KKR-backed Pillarstone extends Greek focus

Elias Sakellis and Georg Stratenwerth join Pillarstone from Quantum Pacific and Advent respectively to focus on the firm’s Greek investment strategy.

The KKR-backed investment firm Pillarstone has expanded its team focusing on Greek investment strategies with two senior hires.

Elias Sakellis joins the firm as a partner from Quantum Pacific, where he was previously head of business development and responsible for the firm’s investments in shipping, offshore drilling and the oil and gas sector. He joined the private equity firm after spending seven years on Goldman Sachs’ leveraged finance and restructuring team.

Arriving alongside Sakellis is Georg Stratenwerth, a former partner at Advent International, as a non-executive director. Stratenwerth joined Advent in 2003 after serving as a partner in JP Morgan’s private equity team.

Established in 2015, Pillarstone’s strategy is to manage the under-performing assets of a number of European banks. John Davison is chief executive of the firm, which has so far inked partnerships with leading financial institutions in Italy and Greece.

Earlier this year, Pillarstone took over the management of two non-performing loan portfolios valued at €1.2 billion from Alpha Bank and Eurobank, two of Greece’s largest banks. Under the terms of the agreement, Pillarstone will inject capital where required and advise on operational measures in order to help the portfolio companies stabilise and grow.

On the appointments, Davison said: “We have already made a substantial commitment to building our business in Greece, and Sakellis joins our rapidly growing and busy team in our new Athens office where his extensive experience in restructuring, investment and financing will be very valuable. We are also very fortunate that Georg is joining us given his tremendous wealth of investment and new business development experience.”

Sakellis said: “Greece has a large number of exceptional companies with strong growth potential that can benefit from the operational and financial support that Pillarstone provides. I look forward to working closely with Alpha Bank and Eurobank, as well as other potential partners that could benefit from our platform, in order to further support the recovery of the Greek economy.”