Future 40 Leaders – 2023: Lawyers

40 under 40: Future Leaders of Private Equity. Meet the lawyers at the vanguard of PE transactions and fund formation, from secondaries and ESG to fund finance.

Gabriel Boghossian

Gabriel Boghossian, 39
Stephenson Harwood

The youngest full-equity partner working at Stephenson Harwood, 39-year-old Gabriel Boghossian joined the firm from King & Wood Mallesons in 2017. 

Boghossian advises on the full spectrum of secondaries transactions, across LP portfolios, GP-led processes, fund restructurings, GP removals and, most recently, GP stakes. 

His recent mandates include advising Deutsche Private Equity on its €708 million continuation fund transaction, and the Tesco pension fund on its £1 billion ($1.2 billion; €1.1 billion) LP portfolio sale. 

According to his peers, Boghossian is “known for being as commercial as he is connected”, while “clients seek him out for his pugnacity and high energy”. They add that “having Gabriel on a deal means there is a guarantee it will get done with speed and ruthless efficiency”.

James Bromley

James Bromley, 38
Weil Gotshal & Manges

Promoted to Weil Gotshal & Manges’ partnership aged just 34, James Bromley is a key leader in the firm’s private funds group. Bromley heads up the firm’s emerging manager and new strategy programme, as well as the group’s expertise in climate solutions and energy transition mandates. 

In the last 12 months alone, he has led eight first-time fund closes, advised on the launch of five new private equity firms, and spearheaded five GP-stakes mandates.

In addition to co-leading some of the group’s largest transatlantic client relationships, Bromley has advised on notable fund, firm and strategy launches, including Generation Investment Management on the establishment of its climate-focused investment business, Just Climate.

Bromley serves as co-chair of Weil’s Climate Action Committee and head of the London office’s ESG steering group.

In 2022, he led the creation of a specialist ESG-focused training programme for Weil’s London-based lawyers in partnership with Saïd Business School.

Alexandra Farmer

Alexandra Farmer, 39
Kirkland & Ellis

Anticipating a surge in demand for ESG legal advice, Kirkland & Ellis partner Alexandra Farmer set out in 2020 to build a team to meet this need, hiring lawyers with expertise in climate change, human rights, and diversity and inclusion. Farmer now leads a team of 23 lawyers in the US and UK who are focused exclusively on ESG and impact matters. Leveraging relationships built at Kirkland since she joined in 2008, Farmer quickly integrated ESG advice into all corporate workstreams, including private equity fund formation, M&A and debt finance.

Farmer advises firms such as TPG, Blackstone, Carlyle, EQT and Vista Equity Partners on their ESG programmes and impact strategies. Examples of her recent mandates include advising TPG on its $7.3 billion Rise Climate Fund and EQT on its impact-driven Future Fund, which is targeting €4 billion. She is praised by colleagues for her passion and drive, as well as her “firm grasp of the intricacies” of the ESG and impact space.  

Holly Loftis

Holly Loftis, 39
Haynes Boone

A partner in Haynes Boone’s fund finance practice, Holly Loftis has been working with lenders on subscription credit facilities since 2010. She has represented more than 20 financial institutions on loans to funds formed by many of the world’s largest asset managers across strategies and jurisdictions, including representations of agents and lead arrangers on loans with lender commitments exceeding $5 billion and including more than 20 lenders. 

Described as a “thought leader” in the space, Loftis also helped to coordinate the first-ever fund finance conference in 2011, which is credited with ultimately leading to the creation of the Fund Finance Association. She remains active with the organisation and serves on the US planning committee for Women in Fund Finance, which aims to boost the engagement, recognition and promotion of women leaders in the alternative investment industry. 

Rachel Wolfenden

Rachel Wolfenden, 33
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson

Fried Frank partner Rachel Wolfenden is recognised for the volume and quality of her transactional mandates for clients such as TDR Capital, CapVest Partners, Apax Partners and Thoma Bravo. 

In one notable transaction, Wolfenden advised CapVest Partners on its proposed multi-billion-dollar auction of nuclear medicine company Curium Pharma, which, due to challenging market conditions related to the covid-19 pandemic, instead became the focus of a GP-led secondaries process. According to affiliate title Secondaries Investor, this transaction was one of the largest single-asset deals to take place in Europe in 2020.

In addition to advising corporate clients on cross-border M&A, corporate advisory and governance matters, Wolfenden is involved in Fried Frank’s graduate recruitment efforts, devotes time to her pro bono practice, and is an advocate of the firm’s Women’s Forum and London women’s initiatives.

Sean Yeo

Sean Yeo, 35
Associate director
Azalea Investment Management

Azalea’s in-house lawyer Sean Yeo is described by peers as a “leading professional in the field of ESG investing”. He is credited with developing and implementing innovative strategies and processes for incorporating ESG factors into investment decision-making – considerations that eventually led to the creation of Azalea’s ESG fund of funds programme. Yeo has also worked on numerous co-investments and GP-led transactions for the programme.

As a member of Azalea’s ESG Resource Group, Yeo helped to develop the tools necessary for the Singapore-based firm to conduct ESG due diligence and risk monitoring on investments across its portfolio, including a proprietary ESG scoring framework for sustainability and impact funds. 

According to colleagues, Yeo’s “insight into the operations of a fund makes for an invaluable contribution” to the firm.