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Profit from our unique insight

Private Equity

We work with private equity firms and their portfolio companies, and advise on more than 100 transactions each year. We are a strategic partner, who understands your aspirations and acts swiftly to help you stay one step ahead. You can trust us to act as a partner to senior management and PE sponsors during complex transactions and decision-making processes and to help free up senior management’s time. The bespoke advice you receive is delivered by an international team of cross-sector specialists, at a transparent fee.

Private Equity Firms

Private Equity Firms

Our strategies are clear and straightforward because we have a complete understanding of private equity investment models. In partnership with private equity sponsors, we work to appraise and hedge risk in the fund, and appreciate the specific issues and exposures that impact returns. Our aim is to protect the profitability of your investments.

Portfolio Companies

Portfolio Companies

For investee companies, our in-depth knowledge of the hedging requirements, at the point of acquisition and beyond, allows us to take into account all aspects of financial risk. Our expert team can also act as an extension of your finance team, providing specialist advice when you need it.


We provide a range of hedging strategies and derivative solutions designed to reduce volatility and protect your profitability.

  • Deal Contingent

    We arrange cost-effective solutions to eliminate FX and IR ‘Event Driven’ Risks  (M&A, IPO, Tender Offer, Project Finance etc)

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  • Deal Contingent

    Financial risks (relating to FX, Interest Rate (IR), Commodities/Energy and Inflation) arising from M&As (Public or Private), IPOs or Project Finance can be complex to hedge. Those so-called event-driven risks may have several levels of uncertainty:
    the exposure itself (contingent to the success/failure of the underlying deal)
    the amount (for example in a tender situation or for deferred considerations/earnouts)
    the tenor (closing date is usually unknown at signing).
    A deal contingent hedge is a cost-effective solution to cover those risks and allows the client to walk away from the hedging agreement if the deal falls through as a result of pre-defined conditions precedent (CPs) not being met. For example, Deal Contingent hedges confer the ability to lock in the cost of an acquisition in a foreign currency (FX risk), or to ensure that financing costs of the transaction are pre-hedged (IR risk).
    In both cases no cost is incurred if the deal does not complete as a result of CPs not being met.  Since deal contingents are tailor-made derivatives, pricing is by definition less transparent than for vanilla products. Hence we will in most circumstances arrange a tender process between competing banks. 
    Very often, deal contingent hedging is required at a time when management time is at a premium. Speed is therefore of the essence. From designing an optimal hedging strategy to implementation with competitive pricing, our experience and contacts with the best banks in the market mean we are able to offer a streamlined and transparent process with a quick turnaround. 
  • FX Due Diligence

    We analyse the target’s FX risk during the Due Diligence stage of an acquisition and advise on how the risk might best be mitigated on an ongoing basis

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  • FX Due Diligence

    Too often, FX hedging programmes are only reviewed after a turbulent period where they failed to mitigate FX risk. In fact FX policy needs continuous attention and refinement to protect the business.

    Both private equity funds and corporates should be consistently revisiting their policy to ensure optimal hedging strategies.

    That said, change of ownership often creates an opportunity to review the existing FX policy. At the very least, a PE house should be fully aware of the FX risk in a potential investment and how it is currently managed, if at all. 

    When conducting FX Due Diligence work on a potential investment for a Private Equity house investor, we evaluate the business’s FX exposure and its potential impact on key metrics (EBITDA, cash flow, financial ratios etc.), ensuring that the investor is aware of the exposure.  

    Post acquisition we often work with the investee company, assisting in formulating/improving the hedging strategy and assessing its performance. Optimal FX management necessitates working within credit constraints and around the inevitable fallibility of forecasts, whilst also considering natural hedges.

  • Interest Rate Hedging

    Often mandatory, but with the right advice you can make it work in your favour

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  • Interest Rate Hedging

    Management of a transaction’s interest rate exposure is often a condition of sanction from providing banks who directly benefit from providing ancillary services. We evaluate your interest rate risk and create a hedging strategy that satisfies any particular lending requirement and meets your business objectives. Unlike the bank, our strategy advice is impartial. As an independent firm, we have no other motive than to deliver a strategy that is best aligned to your business goals.

