Board of Directors
- Patrice Etlin
- Cate Ambrose
- Francisco Alvarez-Demalde
- Martin E. Diaz Plata
- Susana Garcia-Robles
- Alvaro Gonçalves
- Hernan Kazah
- Philip T. von Mehren
- Arturo Saval
- Susan Segal
- J. Scott Swensen
- Scott Voss
Patrice Etlin, Chair
Managing Partner, Advent International
Patrice Etlin joined Advent International, a global private equity firm with operations across Latin America, in 1997 and started the firm’s investment activities in Brazil. As one of Advent’s 14 global Managing Partners, he helps oversee the firm’s strategic direction and investment activities, with a particular focus on Latin America. Mr. Etlin has 18 years of private equity experience and has led, co-led or participated in 13 Advent investments. These include Terminal de Contêineres de Paranaguá, the third-largest container terminal in Brazil; Kroton Educacional (BM&FBOVESPA: KROT11), one of Brazil’s largest private education companies; International Meal Company (BM&FBOVESPA: IMCH3), the leading quick-casual restaurant chain in Latin America; Microsiga, Brazil’s largest ERP software provider (now part of TOTVS, BM&FBOVESPA: TOTS3); and CSU CardSystem (BM&FBOVESPA: CARD3), the largest independent credit-card administrator in Brazil. Mr. Etlin is also a board member of ABVCAP, the Brazilian private equity association, and a member of the Listing Committee of Bovespa Mais.
From 1994 to 1997, Mr. Etlin was a partner at International Venture Partners in São Paulo, where he was responsible for the overall operation of a media and communications fund focused on Brazil. Previously, he spent five years with Matra Marconi Space, initially as a systems engineer on a project to develop a European military observation satellite. In 1990, he was promoted to general representative for Brazil, in charge of setting up a private telecommunications satellite system providing services to Mercosul countries.
He received an undergraduate degree in electronic engineering from the University of São Paulo, a master’s in industrial engineering from École Centrale de Paris and an MBA from INSEAD.
Cate Ambrose, President
President and Executive Director, Latin American Private Equity & Venture Capital Association
Cate Ambrose is President and Executive Director of the Latin American Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (LAVCA). She speaks and writes regularly on a range of topics related to public policy and private investment in Latin America, and is a regular commentator on CNN En Español and a guest lecturer at The Wharton School. Cate is also a member of the Bretton Woods Committee, a nonpartisan network of prominent global citizens, which works to demonstrate the value of international economic cooperation, and a special advisor to the board of AMEXCAP, the Mexican Private Equity and Venture Capital Association.
Prior to joining LAVCA, Ms. Ambrose was Chief of Advocacy for the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, a United Nations initiative co-chaired by Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto and former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, where she directed research projects on business regulation and property rights in Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, India, Kenya and Tanzania. Until 2005, Ms Ambrose was Executive Director of Programs at The Economist, where she founded the first industry gathering on private equity investment in Latin America, and chaired annual roundtables with the Presidents of Mexico and Colombia. She also chaired a range of meetings on finance, economic policy and business strategy in the US and Latin America, and founded The Global Agenda, a high-level panel of economists, policymakers and business leaders. Ms. Ambrose began her career as a journalist in Spain.
Ms. Ambrose holds an MPA in International Economic Policy from Columbia University, and received her BA in Latin American studies from St Lawrence University and the University of Madrid.
Founder and Partner, Riverwood Capital
Francisco Alvarez-Demalde is a Founder and Partner of Riverwood Capital Partners, and heads Riverwood’s efforts in Latin America and its New York office. Riverwood manages approximately $1 billion, and makes private equity investments in high-growth businesses, primarily in the global technology, technology-enabled and related growth industries. Prior to establishing Riverwood, Mr. Alvarez-Demalde was an investment professional at Eton Park Capital Management, where he focused on a variety of private equity investments in Latin America. Previously, he was an investment executive at KKR, where he focused on leveraged buyouts in the Technology Industry and other sectors in both North America and emerging markets, and an investment banker with Goldman, Sachs & Co. Mr. Alvarez-Demalde has been actively involved in the investment of capital in North America, Latin America and Asia, has invested and been actively involved in the development and growth of several successful businesses across Latin America.
