New fund manager of SmartCap is Sille Pettai

July 05, 2016
Sille Pettai starts working as a Fund Manager of the Early Fund II managed by SmartCap to restructure the investment activities of the fund. Pettai will deal with implementation of the new investment strategy of the fund in cooperation with KredEx and European Investment Bank. Current direct investment activities of SmartCap continue as today until the end of the restructuring.
As the result of restructuring of the Development Fund, current direct investment activities will be restructured and SmartCap is transferred to KredEx. After restructuring, Early Fund II managed by SmartCap will become the fund of funds directed towards the early development phase companies that invests money to the business accelerator funds and manages the fund formed from current direct investments. The Development Fund and SmartCap will organise a contest for transferring the management of direct investments. Both Estonian and foreign contestants are free to enter. It is planned to transfer the current direct investments to the private fund managed by the winner of the contest that will continue management of investments and make continued investments. Until selecting of the private fund manager, the direct investments are managed in the current form. According to plans, transfer of SmartCap to KredEx takes place after the contest of selecting the private fund manager.

According to the Member of the Management Board of SmartCap, Antti Perli, the decisive factor for selecting Pettai who participated in the public contest, was her long-term fund management experience at international level. “Sille has worked in a fund manager Swedbank managing the pension funds for a long time and her important strength is the skill to manage the assets of traditional funds and invest these assets, inter alia, also to risk capital funds,” he said.

Perli added that SmatrtCap still needs more assistance until the end of the changing process. “At the moment only two people deal daily with direct investments and hence we need to involve more people,” he said.

Andrus Oks and Stanislav Ivanov, dealing today with direct investments, comment participation in the planned contest as follows: “We decide on participation in the contest after disclosure of the contest terms. If the terms are reasonable, we will participate. A lot of work has been done at building of the portfolio, several companies managed by us have also made an exit, but the fund as a whole is still halfway in the life cycle. In a personal plan, it is undoubtedly valuable to pass the whole development cycle of the fund - just on that basis the investors assess the fund managers.”

To respond to the unclarity spreading in public about the right of Oks, Ivanov and other current and former employees of SmartCap to participate in the contest, the member of the SmartCap Council and Manager of KredEx, Lehar Kütt said that no person will be excluded from the contest only because of his or her position. He specified: “It is clear that members of the governing body of SmartCap who prepare the contest or make the related decisions also other persons who have the conflict of interest at performance of the contest or performance of the fund manager tasks cannot participate in the contest. Equal treatment of participants of the contest must also be ensured regarding information about portfolio companies. Andrus Oks and Stanislav Ivanov do not participate in preparation of the contest or the decision making - the contest terms are developed by the guidance of the European Investment Bank and the committee consisting of international experts appointed by the European Investment Bank will select the best fund manager. Essential information for submission of the tender is made available for the qualified tenderers under equal conditions. Hence I do not see any obstacles for Oks and Ivanov to participate.”

SmartCap is an investment company of the Development Fund managing the risk capital funds under supervision of the Financial Supervision Authority. Today the company actively invests the SmartCap Early Fund II resources to the Estonian start-up companies directed towards international market.