Our senior leadership team has extensive experience of investing and managing assets in the SME market across Europe, each averaging over 20 years of industry experience.

We have an investment team with a remarkable track record in delivering unique deal flow and superior investment returns. It is supported by experienced mid and back-office professionals and an institutional infrastructure, including strong financial controls, portfolio transparency and a comprehensive reporting system.

ESO Capital is a true partnership where several senior executives have significant equity stakes and the investment decisions are made collaboratively.

Alex Schmid
Founding Partner
Bio
Alex Schmid
Alex Schmid

Alex Schmid
Founding Partner

Alex is a Founding Partner and CEO of ESO.  With over 25 years of illiquid investment experience across Europe, his insight and experience is invaluable across all divisions of the firm.  He is actively involved in the sourcing and underwriting of new deals and is a member of the firm’s Investment Committee. Prior to founding ESO, Mr. Schmid was Managing Director and Head of Europe at DB Zwirn (London). He is fluent in German. BSE, Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania.

Walid Fakhry
Founding Partner
Bio
Walid Fakhry
Walid Fakhry

Walid Fakhry
Founding Partner

Walid is responsible for the overall operations of the firm and is responsible for TMT coverage. Prior to joining ESO, Walid co-founded Core Capital in 2004, having had past experience in operations, strategy consulting and investment banking.  Prior to that, Walid founded and sold one of the largest ISP’s in the middle east. BSc. Mechanical Engineering, BSc. Finance & MSc in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Stephen Edwards
Founding Partner
Bio
Stephen Edwards
Stephen Edwards

Stephen Edwards
Founding Partner

Stephen is a Founding Partner and leads the UK corporate investment activities at ESO. Prior to ESO, he co-founded Core Capital in 2004, and has over 25 years investing experience in SMEs. He was formerly Managing Director at Beringea Private Equity, and a director of Hg Capital and Grosvenor. Stephen is also a Chartered Accountant and started his career at PriceWaterhouseCoopers in London in Corporate Finance where he spent 6 years advising on numerous private equity transactions. Stephen has led, managed or arranged over 25 transactions and currently sits on the board of several portfolio companies, including Brasserie Barco, Turbine Efficiency, and Avonside. BA (Hons) Economics, Durham University, and ACA ICAEW.

Christian Fritsch
Partner
Bio
Christian Fritsch
Christian Fritsch

Christian Fritsch
Partner

Christian is responsible for the oversight of DACH corporate investments.  He also holds board positions at a number of ESO’s current investments in Germany.  Prior to joining ESO, Christian was at Lazard as Managing Director and Head of Restructuring and Capital Structure Advisory in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.  Prior to Lazard, he worked for the private investment firm Anchorage Capital where he was responsible for credit, special situations and illiquid investments in the German-speaking region. Before joining Anchorage, Christian led Cerberus Capital Management’s private equity and distressed investment business in Germany.  He previously worked as an investment professional at Doughty Hanson in London and Frankfurt and started his career at Merrill Lynch in London, advising numerous German, European and American clients on M&A and capital market transactions. MBA from Passau University in Germany.

David Christie
Partner, Head of Real Estate
Bio
David Christie
David Christie

David Christie
Partner, Head of Real Estate

With over 20 years' experience in the industry, David is responsible for ESO’s investment activity in real estate.  He has spent the majority of his career with prominent real estate investors including ARES, Doughty Hanson and Green Property.  David’s focus has traditionally been delivering strong returns within value-add and opportunistic investment strategies, and this has included landmark investments such as the Knightsbridge Estate in London. He began his career at Knight Frank where he qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in their City of London office. BSc (Hons) in Property Valuation & Finance, City University Business School.

David Steel
Director
Bio
David Steel
David Steel

David Steel
Director

David is a Director on the investment team at ESO and is responsible for sourcing, evaluation and execution of transactions across the UK.  Prior to joining ESO, David was a Partner of Core Capital for over 10 years, where he made equity investments including the successful exits of Camwatch, AlliedPRA and most recently in Alpine Fire where he currently sits on the board.  David began his career at KPMG principally within its corporate finance team for 6 years.  BSc (Hons), University of Nottingham; ACT.

James Smallridge
Director
Bio
James Smallridge
James Smallridge

James Smallridge
Director

James is a Director in the investment team at ESO and is principally responsible for the sourcing and execution of transactions across the UK and Europe. Before joining ESO, James was a Partner at Core Capital responsible for sourcing, making and managing investments in the UK lower mid-market.  Prior to that he was an Investment Manager at RJD Partners, a UK lower mid-market private equity investor, where his responsibilities included analysing, transacting and monitoring new investment opportunities. Prior to this James spent 9 years with KPMG within its corporate finance team in London. BEng (Civil) (Hons), University of Bristol. James is a Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments.