  • FX Hedging

    Mitigate losses and risk associated with currency fluctuations

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  • FX Hedging

    Importers, exporters and investors with overseas assets are all exposed to foreign exchange risk. Failure to analyse risk and implement a bespoke hedging strategy can lead to significant losses.

    We evaluate your business’s FX exposure: transactional and translational; short, medium or long term. Some FX exposures are easily identifiable, while others are less obvious. Optimal FX management involves the ability to work within credit constraints and around the inevitable fallibility of forecasts, while also considering natural hedges.

  • Commodity Hedging

    Your commodity exposure is connected to your commercial arrangements. We understand that

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  • Commodity Hedging

    We structure hedge solutions that match your objectives. We understand the interaction between your commodity exposure and other commercial arrangements such as debt covenants. Our pricing capabilities provide complete transparency on pricing, and our experience and contacts within this specialised area mean we can source the best hedge counterparties. 

  • Inflation Hedging

    How do you mitigate exposure to index-linked income/expenditure? We assist with this, and more

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  • Inflation Hedging

    Inflation risk can arise within a business either explicitly, through a contractual arrangement, or implicitly, through cost or revenue base. It is important when assessing inflation hedging requirements to identify any natural offsetting hedge already present in your business. We can advise you on how to mitigate exposure to index-linked income/expenditure. We offer you our expertise to assess the risk, ensure that the appropriate hedging structure has been chosen and negotiate fair and transparent pricing with the hedge provider. 

  • Valuations and Hedge Accounting

    We support your accounting teams to effectively manage your derivatives

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  • Valuations and Hedge Accounting

    Whether your accounting team requires support or additional expertise with hedge accounting under IFRS, USGAAP and new UKGAAP, or derivatives valuations for internal management or financial reporting, we tailor our services to meet your needs. Our service can ensure accuracy of the reporting of your derivative instruments. Through the full life cycle of hedge accounting, or just one part of the process, we can help ease the workload on your accounting team. We provide guidance on whether to apply hedge accounting, help you meet documentation and effectiveness assessment requirements, and deliver the analysis needed for the relevant disclosures. If you need to convert into IFRS, US GAAP - or into the new UK accounting standard, FRS 101/102 - we can complete a comprehensive analysis of the impacts and considerations and support you with your conversion project. With valuations, we understand that the introduction of CVA/DVA adjustments has deepened the complexity of traditional counterparty bank valuations. We use sophisticated technology and processes to deliver bespoke derivatives valuations.

  • Cash Management

    How do you manage surplus cash? Our independent advice ensures a strategy that’s best for you

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  • Cash Management

    The risks inherent in managing surplus cash are counterparty credit risk, concentration risk and liquidity risk. We work with you to establish the intentions for the cash holdings and consider the relative importance of security, liquidity and yield, as well as factors such as risk versus return and complete capital preservation. We advise on a wide range of short-term investment opportunities, including bank treasury deposits, call accounts and money market funds, designing and documenting bespoke cash management policies and strategies. Our independence means we refuse any introductory commissions from cash product providers, instead requesting that they divert this payment to you in the form of an improved rate of return.

  • Dispute resolution and expert witness

    Unbiased and expert opinion in hedging disputes based on forensic analysis and cross-sector experience

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  • Dispute resolution and expert witness

    If you have a hedging dispute related to hedge mis-selling, our experience and independence means we are well placed to help with the resolution of your case. We look at the core objectives of the borrower, review all correspondence and documentation pertaining to the hedge and the pricing, as well as any alternatives which may have been offered. Our systems recreate historical markets in which the instrument was traded to provide context and determine whether the hedge was suitable and appropriate at the time. A hypothetical hedging strategy and our opinion on what would have been the most suitable course of action are formulated. This is used to benchmark the hedge under dispute and provide guidance on an acceptable level of redress.

