Board of Directors and management
Mr. Sawiris is our chairman and chief executive officer. Mr. Sawiris is an industrialist, an entrepreneur and investor with a history of deal making and value creation at public and private companies across the globe. Throughout his career, Mr. Sawiris has operated and invested in a wide-range of industries and sectors, either through his executive positions at OCI N.V. (previously Orascom Construction Industries S.A.E.) and Orascom Construction PLC, the listed companies founded and controlled by the Sawiris family and entities held for their benefit, or as the founder and executive chairman of NNS Group, the single-family office of Mr. Sawiris and his family.
Since 1995, as chief executive officer or chairman of publicly listed companies (OCI N.V., previously Orascom Construction Industries S.A.E., and Orascom Construction PLC), Mr. Sawiris has a track record of creating value for shareholders, returning approximately $15 billion to shareholders through cash and share dividends and share buybacks. During his tenure at OCI N.V., Mr. Sawiris has directed and overseen the transformation of the company from a construction business to a top-ten global cement producer and a top-five global nitrogen fertilizer and methanol producer. Mr. Sawiris has deep and varied experience in mergers and acquisitions, financial and capital market transactions, executing approximately $55 billion in deal value throughout his career. Transactions executed during his tenure at Orascom Construction Industries S.A.E. include the sale of its cement division to Lafarge for a cash payment of approximately €8.8 billion ($12.9 billion) plus the transfer of approximately $2 billion in debt. During his tenure at OCI N.V., transactions include the joint venture with ADNOC to create the world’s largest export-focus nitrogen fertilizer platform in 2019, the initial public offering of OCI N.V. on the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange in 2013 with an initial market capitalization of approximately $8.1 billion, the approximately €310 million acquisition of DSM’s Agro and Melamine assets in 2010 and the acquisition of a 20% stake in Gavilon, a commodity management firm, in 2008, eventually sold in 2013 for approximately $2.7 billion.
As the executive chairman of the NNS Group, Mr. Sawiris has guided the diversification of the group’s assets into new areas focused on long-term growth across numerous sectors in both the public and private markets. The NNS Group has invested in companies operating in consumer brands, chemicals, technology, software and media, sports and real estate, and in other sectors.
Mr. Sawiris’ current mandates include:
- executive chairman of NNS S.à r.l.-SPF, the Luxembourg-based parent company of the NNS Group;
- chairman & chief executive officer of NNS Advisers Limited;
- executive chairman of OCI N.V., a leading nitrogen fertilizer & chemicals producer listed on the Euronext
- member of the supervisory board of adidas, the leading European sportswear company;
- executive chairman of Aston Villa Football Club;
- member of the International Council of J P Morgan Chase & Co., the Board of Trustees of the University of Chicago, the Cleveland Clinic’s International Leadership Board Executive Committee, the Council on Foreign Relations Global Board of Advisors and Exor Partners Council.
Mr. Hall is a member of our board of directors. Mr. Hall is also vice-chairman of the board of Sienna Capital. Mr. Hall joined GBL in 2012, and he was appointed as the head of investments in 2016. In addition to his role at GBL, Mr. Hall was chief executive officer of Sienna Capital until 2020. Mr. Hall led the development of Sienna Capital since its inception in 2013 and was instrumental to the strategic transformation of Sienna Capital from a fund manager seeding platform to a multi-asset class investment manager with direct investing capability.
Since joining GBL, and recently in his capacity as the head of investments, Mr. Hall oversaw significant portfolio asset rotation. Since 2012, total purchased assets amounted to approximately €10.1 billion and total divestments of assets were approximately €9.2 billion.
Over his 25-year investment career, Mr. Hall has gained experience as a member of multiple public and private company boards. Mr. Hall has served on public company boards across Europe including in Germany, France, Spain, Belgium and Switzerland. He currently represents GBL on three public company boards (Imerys, LafargeHolcim and GEA) with aggregate market capitalization of approximately $40 billion as of July 31, 2020. In addition, Mr. Hall also sits on the board of WebHelp, a European leader in the customer relationship management—business process outsourcing.
Mr. Hall began his career working for the Merchant Banking Division of Morgan Stanley in 1995. Between 1997 and 2008, Mr. Hall held various positions within the private equity firm Rhône Group in New York and London. From 2009 to 2011, Mr. Hall was a partner in a hedge fund sponsored by Julian Robertson of Tiger Management.