Karim Askar
Director
Bio
Karim Askar
Karim Askar

Karim Askar
Director

Karim is a Director on ESO’s investment team and is responsible for the sourcing and execution of transactions in both the UK and Germany. Prior to joining ESO, he was an Associate at AEA Investors in London. At AEA, Karim completed several private equity investments with a focus on European and North American industrial and energy & power companies. Karim began his career as a management consultant at Bain & Company in Zurich where he focused on private equity, consumer goods and industrial clients across Europe. He is fluent in English and German. MA in Accounting and Finance and BA in Business Administration, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.

Richard Hunt
Director
Bio
Richard Hunt
Richard Hunt

Richard Hunt
Director

Richard is a Director on the investment team at ESO and is responsible for sourcing, evaluating and executing real estate transactions across Europe. Having started his career at J.P.Morgan, initially in Credit Risk and later in Acquisition and Leveraged Finance, Richard has extensive credit experience and applies these skills when leading ESO’s structured investments into real-estate backed businesses. Richard holds board positions on a number of ESO’s current real estate investments. BA in Russian and Management, University College London.

Matthew Hewlett
Principal
Bio
Matthew Hewlett
Matthew Hewlett

Matthew Hewlett
Principal

Matt is a Principal within the investment team at ESO and is responsible for sourcing, evaluation and execution of transactions across the UK.  Prior to joining ESO, Matt was an Investment Manager of Core Capital, where he completed the buyout of Turbine Efficiency and supported existing investments in Brasserie BarCo and Ark Home Healthcare.  Matt has also worked in M&A roles for IRIS Software and NetNames, both backed by HgCapital, and previously was at Lloyds Banking Group leading restructuring of distressed private equity-backed businesses.

Marko Celic
Principal
Bio
Marko Celic
Marko Celic

Marko Celic
Principal

In his role as Principal at ESO, Marko is responsible for supporting the investment team in the sourcing and execution of new transactions across Europe.  Prior to joining ESO, he commenced his career as an Analyst in Goldman Sachs’ Technology, Media and Telecommunications group in London. Marko is fluent in English, German, and Serbo-Croatian. MSc in Advanced Economics and Finance (cand. oecon), Copenhagen Business School, Denmark; BSc in Economics and Business Administration with specialization in Finance & Accounting, Goethe-University, Frankfurt a.M., Germany.

Stuart Hamilton
Associate
Bio
Stuart Hamilton
Stuart Hamilton

Stuart Hamilton
Associate

Stuart is an Associate at ESO with responsibility for supporting the investment team in sourcing and executing new transactions. Prior to joining ESO, Stuart was an Executive at Core Capital. He initially trained as a Chartered Accountant at BDO before transferring to the M&A team, where he spent 4 years advising on both buy-side and sell-side private equity transactions.  MA in Accounting and Finance, Leeds University Business School; BSc in Business and Psychology, University of Leeds; ACA.

Sunny Sanghera
Associate
Bio
Sunny Sanghera
Sunny Sanghera

Sunny Sanghera
Associate

Sunny is an Associate at ESO with responsibility for supporting the investment team in sourcing and executing new real estate transactions. Prior to joining ESO he was an Analyst in the M&G Real Estate Finance team where he was responsible for the origination and execution of whole loans throughout Europe. He originated over £250m of loans across real estate sectors for both development and investment transactions. Sunny has also worked at AXA Investment Managers in the Institutional Client Group. BSc (Hons) Investment & Financial Risk Management from Cass Business School.

Florian Wimpff
Associate
Bio
Florian Wimpff
Florian Wimpff

Florian Wimpff
Associate

In his role as Associate at ESO, Florian is responsible for supporting the investment team in the sourcing and execution of new transactions across Europe. Prior to joining ESO, he was an Associate at Herter & Co., a German Debt & Restructuring Advisory Boutique, working on Corporate Refinancing’s, Leverage Buy Outs, Dividend Recapitalizations and Debt Restructuring Transactions. He is fluent in German and English. MBA in Finance, HfWU Campus of Finance Nürtingen, Germany; BA in Banking and Finance, DHBW Stuttgart, Germany.

Intended structure subject to FCA approval in respect of those individuals whose descriptions reference Core Capital.