    You may need an expert witness, if you have initiated a legal claim and require independent input as part of the litigation process. We can assist under instruction from legal counsel on the case. Our service encompasses the aspects described above and delivers an in-depth appraisal of the communication between defendant and claimant pre, during and post hedge execution. In the UK, all reports comply with requirements set out in Practice Direction 35.

  • Derivatives Regulatory
    and Reporting

    We constantly monitor the regulatory environment and analyse how changes will impact your business.

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  • Derivatives Regulatory
    and Reporting

    We constantly monitor the regulatory environment and analyse how changes will impact your business. No matter how complex your organisation’s structure, we can ensure you meet AIFMD, EMIR and Dodd-Frank requirements. In a rapidly changing regulatory environment where your investors and regulators need reassurance that you are up-to-date with regulation, you can trust that our advice is clear, independent and correct.

Meet our private equity team
  • Ahmed Babikir

  • Samantha Bett

  • Jackie Bowie

  • Benoit Duhil de Benaze

  • Brian Phelan

  • Francesco Podestà

  • Joshua Roberts

  • Hugh Sutcliffe

  • Moritz Sterzinger

Ahmed Babikir

Ahmed joined JCRA as a Graduate Consultant in 2017 and specialises in pricing and structuring, primarily within the Private Equity and Corporates team. Prior to joining JCRA, Ahmed completed internships at BNP Paribas and Goldman Sachs and obtained a Masters in MORSE (Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics and Economics) (First Class Hons) from the University of Warwick.
Email Ahmed: Ahmed.Babikir@jcrauk.com

Samantha Bett

I am a Director based in Glasgow, working with JCRA’s Scottish and North of England clients across our specialist sector teams, primarily real estate, private equity and corporates. I have particular expertise in foreign exchange and interest rate risk management, having worked in financial markets since the mid-1990s.

I joined JCRA in 2011, moving into advisory services following a varied career in treasury roles in banks in London, Singapore and Glasgow. I graduated from Strathclyde University with a first class degree in finance and joined the graduate programme at Bank of America. I had a baptism of fire in emerging markets FX trading from the Asian currency crisis in 1997 to the Russian devaluation and default the following year. I moved out to West LB in Singapore to set up the NDF trading function, before moving back to the UK and into treasury sales roles across FX and interest rates for the corporate client base at Clydesdale Bank and HBOS.

I thoroughly enjoy working in an advisory capacity. My role requires me to have a deep understanding of our clients’ requirements with the wide range of engagements and client sectors, ensuring that I am always challenged to keep my sector knowledge and treasury risk management expertise up to-date. I also act as an independent expert witness for borrowers in litigation actions in relation to derivative sales by banks and brokers.

My sons, Murray and Gregor, are extremely active and weekends are spent on tennis courts, rugby and football pitches, golf courses and on the pistes. Our family holidays are very important and my husband and boys share my love of travel.

Email Sam: Sam.Bett@jcrauk.com

Jackie Bowie

My job is to lead the JCRA team across our offices in the UK and North America. My work is extremely varied day to day and I remain involved in many advisory engagements for clients across our specialist sector teams. I also have the privilege of spending lots of face to face time with both existing and new client relationships; explaining to them the value JCRA’s expertise can bring to their risk management decisions. I am part of the Group Board which means relentlessly driving our growth agenda and of course our regulatory and compliance obligations.

I joined JCRA in 2004, initially in the Edinburgh office. I advised many clients on hedging against FX and interest rate risk. In 2010, after being appointed a Director and joining the Group Board, I relocated to London. In 2012 I was part of the management team which completed the VMBO, moving on to execute the second phase of that in 2017; taking in our first tranche of external capital and allowing the founding directors of JCRA to retire.

I hold a first class degree in Economics from Strathclyde University and MSc in Investment Analysis and am a member of the CFA institute. My early career in finance focused on the US equity markets where as an equity analyst and subsequently a fund manager I had an exciting 10 years within various Scottish asset managers. Investing in the equity markets through the tech boom and subsequent bust in the late 1990’s was a learning experience never to be forgotten! A career shift to advisory was unplanned, but after just 6 months of working with JCRA’s clients I knew I had definitely made the right choice.

