We see the challenges posed by a changing private equity landscape – traditional strategies becoming saturated and returns declining – and the ensuing necessity to find new pockets of inefficiency and over-performance within the asset class. We seek to deliver outsized returns by investing alongside market experts in segments that are less correlated and less volatile than traditional strategies. Mantra invests on a global scale, managing third-party capital via specifically tailored funds.
The ongoing changes in the market landscape call for a paradigm shift. We employ a thematic-driven approach focused on compelling private equity sub-segments with attractive entry conditions and strong growth prospects.
Mainstream private equity is saturated, over-competitive, expensive, and subject to increased volatility. Returns are declining. We identify pockets of private equity off the beaten track, relatively uncorrelated to traditional markets, with upside potential.
Requiring a proactive approach, deep due diligence and agility. We are structured to uncover value in situational deals other firms overlook or don’t have access to.
We continuously monitor the private equity industry to identify inefficient pockets.
We leverage a deep network of relationships providing significant industry insights as well as privileged access to high-quality funds.
We are uniquely positioned to navigate through the challenges of a constantly evolving market, having successfully invested in funds across various strategies and cycles.
Given the evolving nature of private equity, we remain sector-agnostic while targeting specific opportunities that fit our overall investment philosophy, notably funds of modest size in strategies off the beaten path with specific and deep due diligence requirements.
We target small to mid-market secondary transactions, where due diligence requirements are often complex.
We invest in a wide range of private capital assets, with a focus on niche segments and provide each type of secondary structure available in the marketplace.
Mantra will consider any kind of asset held in a private equity-style fund, except for real estate. We review secondary transaction opportunities up to $75 M in value, with no minimum deal size, on a global basis.
Our flexible approach provides sellers with a broad range of options in considering strategic alternatives.
We focus on high-quality managers operating in niche/uncorrelated private equity segments. Examples include:
Funds established to finance legal claims for a share in case proceeds and damages. These Funds structure and manage counterparty ecosystems involved in the case (law firms, investigators, asset recovery specialists, etc.)
Funds targeting the hard and soft infrastructure and service components of all things digital and internet in the economy (next generation networks, internet of things, smart cities, cloud and data storage, grids, transportation, etc.). Digital infrastructure has become a mission-critical “fourth utility” (in addition to gas, water and electricity)
Specialized GPs focused on agribusiness companies providing niche, value-added goods and services in various stages of the food production value chain (seeds, testing equipment, machinery, specialty chemicals, crop protection, data & analytics) and aquaculture projects (indoor aquaculture, irrigation infrastructure, etc.)
Funds managed by hands-on operators, not financial engineers, with proven expertise in specific niches addressing compelling market sub-segments through a highly differentiated approach
Antoine Dréan founded Mantra in 2007. Antoine chairs Mantra’s Investment Committee. He is also the Founder and Chairman of Triago (1992), one of the first independent private equity placement agents, and the founder of Palico (2012), an online marketplace for the private equity fund community. Antoine started his professional career in 1986 in a French advisory firm specialized in distressed situations. In 1988, Antoine founded an M&A boutique which he eventually sold to an American investment bank in 1990. Antoine holds an MBA from the Wharton School (WG ‘92) and was Chairman of the Wharton Executive Board for EMEA from July 2016 to June 2020, and a member of the board from July 2010 to June 2020. Antoine is a French national.
Partner & Head of Primary Investments
David Hersh was part of Mantra’s founding team in 2007 and has been based in New York since July 2011. David sits on Mantra’s Investment Committee and is Head of Primary Investments. Prior to joining Mantra, David worked in the Paris office of PFC Energy, handling financial transactions, consulting and mergers & acquisitions for companies operating in the energy business, including Exxon Mobil, Total and Royal Dutch Shell. David’s responsibilities included financial modeling, directing due diligence, executing transactions and monitoring performance. Previously, David worked at Morgan Stanley in Chicago in its asset management division, participating in a wide variety of tasks, notably providing strategic and financial advice to a number of clients. He was awarded a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University (Canada). David is a French and American national.
Jean-François Borde was part of Mantra’s founding team in 2007 and sits on Mantra’s Investment Committee. Jean-François has over 35 years of private equity experience, having held various management positions in three large groups: Institut de Développement Industriel (IDI), Axa Private Equity and TCR Europe Fund. More than 70 transactions involving both minority and majority stakes, were successfully realized under his supervision in various private equity segments (growth capital, buyout, turnaround, etc.), with an overall IRR of over 20%. Jean-François was also the largest shareholder and manager of Compagnie Privée de Banque, a private bank now under the HSBC group, for more than five years. Jean-François is a French national.
