Women of Influence: Private debt

Our program spotlights women whose achievements, innovation and leadership are reshaping private markets across a broad range of asset classes.

Leticia Bueno Cano profile picLeticia Bueno Cano
Oquendo Capital

Leticia Bueno Cano has been part of Southern Europe-focused Oquendo Capital since the firm’s inception in 2008. The Madrid-based partner co-leads the firm’s junior debt strategy and has spearheaded more than 25 financings in the Spanish market through a wide range of instruments, including warranted and warrantless mezzanine, convertible bonds and preferred equity, among others. Earlier this year, she joined the board of Level 20 Spain, a non-profit founded with the aim of improving gender diversity in the private equity industry.

Jo Fry profile picJo Fry
British International Investment

Jo Fry, investment director and head of intermediated credit, joined British International Investment in 2019 to set up the UK development finance institution’s intermediated credit team. Today, the strategy has a portfolio that spans credit funds, risk sharing with banks, and structured debt in Africa and South Asia. Under her leadership, the team carries out investments in the climate, microfinance and generalist private credit fund sectors. Fry’s work looks to support lending in underserved markets and help mobilize capital, with the strategy committing to funds managed by firms such as Africa-focused Vantage Capital and BluePeak Private Capital since its launch.

Ariel Goldblatt profile picAriel Goldblatt
StepStone Group

Ariel Goldblatt is a partner at StepStone Group and oversees the private debt team’s co-investment and secondaries activities. With her support, the team’s co-investment and secondaries commitments have grown to over $1 billion and $2 billion, respectively. Last year, the firm closed StepStone Credit Opportunities Fund I and StepStone Corporate Lending Fund II, with Goldblatt currently deploying capital from both funds. Goldblatt is also committed to enhancing the team’s DE&I efforts – she focuses on showcasing underrepresented talent and is involved in StepStone’s mentoring program. Peers say she is “smart”, “diligent” and demonstrates “strategic vision”.

Alissa Grad profile picAlissa Grad
Golub Capital

Alissa Grad joined Golub Capital in 2009 and is now vice-chair and chief client officer, responsible for client development, client and product strategy, and client-facing capital formation. In leading Golub’s capital raising efforts, she has been integral to growing capital under management from $3 billion in 2009 to nearly $60 billion today. Grad prides herself on building and nurturing strategic investor relationships across the institutional and wealth intermediary market segments globally. Those who have worked with Grad praise her “irrepressible energy” and “exemplary client service”.

Yen-Wah Lam profile picYen-Wah Lam

Partner Yen-Wah Lam joined Castlelake in 2018, leading the global human resources function. After being promoted to chief people officer and president in 2023, she is now responsible for supporting the firm’s governance and strategic direction, as well as managing enterprise-level risk and organizational change. Lam is also active when it comes to diversity and inclusion, and in 2022 spearheaded DE&I initiatives, employee engagement and corporate social responsibility efforts designed to enhance the firm’s culture. She also implemented Castlelake Together, a program built to increase awareness of and integrate Castlelake values into the employee experience and investment approach.

Diala Minott profile picDiala Minott
Paul Hastings

Diala Minott, co-chair of investment funds and private capital at Paul Hastings, is a pioneer when it comes to private funds law. As part of the credit funds practice in the law firm’s London office, she has advised on a variety of investment structures for a range of clients, such as Apollo, BlackRock and ICG. In 2022, among other mandates, she launched venture debt funds for clients that traditionally focused on venture equity, and created a new Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation business line. Minott is proactive in her approach to flexible working, including trialling a four-day working week for new mothers. She also collaborated with PGIM to create a work placement programme for minority ethnic women.

Grishma Parekh profile picGrishma Parekh
HPS Investment Partners

Grishma Parekh is a managing director and co-head of North American core senior lending at HPS Investment Partners. She is understood to have played an integral role in expanding the core direct lending business, deepening its origination and capital markets capabilities. Prior to joining HPS in 2020, Parekh spent more than 12 years as a partner and managing director at Carlyle, where she was a founding member of the direct lending platform and head of origination for illiquid credit. Advocates have lauded her commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives both within HPS and across the financial services sector.

Caroline Sandberg profile picCaroline Sandberg
Fried Frank

A long-serving partner in law firm Fried Frank’s finance group, Caroline Sandberg advises private debt funds and direct lenders on debt-like non-convertible preferred equity financings, providing private equity sponsors and other leveraged issuers with an alternative financing option for transactions such as larger investments, add-on acquisitions and recapitalizations. In 2022, Sandberg completed more than 85 hours of pro bono immigration work, with her own experiences as an immigrant incentivizing her to ensure people receive quality legal representation. Outside of the firm, Sandberg is a lecturer at Columbia Law School.

Emily Shiau profile picEmily Shiau
Adams Street Partners

Emily Shiau was a founding member of the private credit team at Adams Street Partners, which has grown from a standing start in 2016 to nearly $8 billion in assets under management, according to the firm. Shiau leads on two investor client accounts that currently represent more than $700 million in AUM. Her significant contribution to the team saw her promoted to the role of principal, private credit, in just five years. She is now responsible for managing the associates and analysts in the US and Europe, taking a lead on recruitment efforts. Shiau acted on 11 sponsor-backed transactions in 2022, representing more than $2.3 billion in total capital raised.

Ariadna Stefanescu profile picAriadna Stefanescu

Ariadna Stefanescu is head of liquid credit at Permira, where she also serves as portfolio manager of the Providus Collateralised Loan Obligation platform. She has more than 15 years’ experience in the European credit space, with the firm crediting her strong track record and role in integrating ESG into the CLO platform among the drivers behind its successful launch of two CLOs over the last year, despite challenging market conditions. Stefanescu is one of three members of the executive committee for Permira Credit, with responsibility for shaping the strategy of the team. She is also a senior leader of the Permira Women’s Network.