Mr. Hoberman has agreed to serve as a director of Avanti Acquisition Corp. Mr. Hoberman is co-founder and executive chairman of Founders Factory, a corporate-backed venture studio and accelerator (since 2015); Founders Forum, a global community of founders, corporates and tech leaders (since 2006); and firstminute capital, a $100 million seed fund with global remit, backed by Atomico, Tencent and over 30 unicorn founders (since 2017). Previously, Mr. Hoberman co-founded lastminute.com in 1998, of which he served as the chief executive officer from its inception, and sold it in 2005 to Sabre based on an equity value of $1.0 billion. Mr Hoberman has co-founded technology businesses that include Karakuri, a provider of robotics, artificial intelligence and automation systems; made.com, a leading European direct-from-factory consumer homewares retailer; PROfounders Capital, Founders Intelligence, an entrepreneur-powered consultancy; accelerateHER, a network taking action to change the underrepresentation of women in technology; Founders Keepers, a technology executive search firm; Founders of the Future, a network that identifies and supports aspiring entrepreneurs; Founders Pledge, a community for entrepreneurs committed to finding and funding solutions to global challenges; Grip.events, an artificial intelligence powered event networking solution; and most recently Founders Academy, a new type of business school for a changing world.
Mr. Hoberman is chairman of the Karakuri board and sits on the advisory boards of The Royal Academy, the Government Digital Service, the WEF Digital Europe Group and the Imperial College Innovation Fund. He is also a Male Champion of Change for The Global Tech Group, and was appointed Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for services to entrepreneurship in 2015.
Previously, Mr. Hoberman was Chairman of the Oxford Foundry advisory board from its inception, cochaired the Prime Minister’s Theresa May and Boris Johnson, Business Sector Council for Small Business, Scale-ups and Entrepreneurs, chaired The Royal Foundation Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyberbullying for The Duke of Cambridge, and further former advisory board roles include LetterOne Technology, a $16 billion investment fund, TalkTalk, TimeOut, The Guardian Media Group, Shazam Entertainment and The Economist.
Ms. Krishnan has agreed to serve as a director of Avanti Acquisition Corp. Ms. Krishnan has served as the chief operations officer of WorldRemit in London since November 2019 and as director since September 2020, where she is responsible for WorldRemit’s growth and operations. She served at Trainline in London from May 2016 to August 2018, first as General Manager for the business-to-business and ancillary businesses, then for the UK Consumer. She also worked at Egencia, a company of the Expedia Group, as Vice President of Product and Marketing from 2014 to 2016, and as Vice President of Business Development and Strategy from 2012 to 2014 in London and Seattle. She served at Bain & Co. from 2005 to 2011 as a Manager in San Francisco and Paris. She started her career at Investor Growth Capital as an Associate from 1997 to 2002 in London and New York. Ms. Krishnan holds a double degree (diploma and Masters’) from London School of Economics and EDHEC, and an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Mr. Mignone has agreed to serve as a director of Avanti Acquisition Corp. Mr. Mignone is director of Teva Pharmaceuticals, a global pharmaceutical company, where he chairs the Finance Committee and serves on the Science and Technology, and Audit committees. He founded Bridger Management, LLC in 2000, where he is the Managing Partner with principal responsibility for investments predominantly in public and private global equities, with particular focus in global consumer, technology, healthcare, and leisure sectors. He also cofounded Blue Ridge Capital LLC in 1996 as a Partner and Senior Research Analyst with broad responsibility for the firm’s research in public equities. Mr. Mignone holds an AB, cum laude degree from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Mr Johann Dumas serves as our chief financial officer. Mr. Dumas joined Sienna Capital in October 2018 as chief financial officer. Before joining Sienna Capital, Mr. Dumas was the chief financial officer and a member of the executive committee of Quilvest Capital Partners (formerly Quilvest Private Equity), a family-owned global asset manager.
Prior to this, Mr. Dumas headed the group finance department of Transcom from January 2010 to January 2012, after spending 8 years at KPMG. Mr. Dumas is a chartered accountant in Luxembourg. He is a graduate of ICN Business School, holds a master in accounting and finance from the University of Nancy and is a graduate of the INSEAD Advanced Management Program.