Partner & Co-Head of Secondary Investments
Olivier Gervais Blondel joined Mantra in 2013 following a one-year internship. Olivier is based in Mantra’s Paris office. Olivier covers most of the steps of the investment process, including industry research, due diligence, and valuation of potential investment opportunities as well as the monitoring of portfolio investments. Previously, Olivier worked at Lincoln International, an international mid-market investment bank. Olivier holds a Master’s Degree in Corporate Finance from Edhec Business School. Olivier is a French and New Zealand national.
Partner & Co-Head of Secondary Investments
Jérémy Desdouets joined Mantra in 2016. Jérémy is based in Mantra’s Paris office. Jérémy covers most of the steps of the investment process, including industry research, due diligence, and valuation of potential investment opportunities as well as the monitoring of portfolio investments. Prior to joining Mantra, Jérémy worked 2 years in Transaction Services at Ernst & Young Paris. Jérémy holds a Master in Management and a Master of Science in Corporate Finance from Edhec Business School. Jérémy is a French national.
Alexis de Vries joined Mantra in 2016. Alexis is based in Mantra’s New York office. Alexis covers most of the steps of the investment process, including industry research, due diligence, and valuation of potential investment opportunities as well as the monitoring of portfolio investments. Prior to joining Mantra, Alexis worked for over 5 years in fundraising, investor relations, and business development at 21 Invest, a leading European mid-market buyout firm, investing in France, Italy, Switzerland, and Poland. Alexis holds a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University (Canada) and a Master of Science in Management from EM Lyon Business School. Alexis is a French national.
Marc Petitmengin joined Mantra in 2018 following a six month internship. Marc is based in Mantra’s Paris office. Marc covers most of the steps of the investment process, including industry research, due diligence, and valuation of potential investment opportunities as well as the monitoring of portfolio investments. Prior to joining Mantra, Marc worked as Chief Operating Officer on commodity derivatives trading at Societe Generale CIB in London. Marc holds a Master Degree in International Finance from Rouen Business School. Marc is a French national.
Meriem joined Mantra in 2022 and is based in the New York office. She covers most of the steps of the investment process, including industry research, due diligence, and valuation of potential investment opportunities as well as the monitoring of portfolio investments. Prior to joining Mantra, Meriem gained experience in audit, at KPMG and at the United Nations. After that, she worked at iii-financements, a French consulting firm, where she was in charge of the department helping innovative startups raise debt. Meriem holds a Business Management Master’s Degree and a Master of Science in Strategy and Consulting from EDHEC Business School. Meriem is a French national.
Chief Operating Officer
Diana Gatcan joined Mantra in 2017. As COO, Diana is responsible for Mantra’s operating procedures, compliance policies, establishment of cash forecast reports, treasury management, and oversight of reporting. Prior to joining Mantra, Diana worked at Triago for 9 years, mainly involved in the sourcing, evaluation, qualification, diligence and execution of secondary transactions. Diana holds a Master of Science in Management from HEC Paris and a Major in Business Administration from Bocconi University (Italy). She is also a CFA charter holder. Diana is a French and Moldavan national.
Business Development Associate
Myriam Prat joined Mantra in 2020 and is based in Paris. She is in charge of Mantra’s business development and investor relations. Prior to joining Mantra, Myriam gained experience at Adaxtra Capital, a French private equity firm. After that, she worked at Ardian in investor relations in London, and then as a private equity analyst within the Paris Buyout investment team. Myriam holds a Business Management Master’s Degree from EDHEC Business School. Myriam is a French national.
Baptiste Altefrohne joined Mantra in 2020 and is based in Luxembourg. Baptiste is in charge of Mantra’s administrative and back-office operations. Prior to joining Mantra, Baptiste gained experience as a Fund Officer at Alter Domus, a global service provider for private equity firms. Baptiste holds a DSCG (pre-qualified ACCA) Master’s Degree from the Institution DE LA SALLE METZ. Baptiste is a French national.
Fund Reporting Supervisor
Sofio Kobiashvili joined Mantra in 2021. Sofio is based in Mantra’s Paris office and is responsible for Mantra’s fund reporting.
Before joining Mantra, Sofio worked in the banking industry for more than 10 years, including Credit Portfolio Risk Manager at TBC Bank and Credit Unit Manager at Bank Republic Société Générale Group.
Sofio graduated with a Master’s in International Accounting, Audit & Control at IESEG School of Management in Paris. Sofio is a Georgian national.
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