A strong team of dedicated professionals
BlueOrchard’s management and investment teams are comprised of the industry’s highest caliber professionals, with a wide range of backgrounds in finance and development, with commercial banks, banking regulators, rating agencies, microfinance institutions, asset managers and development financial institutions. Hailing from a multitude of national origins, members of the BlueOrchard team speak close to twenty different languages.
Patrick ScheurleChief Executive Officer
Patrick Scheurle is the Chief Executive Officer of BlueOrchard. Prior to that, he held the position of Chief Operating Officer at the company for 3 years.
Patrick joined BlueOrchard from Bank Vontobel, where he was in charge of corporate business development and key strategic initiatives. He also held the position of Business Project Manager at Credit Suisse following various assignments as financial analyst and portfolio manager with major Swiss asset management companies.
Maria Teresa ZappiaChief Investment Officer
Maria Teresa has worked in the emerging markets finance sector for over 20 years. She has worked for several development banks and financial institutions (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Overseas Development Institute (ODI), and OECD Development Centre) based both in the field (Africa, South East Asia, and Central Asia) and in head-office.
Before joining BlueOrchard, Maria Teresa worked as Senior Banker in the Group for Small Business which was EBRD’s microfinance and SME finance team and managed a portfolio of microfinance/SME credit lines with local commercial banks and MFIs across the Balkans, Central Europe and Central Asia.
Maria Teresa joined BlueOrchard in 2008 to manage the investment team. As of 2012 Maria Teresa was appointed Chief Investment Officer and was responsible for the top-down part of the investment process at BlueOrchard together with the Portfolio Management Team. She now leads the Blended Finance Impact Management team and is responsible for the PPP funds under BlueOrchard’s management.
Felix HermesHead PE & Infrastructure
Felix is Head of Private Equity & Sustainable Infrastructure at BlueOrchard Finance. Prior, he held the position of Executive Director of Corporate Business Development at Bank Vontobel. He further served in senior positions with a leading global strategy consulting firm focusing on projects in the financial services industry.
Felix holds a Masters’ degree in economics from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.
Normunds MizisChief Credit Officer
Prior to joining BlueOrchard, Normunds worked for 18 years with the World Council of Credit Unions where he held a variety of Chief of Party and Project Management positions and performed multiple short-term consultancy assignments in Central and Eastern Europe and Asia.
He was also project manager of the Small Enterprise Development Program with the US Peace Corps/Baltics. Normunds has been a board member of several cooperative financial networks in CEE and Asia.
Normunds academic research at the University of Liverpool focused on microfinance for micro entrepreneurs and small businesses in Sri Lanka.
Frédéric BerneySenior Advisor Risk
Frédéric joined BlueOrchard after serving as Chief Risk Officer at Harcourt from 2003 to 2012, where he became a Managing Director following the acquisition by Vontobel in 2009. Previously, Frédéric had worked as Head of Risk Measurement at Sanwa International Plc (UFC-Mitsui) in London and held senior risk management positions at Credit Suisse in Zurich. In recognition of his extensive knowledge and experience in risk management, Frédéric was appointed Head of the Alternative Investment Regulatory Circle at the Swiss Fund Association SFA in 2010, a capacity in which he served until 2012. He is also the founder of Risk Alternatives, a specialized advisory firm based in Zurich, Switzerland.
Frédéric holds a Bachelor’s degree Economics as well as a Master in Banking and Finance from HEC Lausanne, Switzerland.
Ernesto CostaSenior Vice-President Private Equity
Ernesto has over 20 years of experience in financial markets. He has worked in M&A advisory, structured credit and investment management in a number of institutions including Goldman Sachs and HSBC in London, Towers Watson and Credit Agricole CIB.
He holds an MBA from IE Business School and is a CFA charter holder.
Erik GeurtsRegional Manager - Latin America
Prior to joining BlueOrchard, Erik has worked in equity and debt investments, mainly in the financial sector for several institutions including Responsibility, Triple Jump and Triodos Bank. He has 20 years of experience in development finance in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Erik has been a board member of several financial institutions including Banco Solidario in Bolivia, the first micro finance bank in Latin America and HKL in Cambodia, where he was chair of the board.