Mr. Alvarez-Demalde earned a B.Sc. (Honors) in Economics and Finance from San Andres University, Argentina (including an exchange program at the Wharton School). He is a Director of Alog Data Centers do Brasil, CloudBlue, Globant, LAVCA, Mandic, Motionpoint, Integro, and Synapsis Soluciones y Servicios IT, and a former Director of Allus Global BPO Center and Aveos.
Martin E. Diaz Plata
Managing Partner, Capital International Private Equity Funds (CIPEF)
Martin E. Diaz Plata is a Managing Partner of Capital International Private Equity Funds (CIPEF) with primary responsibility in Latin America. Prior to joining CIPEF in 2003, he spent seven years with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (now Credit Suisse), first as an investment banking associate, then as a principal of DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, in New York and Buenos Aires. Before that, Mr. Diaz Plata spent three years with Corporacion Financiera del Valle in Bogota as an investment analyst and stockbroker. Mr. Diaz Plata is a graduate of Universidad Externado de Colombia and holds an MBA from Columbia University Graduate School of Business. Mr. Diaz Plata serves on the board of directors of El Tejar Limited, ETW Africa Holdings UK Limited, Controladora Milano S.A. de C.V. and the British Colombian Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Diaz Plata previously was a director, among other privately held companies, of Arcos Dorados Holdings Inc, Jumbo Retail Argentina S.A., Peñaflor S.A., and BOPP Holdings. He is based in London.
Lead Investment Officer, Early Stage Financing Group, Multilateral Investment Fund
Since 1999, Susana García-Robles has created and guided the seed and venture capital investments of the Multilateral Investment Fund in Latin America and the Caribbean. She also leads MIF’s microfinance activities for Argentina and Uruguay. Ms. García-Robles serves on many boards of directors and investment committees of seed and venture capital funds, and serves as Advisor to different governments on issues related to the seed and VC industry. She has been a member of the US-Brazil Venture Capital Task Force since 2006. From 1994 to 1999, she worked with local and international NGOs and several Latin American countries on economic development issues at the U.N. She participated as a country delegate in all the main negotiations of the major U.N. conferences during that period.
Ms. Garcia-Robles holds a Master’s Degree in International Economic Policy from Columbia University, and a Master’s in Philosophy and Education from the Catholic University of Argentina.
Founding Partner, CEO and Chairman of the Investment Committee, Stratus Group
Álvaro Gonçalves is Founding partner, CEO, and Chairman of the Investment Committee of Stratus Group. Formerly, Mr. Gonçalves held the position of MD of Pactual Electra Capital Partners, a private equity fund jointly sponsored by Electra (UK) and Banco Pactual (Brazil). He also served as Chairman of the Brazilian Private Equity Association from 2004 to 2006. In addition to private equity, Mr. Gonçalves has substantial industry experience in C-level executive roles, leading turnarounds, acquisitions and divestitures. He has also served on the board of directors of Brazilian and multinational companies.
Mr. Gonçalves holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from FEI (São Paulo), a postgraduate degree from FGV (São Paulo) and an MBA from IMD-International (Switzerland).
Co-founder and Managing Partner, Kaszek Ventures
Hernan Kazah is a co-founder and Managing Partner of Kaszek Ventures, a Venture Capital firm focused on the technology industry in Latin America. Prior to launching Kaszek Ventures, Mr. Kazah co-founded MercadoLibre (Nasdaq: MELI), Latin America’s largest commerce and payments online platform, and co-led its growth for 12 years – the first 9 years as COO and last 3 years as CFO. Before MercadoLibre, Mr. Kazah worked as a Brand Manager for Procter & Gamble Co. (1994 to 1997) and was a finance analyst at the United Nations Development Program and in a stock brokerage firm in Buenos Aires (1991 to 1994). He currently sits on the boards of several technology firms in the region (PetLove, BelezaNaWeb, MadeiraMadeira, eOtica, Helpsaude, GetNinjas, and PedidosYa). He was selected as an Endeavor Entrepreneur in 1999, Established Endeavor Entrepreneur in 2009, and was awarded “The Outstanding Young Persons of Argentina” recognition by the Junior Chamber International in 2004.