I love to be active, and when time allows enjoy running and swimming. I am also a voracious reader and will never be without a book in my bag.

My two daughters Eva and Isla keep me busy the rest of the time, and weekends are spent supporting their pursuits with downtime usually being a family meal and a movie.

. Email Jackie: Jackie.Bowie@jcrauk.com

Benoit Duhil de Benaze

I am a Director and head up the Private Equity and Corporates team at JCRA. In a complex and fast-changing environment, my job is to make sure the team delivers the best value to our clients and that we maintain our top class expertise in derivatives. My work is very diversified and each advisory engagement is different and requires a fresh mind to understand the situation, business model, regulatory framework and the financial risks. I also spend time with new and existing clients to discuss risk management topics and future challenges the industry will face.

I joined JCRA in March 2017. Prior to this, I spent three years at Nomura where I was part of the FX structuring team looking after Private Equity and Corporate clients. I also spent nine years at Société Générale, where I built and headed up the London FX structuring team for both Corporate and Institutional clients. Since March 2017, I have been involved in several high-profile transactions, from FX deal-contingent hedges in multibillion cross-border M&A to large interest rate financing/refinancing situations. My main areas of focus are FX and deal contingency. The experience I have acquired as a top deal-contingent provider helps my clients achieve the best financial and legal terms for those hedging solutions.

I am an Actuary (Institut de Science Financière et d'assurance in France) and I hold a Master’s degree in International Finance Professional from the HEC School of Management, Paris. I also completed an MCT Advanced Diploma in Treasury, Risk and Corporate Finance in 2014.

When I am not working I like to be active (running, swimming and biking), and spend time with my wife and two children. New Year resolution or midlife crisis, I have signed up for my first off-road triathlon for 2018, and all support messages are welcome.

Email Benoit: Benoit.deBenaze@jcrauk.com

Brian Phelan

My job is to lead the Client Services Delivery team across North American from JCRA’s New York office. This means I focus on structuring and pricing derivatives across the PPP, Project Finance, Private Equity, and Real Estate sectors. I advise clients during trade execution on both auction and negotiated trades, assist with ISDA and credit spread negotiations, KYC and Dodd Frank requirements pre-trade and, finally, assist with valuations, hedge accounting and journal entries post-trade. I mainly cover interest rate and FX trades but have also assisted on power and inflation transactions. I am also a member of the IT Strategy group at JCRA.

I joined JCRA in 2011, initially on the property desk in the London office. Along with advising property clients, I worked on several structured finance and dispute resolution mandates. Also, as a developer I created or extended several of the valuations platforms for JCRA. In 2015, I relocated with my family to New York.

I hold a BSc in Mathematical Sciences from Dublin City University, an MSc in Quantitative Finance from The Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business, University College Dublin, and an MPhil in Computer Science from the City University of New York, Graduate Center. After completing my MSc I joined the Volatility Arbitrage desk at Concordia Advisors in Bermuda and later New York, where I developed systems and models for trading, back-testing and risk management, including an automated hedging system for gamma scalping across several international markets.

Email Brian: Brian.Phelan@jcraus.com

Francesco Podestà

As Associate Director, my job is split between leading hedging advisory projects for private capital investments and corporate exposures, and pushing the business development agenda across Europe, with a particular focus on, but not exclusive to, Pan-European and Southern European clients. I spend a substantial amount of time taking care of the strategic thinking and structuring behind several advisory works for the team, taking care of the more complex situations and engagements where bridging the language barrier will deliver the best advantage for our clients. On the latter effort, I frequently end up following the developments across all JCRA lines of business in Italy and Spain.

I joined JCRA in 2015 after spending 7 years on the trading floor of an investment bank, dealing with a very wide array of clients (banks, other financial institutions and listed corporates) and regions (Southern Europe and EMEA Emerging Markets). After having built the required technical experience, I realised that I preferred the emotional connection in being on the buy rather than the sell side of derivatives, and the move to JCRA felt natural.

