Congratulating our 2023 promotions
We’re thrilled to recognise the exceptional contributions of our team with the promotion of Sanjay Zimmermann to Partner, Alex Wilson to Principal, Usamah Khan to Vice President, Data & Technology, Duc Nguyen to Vice President, Blanche Ajarrista to Vice President, Spencer Henry to Vice President, and Neel Patel to Associate.
The start of each year is an important milestone for us to reflect on what the team has achieved over the past twelve months, as summarised in our 2022 Year in Review. Many of our achievements, including the addition of 12 new portfolio companies, the opening of a new HQ in Singapore, and initialising fundraising for three funds, would not have been possible without the collective contribution of our team.
In recognition of this, and ahead of another landmark year for White Star Capital in which we’ll be launching two new funds, we are delighted to officially announce the following promotions across our global team. This will put the firm in a strong position as we continue to support our existing portfolio, while identifying and backing the next generation of exceptional founders.
Sanjay Zimmermann promoted to Partner in Toronto
Sanjay has been an integral part of White Star Capital’s growth since 2017. Following several years in Investment Banking with Rothschild & Co in London, he joined as one of the first associates hired at the firm over 6 years ago. Sanjay has worked on over 25 investments across North America, Europe and Asia in the Early Growth Funds I, II, and III as well as in the Digital Asset Fund. Sanjay helped kick off our investment activities in South East Asia — following a year pursuing his MBA at INSEAD in Singapore — and in late 2020 launched White Star Capital’s Toronto office. He now focuses his time working and partnering with talented teams and founders across North America and South East Asia.
Alex Wilson promoted to Principal in London
Alex studied at Imperial College London and spent a few years in Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs before joining White Star Capital’s London team in 2018 to help drive our European initiatives. He has played a key role in deals such as FINN, Numan and most recently Fractal, as well as supporting many of our other portfolio companies including Clark Insurance, Butternut Box and Packhelp. Alex’s keen eye for detail and hard-working mentality has been a valuable asset for us in Europe, and we look forward to his continued success as he steps up to take more of a leadership role within the fund.
Usamah Khan to Vice President, Data & Technology, in Toronto
Usamah has been instrumental in developing White Star Capital’s data and technology offering alongside CTO Alberto Lopez Toledo. Having joined the firm in 2021, Usamah has led efforts to establish several data analytics systems, and has supported the likes of Wrk, Una Brands, and provides regular tech due diligence to help the team understand the nuances of technology solutions and ongoing strategies. Usamah graduated from McGill with an Engineering degree, and has worked in Montreal, Geneva, and London in technology and design. He holds an MBA and Masters in Analytics which has allowsed him to effectively bridge the gap between technology and business logic. Looking ahead, Usamah will be focusing on unifying data across WSC to create a holistic platform that supports data-driven decision-making in investments and improving our platform offering in terms of portfolio support.
Duc Nguyen promoted to Vice President in Paris
Having joined as one of White Star Capital’s very first employees in our Paris office, Duc has been pivotal in establishing our presence in France and Europe. He has played an active role in supporting and investing in companies such as Seyna, TIER, and 900 Care, providing practical help and advice throughout their early growth stages. Before joining White Star Capital, Duc studied at ESSEC Grande Ecole, before working at Societe Generale and Jumia, the leading African e-commerce player. As VP, he will continue to research and identify the best startups across the growing French and European technology ecosystem, while working closely with our growing LP base and helping improve our internal processes.
Blanche Ajarrista promoted to Vice President in London
Blanche studied Economics at McGill University before obtaining her Masters in Finance at IE Business School in Madrid. She started her career at Ardian before joining Eight Roads in a dual role as operator and early stage investor, focusing on fintech. Since joining the team in 2021, Blanche has played an important role in our London office, guiding our portfolio companies in the UK, Germany, and Poland, while working closely with the team on identifying some of Europe’s most promising startups. She is passionate about sustainability and consumer-focused startups and brings a global perspective in supporting companies in our portfolio, including Butternut Box, Numan, Red Sift, Uncapped, and Hole19.
Spencer Henry promoted to Vice President in New York
Spencer joined us a year and a half ago from J.P. Morgan’s Technology Investment Banking group to help strengthen our presence in the US and support our investment initiatives in the region. Whether in supporting partners on new investments, working closely with founders of existing portfolio companies, or helping the wider team on operational initiatives, he has proven himself to be an indispensable member of our investment team. Spencer’s deep-seated passion for and depth of knowledge in technology companies is invaluable, enabling him to play active roles in helping run investment processes for and supporting various companies in our portfolio, including Carbon6, Percent, Swing Mobility, Petfolk, TheGuarantors, Parsley Health, and Sizzle, among others. We are excited for Spencer as he now takes on additional leadership responsibilities in the US and continues to develop his expertise as an investor.
Neel Patel promoted to Associate in Toronto
Neel attended Ivey Business School and joined White Star Capital’s Toronto team in 2022 to drive our fund forward in Canada. Since joining WSC, Neel has played a strong role in working with Partners on our existing portfolio companies, managing and progressing LP relations, while continuing to establish the firm in Canada. Neel’s previous experience of starting Apres Pacific, a DTC skincare brand that has worked with major partners, has allowed him to quickly play an active role in working with portfolio companies such as Angel Host, Flare Systems, Novisto, Uvaro, and Vention. Neel’s varied experience and ability to be multifaceted has been a valuable asset as he’s able to be involved in every facet of the fund. We look forward to Neel establishing himself as an avid Investor while spearheading a leadership role with WSC in Toronto.
Please join us in congratulating Sanjay, Alex, Usamah, Duc, Blanche, Spencer, and Neel!