Allen is a Chartered Accountant and holds degrees in commerce and accounting from the University of the Witwatersrand and has extensive experience in finance and business. Allen has served on the boards of listed and non-listed companies and is comfortable with corporate governance requirements.
Allen is the lead partner and has worked with banks, private equity and entrapreneurs. Recently Allen was the board member for the tech business Tempress and lead the divestiture by its US based parent to a local investment fund. He investigates and advises on deals, does restructuring and recovery work and non-executive roles on boards [In certain cases as a nominee role]. He also worked on the restructuring and recovery a large omni channel retailer in the Benelux, many fashion restructuring and recovery operations for banks and stakeholders. Prior to that, he was the fund manager at the private equity fund, The Fashion Fund. The Fund was restructured and the portfolio companies disposed of in an orderly manner to maximise shareholder returns.
Allen came to The Netherlands in 2001 and spent more than 8 years as Group CFO at the international hi-tech business Irdeto (Tech segment of Naspers). Prior to that, he spent time at the listed Conlog Holdings, as a self-employed consultant, as Head of IT Finance and Planning at First National Bank, South Africa, and within the banking and finance group of KPMG.
Elena holds an MBA from Webster University in the United States and is originally from Russia. Elena has worked and lived in the Netherlands for more than 20 years and has built an extensive network in her time.
Elena helps portfolio companies by implementing business processes, accounting and reporting systems, internal controls. She also conducts business investigations, due diligence and investment committee support. Elena was acting CFO and Investment manager at Solid Nature for more than 2 years. She worked on numerous projects and investment decisions and conducted several due diligence processes.
Elena was responsible for the day-to-day activities of the Fund. A key aspect to the position in early years of the Fund was to help the partner in Russia to manage and grow the business by professionalizing the organization and setting up more efficient operations. Implementation of business KPI’s, IFRS compliant financial reporting and a corporate governance. Extended knowledge of the Russian business culture helps a lot in managing this portfolio company. Exercise governance over portfolio companies and serve on their Operational Boards. Elena was a key part of the due diligence process on both the buy and sell sides working and managing advisors and internal staff. Elena was actively involved with the portfolio companies.
Prior to the Fashion Fund, Elena held a number of finance positions in multi nationals.
Michel is a Qualified Controller (QC) and holds degrees in controlling and accounting. He has broad experience in Finance and Operations in Retail and Fashion. Michel aims to create synergy by bringing the Finance function and business together with transparency and accountability. He is a collaborative team member. Michel has extensive experience in distressed situations and especially in Retail and Fashion.
Michel served as Group Controller for BAS Group, one of the largest consumer electronics suppliers in the Netherlands, with formulas such as Dixons and iCentre. He also lead the restructuring process from a distress situation of Secon Group, one of the biggest fashion companies in The Netherlands in the 90s and was the last employee, having wound down a complex situation. Before that, he started his career at an accounting firm for 10 years, following assignments at retailers like Dixons, Mexx, Hugo Boss and iCentre and stepped up from junior to senior finance (controlling) positions. Michel has been responsible for many implementations such as Navision and Axapta, and has made many improvements to management reporting using a new control model for the organization, based on accountability and transparency and realized cost savings in a short time frame.
Michel held a number of finance positions in internationally operating companies.