Erik holds a Master degree in Development Studies from Utrecht University.
Yann GroegerRegional Manager – Africa
Yann is Regional Manager Africa at BlueOrchard Finance. He joined BlueOrchard from ProCredit Group where he worked for 13 years in management of ProCredit banks in Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe. He has served on board of directors of ProCredit Ghana and Banco ProCredit in Colombia and has extensive experience in SME finance, among others having developed programs for agricultural and green finance in Mozambique and Colombia. Apart from his managerial positions, he has been involved in setting up a professional training institution in Africa and was teaching in Latin America and Germany on various finance related topics.
Yann has completed a Master’s degree in Economics at the Institute of Political studies in Paris (Sciences-Po), after having earned the Diploma from the same institution. He previously completed undergraduate studies in Economics and Sociology at Goethe University in Frankfurt.
Sébastien JuhenHead of Portfolio Management
Before joining BlueOrchard, Sébastien worked in Paris for nine years for Réunica, a major French institutional investor. He was responsible for portfolio management, asset-liability management, asset allocation and mutual fund selection in multiple asset classes.
Prior to this, he held various roles at Caisse d’Epargne des Alpes in Grenoble for two years in the asset management team. Sébastien travelled by bicycle for two years on the American continent from Alaska to Patagonia to meet MFIs and microfinance customers on the way.
Sébastien holds a Masters Degree in Management from Grenoble Graduate Business School and is a Certified International Investment Analyst (CIIA).
Sevara Mukhamet-AlievaRegional Manager – Europe, Middle East
Before joining BlueOrchard, Sevara worked for 15 years with the USAID and ADB, where she held a variety of managerial positions. She worked on development projects focusing on reforms of the banking system and the development of microfinance in Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. She has been a board member of the Credit Union Association and a number of credit unions in Uzbekistan.
Sevara has graduated from the Tashkent Finance University with a Bachelor’s degree in Banking.
Philipp MüllerHead of Investment Solutions
Philipp is Head of Investment Solutions at BlueOrchard Finance. Prior to joining Blue Orchard, he was Senior Vice President of Investment Solutions at Partners Group, where he assumed global responsibility for the formation of funds and other investment vehicles. Philipp was responsible for the design and implementation of customized private market investment funds and separate account mandates for institutional investors. He coordinated roll-outs, investor on-boarding and closings and managed transactions through closing for the entire portfolio of private market investment programs. During his 10 year tenure at Partners Group he assumed different management roles in the UK and in Switzerland. Prior to this, Philipp worked for 47 Degrees North Capital Management and Swiss Re.
Philipp holds an MBA from ETH Zurich as well as a Masters’ degree in Law from University of Zurich.
Grant NorrisRegional Manager - Asia
Grant is Regional Manager Asia at BlueOrchard Finance. He has more than 20 years’ experience in SME and agriculture finance, initially working for a major South African financial institution and more recently as a development professional on economic development and finance programs in the MENA and South Asia regions.
Grant has completed a Master’s degree in Development Finance at the University of Stellenbosch Business School, after having earned an Honors degree in Commerce at the University of South Africa.
Remo OswaldHead Business Development Switzerland
Remo joined BlueOrchard from Swiss & Global Asset Management in Zurich, where he was Director Sales & Distribution in charge of key clients. Prior to this, Remo held senior positions with BZ Fund Management, Horizon21, Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch & Cie and BNP Paribas Private Bank Switzerland, where he contributed significantly to business development in both Switzerland and Europe. His extensive experience with both institutional investors and UHNWI spans more than two decades and includes senior roles in equity brokerage as well as the incorporation, management and successful sale of an asset management company.
Remo holds a degree in business and economics from the Zurich Graduate School of Business Administration and has continuously pursued executive education throughout his career.
