey, Mr. Pavlov was an executive in the Valuations Group at Ernst & Young in London, where he focused on valuing infrastructure, business services, and industrial assets. He also successfully completed the private equity rotation program at Ernst & Young, gaining experience in mergers and acquisitions, transaction support, commercial advisory services, and business modelling.

Mr. Pavlov holds a BA, with honors, in Finance, Accounting, and Management from Nottingham University Business School at the University of Nottingham. He is also a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. He speaks German, Bulgarian, and conversational Russian.


Emily Pollock: Solutions Director, Schroders Capital

Emily Pollock

Emily Pollock is a Solutions Director for Schroders Capital working with clients to build customised private asset portfolios. Emily joined Schroders in 2018, having previously worked in the New York Office on the Schroder Adveq Opportunity team, where she covered small market buyout and distressed investments.

Prior to this Emily was the senior member of the investment team for 50 South Capital based in London. At 50 South Capital she managed the European Investment portfolio, co-led efforts in Infrastructure and private debt globally, and assisted in portfolio construction and fundraising.

Emily started her career in 2005 at Northern Trust, in Chicago, where she sourced, led and monitored buyout, growth and venture capital primary, secondary and co-investments in the US.


Craig Reeves: Founder, Prestige Funds

Craig Reeves

Associated with Prestige since 2007, Craig is a Director and Founder of Prestige Capital Management Limited, Prestige Fund Management Limited, Prestige Asset Distribution Limited, and Prestige International Marketing Services Limited, as well as a Board Director of various international Prestige Funds.  He is also a Director of Nucleus Holdings Limited and is a co-founder and non-executive director of OpenFunds Investment Services AG.

Formerly Managing Director and Co-Founder of Platinum Capital Management Limited (an international asset management group).  Former Head of Portfolio Management and Asset Allocation at Titan Capital Management Limited (an international asset management group).  Prior experience as a Proprietary Trader at Gaiacorp Trading Limited (an international asset management group), Proprietary Trader at London Currency Exchange Limited (a private client / proprietary trading house) and an internship at Bank of America (London).  He has also previously provided retained consultancy services to a large London-based international family office, a large London-based international stockbroker, a London based pension consulting group and a London based international real estate investment group.  He has over 25 years’ experience in financial services as a professional investment manager, trader and investor of alternative investments, hedge funds, capital markets and real estate and has written several articles for various financial publications journals including the AIMA Journal. Craig has served as a Board Director on over 20 international Funds.  He graduated with a BA (Hons) in Business Administration from Huddersfield University and a Higher National Diploma in Business and Finance from University of Greenwich (London).  He also attended the New York Institute of Finance (NYIF) where he studied various financial markets and derivative trading courses and is also a member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI).


David Smart: Consultant PMCL Consulting

David Smart

David is an experienced investment professional with extensive experience as a fixed income and balanced portfolio manager, an asset allocation advisor to the United Nations Pension Fund for 28 years and a relationship manager with a particular focus on Sovereign Funds. David has a strong commitment to the charity sector and experience chairing  investment committees of The National Trust, The Health Foundation and All Churches Trust. David also serves as an independent member of the Investment Committee of Beazley plc, and sits on the Investment Advisory Committee of UNRWA.

At PMCL David contributes his expertise and ideas on a number of complex investment issues and specific asset classes, including sustainable investing and ESG integration, impact investing, private equity and debt.


Nick Smith: Director, Private Credit, Alternative Credit Council

Nick Smith

Nick Smith joined AIMA in February 2017 as Director, Private Credit for AIMA’s private credit affiliate, the Alternative Credit Council (ACC).  His role focuses on public policy and regulatory issues affecting private credit managers as well as the ACC’s active research and events programme.

Nick has 10+ years of experience in public affairs having previously worked in advocacy roles for the retail, banking and asset finance sectors. Nick has a degree in Politics and Modern History from the University of Manchester and Chairs the networking group Labour in the City.



Carina Spitzkopf: Director, Private Debt & CLOs, Federated Hermes

Carina Spitzkopf

Carina joined the international business of Federated Hermes in January 2019 as a Director in the Private Debt team, executing transactions across Northern Europe and the UK. Previously, she held leveraged finance roles at UBS and Barclays Capital in London. Carina started her career at Dresdner Bank in Frankfurt, where she was involved in the bank’s loans and restructuring activity. She has over 13 years of experience in the loans and leveraged finance markets and holds a Master in Business Administration from Passau University, Germany and a BSc in Psychology from Birkbeck, London. Carina is also co-chair of the ELFA’s Private Debt Investor Committee.


Jean-Marc Winand: Managing Director, Archeron Capital

Jean-Marc Winand

Jean-Marc leads Acheron Capital’s Asian private debt strategy as the CIO of the Hopewell fund, dealing in transactions sourced directly in selective developed local markets.

Prior to joining Acheron Capital, Jean-Marc was a Managing Director with Credit Agricole CIB in London with global responsibilities in Financial Solutions and Fixed Income Sales.

Before 2008, Jean-Marc spent 12 years in Asia based in Hong Kong and Tokyo with Credit Lyonnais Securities and Calyon managing Asian Debt Capital Markets and Japanese Corporate Finance activities for the bank.