Swiss private equity secondaries firm Montana Capital has hired its first CFO as it looks to institutionalise. The firm appointed former Alpha Associates CFO Katja Baur to the role following the close of its fourth and largest fund, which saw it haul in €800m.
Baur’s hire comes just weeks after The Drawdown revealed the firm had tapped former Schroder Adveq head Sven Lidén as its COO.
Baur was most recently director of finance and operations at Swiss-based direct secondaries house Evoco, which she joined in 2016. She has 13 years of professional experience in the financial services industry, eight of which are in private equity.
Before Evoco, Baur was CFO and member of the executive management of Alpha Associates, an independent private equity, private debt, and infrastructure manager investing globally. In this role, she also acted as CFO of a listed investment company. Prior to that, she gained long-standing experience as auditor with KPMG focusing on the alternative investments sector. Her earlier professional engagements include Credit Suisse and Swissair. Baur holds a MA in Business Administration from the University of Zurich and is a Swiss Certified Accountant (Swiss CPA).
Co-founder Christian Diller said he was “delighted” to add Baur to the team as the firm looks to institutionalise, further improve the service it delivers to its investors and become more efficient on the operations side. He added, “Next to generating excellent performance for our investors, an additional element is to put together a high quality, experienced and talented team to provide best-in-class service levels for our investors.”
Baur will be responsible for reporting, accounting, cash management, FX management, monitoring and answering specific client requests. Alongside her role in the back office, Baur will also support the deal teams on the execution of transactions, freeing up time for the investment team. While the firm has always carried out these tasks, Diller said that due to the firm’s growth, it has more information to process, and “therefore you need a team that has a clear focus on streamlining and continuous improvement of operational processes.”
The appointment comes as competition in the secondaries space hots up. Last year saw 30 funds hold a final close, attracting $37bn in investor capital along the way, according to Preqin. Baur’s vast experience in secondaries ensured she got the role, having made the move from Evoco. Diller said, “Katja is an excellent candidate as she is outgoing, very detail-oriented and a great team player. She also has tremendous experience as a CFO and she knows the secondary business very well. Due to our focus on the more complex end of the secondary market, specific knowledge on the deal execution and structured solutions is required.”