Gianfranco SaladinoSenior Vice-President Infrastructure
Gianfranco joined BlueOrchard from Partners Group, where he was an Investment Manager in its European Private Infrastructure team in London and Zug. His transaction experience includes Renewable Energy, Utilities, Transportation and Social Infrastructure. Prior to join Partners Group, Gianfranco held assignments at Ardian (formerly known as AXA Private Equity) and KPMG.
Gianfranco holds a Masters’ degree in Banking and Finance from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.
Ebony SattiHead of Investor Relations
Before joining BlueOrchard, Ebony worked at Hyposwiss Privatbank AG for more than five years as an assistant manager for Latin America. Her responsibilities included account management and administration as well as relationship management with clients and external asset managers.
Ebony holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration in Zurich.
Matthew SparkesHead of Risk, Legal and Compliance
Matt joined BlueOrchard from impact investing Root Capital where he served as the first in-house legal counsel and developed a comprehensive framework for the management of legal and operational risk. He previously worked in private practice and served as Special Counsel to the Division of Trading and Markets at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission at its Washington headquarters. Among the few lawyers specialized in impact investment, he has been closely involved in the efforts to develop a specialized field of legal practice relating to the changing and unique complexities of the emerging field.
Matt began his career as an adviser on domestic and international policy for a senior Member of the U.S. Congress. A U.S. licensed attorney at law since 2008, he holds a Doctorate of Jurisprudence (J.D.) from Northeastern University School of Law and a B.A. in History from the College of the Holy Cross.
Silvia SpearHead Credit Product Management
Silvia is a credit risk management and restructuring professional with over 45 years of experience working for financial and banking institutions.
Silvia joined BlueOrchard in 2012 and since then has held various positions in BlueOrchard’s risk management and investment functions, managing and mitigating risks related to the underwriting of microfinance loans and other impact investment products. Recently, she has been involved in the setting up of a best practice monitoring function and the structuring of complex transactions. Additionally, she has provided intensive training sessions in BlueOrchard’s local offices in Georgia, Cambodia and Kenya.
Previously, Silvia worked as Managing Director for Deutsche Bank AG in New York where she managed problem loans spanning a wide range of industries, products and structures, both domestically and internationally and held various positions in their credit risk management area. Prior to joining Deutsche Bank in October 1980, she worked at Credit Suisse in Switzerland and in New York.
Silvia is also well versed in conflict resolution, mediation and group facilitation. She served as Director on a number of boards of Argentine companies during the time they were owned by Deutsche Bank AG.
Silvia obtained a Certificate in Conflict and Dispute Resolution from New York University. She graduated with a BA degree from Bernard Baruch College and attended graduate school at Pace University in New York.
Tahmina TheisHead of Communications
Before joining BlueOrchard, Tahmina worked for four years at the German development bank NRW.BANK as strategic assistant to the executive board and as parliamentary affairs manager.
Tahmina holds a Master degree in Political Science from the University of Bonn and a PhD from the University of Konstanz.
Sascha TernesHead of Operations & IT
Sascha has over 20 years of experience in emerging markets, banking and finance. Before joining BlueOrchard, he established an investment fund in Georgia, the pioneer in collective real estate investments. He resides in Tbilisi since 2007, where he initially served as CFO and later as CEO of ProCredit Bank Georgia and subsequently as Deputy CEO of Bank of Georgia. Prior to that, Sascha held various senior executive positions in a German Technology Group, which focused on international development and investment.
He serves on a volunteer basis as Chairman of the German Business Association (DWV) in Georgia. From 2015 to 2017, Sascha was also elected by the Parliament as an independent Board Member of Georgia’s Financial Supervision Agency (FSA).
Sascha has a background in finance and business administration and was awarded with an honorary doctoral degree, affirmed by the German Ministry of Education and Science.
Marc WinkHead of People and Development
Marc is Head of People and Development at BlueOrchard Finance. Prior, he worked as Strategy Manager for a major Swiss retail bank. He further served in senior positions with a leading management consulting firm aligning governance, risk & finance and compensation.
Marc holds a Masters’ degree in Banking and Finance from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.