The Firm

Established in 2017, Sharpen Capital is an independent investment manager operating in the Brazilian and US markets. Our team consists of qualified professionals with extensive experience in a variety of sectors of the economy.

The firm focuses on structured credit, private equity and special situations. Sharpen Capital strives to become the partner-of-choice of our clients, companies and entrepreneurs.

Investment Strategies

Sharpen Capital’s main focus is long-term value creation for its stakeholders. We operate through flexible structures to optimize risk-adjusted returns, seeking to generate consistent performance, maximization of return for our investors, and the perpetuation of the value generated by the invested companies.

We have an efficient and thorough process of analysis and structuring for all our investment opportunities. We and/or our affiliated parties invest between 10% and 20% of the total amount in all our investments, representing a significant portion of our assets and commitment to our strategy. Sharpen also seeks to work with top line business people and executives to increase the value of our core strategy and operational initiatives in each of our investments.

Structured Credit

  • Debt solutions: structured, senior, mezzanine or subordinate;
  • Diversified and flexible structures seeking the most efficient and safe alternative;
  • Focus on high profitability, with disciplined risk in order to optimize the risk/return ratio;
  • Decisions based on reputational analysis, cash flow analysis and appropriate collateral levels to ensure the preservation of capital.

Growth Capital

  • Growth Equity and turnaround capital for midsize companies looking for smart money;
  • Solutions for special situations;
  • High growth and risk-adjusted return on invested capital;
  • Approach: We seek investments aligned to Sharpen Capital’s principles and business associates willing to build a long-term partnership with ability to attract talent, organize structures and generate sustainable growth for the invested companies.

Tactical Opportunities

  • Special Situations: illiquid assets in distress, judicial requests and lawsuits, receivables, real estate opportunities, corporate disputes and operational restructuring.

The Team

Raphael Ades

Partner

Co-Founder Partner of Sharpen Capital, CFO and effective member of the Investment Committee.

Prior to founding Sharpen Capital in 2017, Raphael co-founded and was the COO, CFO and Member of the Board of Directors of Simpress, the largest printing outsourcing company in Brazil, with more than 60,000 printers. After receiving an investment from Gávea Investimentos, the company was sold to Samsung in 2015.

Raphael was also the founder and manager of Floresvale, a sustainable reforestation company with 2,000 hectares of eucalyptus, integrated with Eucamad, a pallets and packaging company. He was also a member of the first Internal Audit and Compliance Committee of Ideal Invest, a private student finance company leader in the Brazilian market and controlled by Itaú Unibanco. He founded, originated and structured several operations in the Brazilian and US markets, focused on the technology, printing, e-commerce and financial sectors.

Raphael is a native Portuguese speaker, fluent in English, French, Italian and Spanish. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Fundação Getúlio Vargas in São Paulo (FGV-EAESP), where he also completed his MBA in Business Management with an emphasis on Marketing.

Ricardo Costa

Partner

Co-founder of Sharpen Capital, Head of Equity and Execution of Investments and effective member of the Investment Committee.

Prior to Sharpen Capital, Mr. Costa was the Vice President responsible for investments in Brazil at Jaguar Growth Partners, a NY-based fund focused on Real Estate Private Equity in Emerging Markets. From 2010 to 2014, he was a Partner at Gávea Investimentos, one of the largest alternative investment managers in Brazil, with over US$ 7 billion in AUM, having led several investments in the retail, logistics, services and telecom sectors. Ricardo also served as a Board Member of CSS (Cell Site Solutions), a co-investment of Gávea and Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking; Rumo Logística; and Simpress. From 2013 to 2014 he also served as CFO and interim manager of CSS. From 2005 to 2010 he was a Principal at Votorantim Novos Negócios, the PE and VC arm of the Votorantim Group, one of the largest Latin American industrial conglomerates, where he was responsible for the investments in the IT/BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) and services sectors and acted as a Board Member of TIVIT, one of the largest IT/BPO services companies in Latin America.

Ricardo holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Fundação Getúlio Vargas in São Paulo (FGV-EAESP), and an MBA from Columbia Business School in New York. He is a native Portuguese speaker and fluent in English and Spanish.

Wilson Ohara

Partner

Credit Investment Officer and effective member of the Investment Committee.

Wilson has over 20 years of experience in corporate finance and capital markets.

Prior to joining Sharpen Capital, he was a director in Deutsche Bank’s Financing & Solutions Group, responsible for managing the relationships with a portfolio of large and medium-sized companies for origination of structured finance, derivatives and debt capital markets transactions.

From 2016 to 2017, he was a partner at Triskelion Capital, dedicated to origination and structuring opportunities in special situations, distressed assets and private equity to a US-based alternative investment fund.

Between 2014 and 2016, he was a Superintendent of Credit Markets at Banco Votorantim, focused on structured credit and international capital markets.

From 2010 to 2014, he was a Director in the Capital Markets & Treasury Solutions group at Deutsche Bank, focused on commercial and structured products.

Prior to Deutsche Bank, from 1998 to 2010, he was vice president at JPMorgan Chase, in both São Paulo and New York, working in the capital markets, syndicated loans, acquisition financing and credit groups.