On a sunny day you will find me in my garden, with my family and playing sports with friends. On a wet one, I’ll be watching documentary series on Earth and its inhabitants, or visiting the latest art exhibition in town (whichever town I am visiting at the time!).

I hold a Master’s degree (hons) in Financial Markets from the University of Pisa, a Diploma in Economics from Scuola Superiore S.Anna (Pisa), and a Bachelor’s degree (hons) in Economy of Financial Markets from the University of Genoa. All of them are fairly old now, but they are a good backing for having a nice conversation on economy, social topics, and life in general.

Email Francesco: Francesco.Podesta@jcrauk.com

Joshua Roberts

I am an Associate on the Private Equity & Corporates team, having joined JCRA in 2016. Our team covers a very broad range of clients, from private equity funds and the companies backed by these through to corporates with more general capital structures. My role is to assist our clients in assessing their exposures to the financial markets (predominantly interest rates and foreign exchange) and to structure hedging solutions to manage these risks. I also write JCRA’s Weekly Bulletin, which aims to keep our clients abreast of relevant political and economic developments, and how these may influence the financial markets.

Prior to joining JCRA, I worked at VTB Capital, the investment-banking arm of the Russian state bank, and Odey Asset Management. Before this, I kept busy by studying for my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Mathematics, both from Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge.

When not at the office, I can usually be found playing the piano, running further than is entirely sensible, or failing to work on my first novel.

Email Josh: Joshua.Roberts@jcrauk.com

Hugh Sutcliffe

I am responsible for JCRA’s advisory business in Canada, and am a member of the global management team. In this role I work with my colleagues to design and execute hedging solutions across numerous asset classes including interest rates, FX, power, and credit. Providing this expertise to Canadian clients is particularly rewarding given the long-dated nature of their risk exposures.

Having spent 25 years in banking, primarily in derivatives, I opened my own practice, Nauset Derivative Advisory, in 2012. My decision to build an advisory business in Canada was influenced by observing that only those that had worked at banks really understood the intricacies of the derivative market, and banks had an inherent conflict of interest in offering independent hedging advice. My clients felt the same way, and in Nauset’s first two years I advised on over $3bn of transactions. In late 2014 I was introduced to JCRA, at the same time as I was thinking of how to grow my practice. As our discussions progressed, it became evident to me that my clients would be best served by having access to the varied backgrounds of derivative professionals in a global firm and the market transparency we could provide given the deal flow we see across jurisdictions annually. We opened JCRA’s Canadian office in September 2015.

I graduated with an Honours degree in Economics from Carleton University, and earned the CFA designation while working in the financial markets. During this time I was fortunate to be mentored by numerous seasoned professionals, and as a result I try to pass on my deal experience to our associates as they learn the business.

Living in Canada, the only two things to do in winter are play hockey or ski. I am terrible at the former, though a diehard Ottawa Senators fan, and very active in the latter to the extent that my rapidly increasing ‘theta’ will allow.

Email Hugh: Hugh.Sutcliffe@jcraca.com

Moritz Sterzinger

As part of the Private Equity team here at JCRA, I mainly focus on advising Financial Sponsors and their portfolio companies on how to manage their interest rate-, FX and commodity risk. The majority of my clients are located in the German-speaking regions, the Nordics and the Netherlands, where I also get involved in transactions from other sectors, such as property, operating assets and infrastructure. In addition to serving our existing clients, an important part of my role is to build the JCRA franchise in the geographies that I focus on.

I hold a Master’s degree in Quantitative Finance from Kiel University, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Quantitative Finance. Prior to joining JCRA in 2015, I was with BNP Paribas’s debt capital markets team working on bond issues, securitisations and capital transactions for DACH-based banks and insurance companies, covering German, Austrian and Swiss banks and insurance clients.

Outside of work I prefer to spend my time surfing and snowboarding, which unfortunately does not happen too often, so I tend to spend my free time playing basketball, football, and the guitar.

Email Moritz: Moritz.Sterzinger@jcrauk.com
Meet the rest of the team

How can we help you

Have you got a question about how you hedge your financial risks, or structure and arrange your debt?

Find out how we can help you by contacting us today.


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