Mr. Kazah received an MBA from Stanford University in 1999 and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Buenos Aires with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics.
Philip T. von Mehren, Outside Counsel
Partner, Baker & McKenzie LLP
Philip T. von Mehren joined the New York office of Baker & McKenzie LLP as a partner in January 2007. His practice is focused on cross-border acquisitions and dispositions, often for strategic and financial buyers, including private equity and venture capital funds, often in a distressed situation. Mr. von Mehren also represents various strategic and financial purchasers in U.S. LBO transactions. He has substantial experience representing private equity funds with a Latin American focus in offshore and onshore aspects of transactions in Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina and Chile. Mr. von Mehren was recently appointed as a member of an eight person advisory committee of the Firm’s Global Restructuring Focus Group. He is admitted to practice in the State of New York and in the District of Columbia.
Mr. von Mehren received his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School, his M. Phil from Cambridge University and his B.A. from Reed College.
Managing Director, Nexxus Capital
Arturo J. Saval Pérez has more than 25 years of experience in investment and commercial banking.
Mr. Saval has participated in numerous debt, private and public equity transactions, as well as multiple advisories.
Prior to joining Nexxus Capital, he served as Deputy Managing Director at Santander Investment Mexico. Previously, he held senior positions at Grupo Financiero GBM-Atlántico, Interacciones and Grupo Serfin, where he served as member of the boards and investment committees of several financial entities and investment funds.
Mr. Saval earned a BS degree in industrial engineering from the Universidad Iberoamericana, a degree in financial analysis from the University of Michigan and a diploma from the Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey.
President and CEO,the Americas Society and Council of the Americas, International Advisory Board, Endeavor
Susan Segal was elected President and CEO of the Americas Society and Council of the Americas in 2003 after having worked in the private sector, with Latin America and other emerging markets for more than 30 years. Prior to her appointment, Susan was a partner at Chase Capital Partners/JPMorgan Partners focusing on private equity in Latin America as well as pioneering early stage venture capital investing in the region. During her career as a banker, she focused on multiple areas including but not limited to investment banking, building an emerging market bond trading unit and the debt crisis of the 1980’s and 1990’s where she chaired the Chilean and Philippine Advisory Committees. She is a board member of the Tinker Foundation, the Advisory Board of Endeavor and a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. Susan’s awards include the Order of Bernardo O’Higgins, Chile and Cruz de San Carlos, Colombia.
Ms. Segal holds an MBA from the Columbia University School of Business, and a BA from Sarah Lawrence College.
J. Scott Swensen
Chairman, Conduit Capital
J. Scott Swensen co-founded Conduit in 2003 to manage the Latin Power Funds, which were initiated at Scudder, Stevens & Clark in 1993, with Mr. Swensen as Lead Investment Manager. In 1998, Mr. Swensen was named head of the Private Equity Group at Scudder and Chairman of the Investment Committee of Scudder Venture Partners, a fund-of-funds focused on US venture capital. In 2000, he was named head of the Special Investments Group. Immediately prior to Scudder, Mr. Swensen was a Managing Director at Banque Paribas, responsible for energy and project finance in North and South America, and commodity derivatives and futures brokerage worldwide. Mr. Swensen started his career at Chase Manhattan Bank, where he spent eleven years.
Mr. Swensen holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering with High Honors from Stevens Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. degree from New York University.
Managing Director, HarbourVest
Scott Voss, a Managing Director of HarbourVest, focuses on primary partnership fund investments in the U.S., Asia, and Latin America. He has also collaborated on several secondary investment opportunities.
Mr. Voss represents HarbourVest on several advisory boards, including funds managed by Advent International (Latin America), Bain Capital Ventures, Braemar Energy Ventures, Doll Capital Management, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Element Management, Insight Venture Partners, Linzor Capital Partners, Southern Cross Capital Management, and Victoria Capital Partners.
His prior experience includes managing international sales and distribution for Cannondale Corporation, a leading manufacturer of bicycles and cycling accessories, where he had direct oversight of the company’s wholly-owned subsidiaries in Japan and Australia and its network of independent distributors in Asia and Latin America.
Mr. Voss received a BS from Bryant College in 1992 and an MBA from Babson College in 1999.