A native Portuguese speaker, Wilson is also fluent in English. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Fundação Getúlio Vargas in São Paulo (FGV-EAESP).

Jorge Stegmann

Partner

Effective member of the Investment Committee.

Prior to joining Sharpen Capital, Jorge worked in England as a Regional Sales Manager at Hilti, a Liechtenstein-based manufacturing company and world leader in innovation in tools and electrical solutions for the construction sector.

Prior to Hilti, he was a financial planning leader at Braskem (BVMF: BRKM5), the largest chemical company in Brazil, where he worked on different multidisciplinary projects, including global cost reduction initiatives; post-merger integration of processes, systems and finance teams; and maintenance efficiency planning.

From 2005 to 2008, Jorge worked as an associate at Gradus Management Consultants, a Brazilian consultancy with over 300 projects for 70 clients in 25 countries. At Gradus, he covered a wide array of industries such as energy, consumer goods, electronics, media, and construction.

Jorge is a native Portuguese speaker and fluent in English. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Production Engineering from the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo (POLI-USP), and an MBA from the London Business School.

Fabio Alvarez

Partner

Chief Financial Officer at Neobpo and effective member of the Investment Committee.

Prior to joining Sharpen Capital, Fabio worked in the finance department of several companies in multiple sectors. From 2017 to 2018, he worked on a R$5 billion debt restructuring of the holding company and subsidiaries of the Odebrecht Group, where he also worked on the sale of credit rights totaling R$500 million.

From 2016 to 2017, he was an Investment Director at Odeprev (Odebrecht’s pension plan), responsible for managing its investments in Brazil, including a fund with fixed income, multi-market, equity and illiquid portfolios. Between 2015 and 2016, he worked at F3 Capital as head of Risk & Compliance and Institutional Clients.

From 2011 to 2015, Fabio was responsible for the areas of Risk Management, Derivatives, Financial Applications Corporate Financing of Odebrecht (OBDR Corp.). Between 2009 and 2010 he structured and implemented the Concessionária Rota das Bandeiras (CRDBBR Corp.), which manages the Dom Pedro I highway grid, participating in the structuring of syndicated loans, IPO and Project Finance.

From 2006 to 2009, he worked at Braskem, in the Risk Management, Operations and M&A groups. Between 2005 and 2006, he worked at Accenture, in the business process management consulting group.

A native Portuguese speaker, Fabio is also fluent in English and Spanish. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechatronics Engineering from the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo (POLI-USP), where he also completed an MBA in Financial Engineering.

Max Goldvag

Principal – Investments.

Prior to joining Sharpen Capital in August 2019, Max was a Principal at a NY-based boutique Real Estate development company, responsible for deal origination, structuring and project management.

From 2015 to 2017, he was a Senior Associate in Deutsche Bank’s Americas M&A group, based in New York, advising on inbound and outbound transactions. From 2011 to 2015 he was an Associate in the Latin America Debt Capital Markets group at Deutsche Bank, based in both São Paulo and New York.

Prior to Deutsche Bank, Max worked in Itaú Unibanco’s Risk Management group.

A native Portuguese speaker, Max is fluent in English and Spanish, and proficient in French. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Fundação Getúlio Vargas in São Paulo (FGV-EAESP).

Moisés Sztejnsznajd

Associate – Investments.

Prior to joining Sharpen Capital, Moisés was an investment professional with the asset management firm BRL Capital, working in the management team of the BRL Titan investment fund.

From 2013 to 2016, he worked in the Treasury Department of Banco Indusval & Partners on the pricing and trading desks.

Moisés graduated in Business Administration from Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV-EAESP) in São Paulo. Mr. Sztejnsznajd is a native Portuguese speaker and is fluent in English.

Leonardo Inson

General Counsel – Legal and Compliance.

Prior to joining Sharpen Capital, Leonardo worked as a legal manager and compliance officer responsible for the turnaround process of ZOOM Editora Educacional, a leading company in the technology education market in Brazil.

Before that, Leonardo led the strategic licensing team of CSS (Cell Site Solutions) – a joint investment of Gávea Investimentos and Goldmann Sachs Merchant Banking – in setting up procedures for licensing and property management, as well as managing governmental relationships with states and municipalities.

From 2010 to 2014, he was the legal coordinator of Trip Editora e Propaganda, a publishing company with the largest number of custom publications in Brazil. From 2009 to 2010, he was part of the labor practice group of Trench Rossi e Watanabe Advogados, associated with Baker & McKenzie, and previously worked at Pepsico do Brasil’s legal department.

A native Portuguese speaker and fluent in English, Leonardo holds a Law degree from the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC-SP), an LLC in Business Law from Insper São Paulo, and is a member of the Brazilian Bar Association.

Corporate Governance

Sharpen Capital is registered with the CVM (Brazilian Securities Commission) and permitted to perform investment management activities. Please refer to the links below for more information:

Contact

Sharpen Capital

Rua Fradique Coutinho, 212, Conjunto 113, Pinheiros, São Paulo, SP, 05416-000
21500 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 700, Aventura, FL, 33180
1330 Avenue of Americas, Suite 34B, New York, NY, 10019

contato@sharpencapital.com

+55 (11) 3063-5664+1 (305) 560-5238