Cornelia Gomez, 32
Head of ESG, PAI Partners

Cornelia Gomez has made her mark at PAI Partners since joining the firm in 2017. She has spearheaded PAI’s ESG practice, helping to ingrain it in the firm’s values and deal process, and has created a tailored approach to support the specific ESG needs of each portfolio company. Gomez also developed ESG Labs, a series of interactive workshops for investors, which has since been transformed into a virtual ecosystem through the launch of a dedicated microsite.

In addition to her work at PAI, Gomez is a member of multiple industry bodies, such as the UN Principles for Responsible Investment’s Plastic Investor Working Group and France Invest’s Steering Committee of the ESG commission. Last year, she was appointed as the global co-ordinator for Initiative Climat International.

Marc Munfa, 37
Operating partner, Silversmith Capital Partners

Praised for his “founder-first” approach, Marc Munfa has been with Silversmith Capital Partners since 2015 when the firm was founded. His expertise in IT and healthcare, along with his skill in building out portfolio companies’ leadership teams, honing go-to-market strategies, sourcing and completing strategic acquisitions and readying businesses for exit, saw Munfa promoted to operating partner last year.

Further achievements include building the firm’s internal operational programmes, creating a toolkit for portfolio company founders to access, and establishing a programme to identify and attract talent for portfolio companies. He also manages lender relationships for the firm.

He has previously worked for JMI Equity, Morgan Stanley Private Equity and Morgan Stanley Real Estate.

Carmela Mondino, 33
Head of ESG and sustainability, Partners Group

Carmela Mondino has risen quickly during her time at Partners Group, securing a promotion to head of ESG and sustainability last year. In addition to leading ESG integration and helping portfolio companies enhance their ESG credentials, Mondino has been involved in some notable initiatives. This includes overseeing the development and distribution of the Portfolio Employee Support Fund, designed to aid portfolio company staff impacted by covid-19, and playing a key role in the development of the firm’s impact-at-scale strategy, PG LIFE.

Mondino is also responsible for rolling out diversity and inclusion strategies at Partners Group’s portfolio companies. She sits on the firm’s D&I committee, as well as the committees for PG LIFE and for Partners Group’s employee foundation, PG Impact Verein.

Christopher Parmo, 36
COO and CFO, Verdane

Before joining growth technology investment firm Verdane, Christopher Parmo built experience in a range of senior executive roles in the technology industry. Originating from management consulting, he was finance director of Scandinavian software companies Visma and Software Innovation, before co-founding online grocer Godtlevert. Parmo has been backed by a total of seven VC/PE firms in his companies, before joining Verdane in late 2018.

Parmo has responsibility for the firm’s organisation and operation, and has built up Verdane Elevate, a team of portfolio experts. Verdane has grown significantly since Parmo joined, in terms of both employees and assets under management. Parmo has been praised by peers for his achievements and contribution to growth at Verdane and over the course of his wider career.

Gazal Sikand, 35
Director, Thomas H Lee Partners

Since joining Thomas H Lee Partners in 2013, Gazal Sikand has worked her way up from associate to director, aided by her “hard-working” and “dynamic” nature and her ability to guide portfolio companies through periods of change – skills put to good use during the pandemic.

Sikand has played a leading role in driving portfolio growth during her tenure at the firm, and continues to do so through operational diligence processes, building value creation plans and working with portfolio company management teams to execute on these.

In addition to supporting portfolio companies with sales transformation efforts, operational and human capital strategies, Sikand is responsible for training incoming VPs in THL’s strategic resource group and mentoring the team’s next generation of leaders.

Marc Stoneham, 39
Partner, Development Partners International

Marc Stoneham was the founding member of the portfolio management team at African private equity firm Development Partners International. Since its inception in 2015, the team has grown to four professionals who manage a portfolio of 18 companies across 29 countries in Africa.

Stoneham has been credited with pioneering and institutionalising the operational value-add approach at DPI, which is implemented across the deal life cycle. He has also been instrumental in the firm’s response to covid-19, working extensively with portfolio companies to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

Stoneham has significant experience in emerging markets. He has previously worked for McKinsey & Company, Actis, Kingdom Zephyr and Accenture Strategy Consulting.