Eaton Partners hires Sagard exec as CFO

The placement agent has made several recent hires to expand its worldwide teams, including bringing in former Jefferies fundraiser Silvia Calvo-Alcala in London.

Eaton Partners, a global placement agent, hired Ajay Ahuja as its new chief financial officer and chief operating officer earlier this month, partner Jeff Davis told Private Equity International.

Previously, Ahuja was CFO of Connecticut-based private equity firm Sagard Capital. He has also worked for asset manager Singer Partners, Vertical Capital and Five Mile Capital.

The joint CFO-COO position, which includes compliance duties, was previously held by Dawn Rinaldi from 2009 until March 2011. It was unclear at press time whether Rinaldi had moved to another firm. 

Ahuja is one of three new private equity professionals the placement agent hired for their Connecticut, London and Shanghai offices. The firm also hired two professionals to focus on the hedge fund and liquid products markets.

Silvia Calvo-Alcala was brought in at the firm’s London office several months ago, where she focuses on European distribution efforts. Calvo-Alcala has had a 10-career in private equity, including having previously worked at Jefferies Fund Placement Group and Bear Stearns Private Funds Group.

In Shanghai, Chris Lerner will lead the firm’s alternative funds practice in Asia. He was previously a managing partner at Mercer Street Capital and Citigroup. Last year, Eaton hired former Chinese National Social Security Fund official Eric Gu to build an RMB fundraising platform. The placement agent launched its Shanghai office in 2007. 

Eaton has worked on two recent fundraisings: Black Diamond Capital Management, which closed its third opportunity fund on $800 million, and Molpus Woodlands Group, which closed on $439.5 million for its third fund.