Raphael Thiolon
Executive Director

Born and raised in Paris (France), my family moved out to Abidjan (Ivory Coast) at the age of 15, an eye-opening overseas experience which sadly ended up with a coup, my first lockdown (beat you there COVID…) and ultimately an army rescue.

I then studied finance at IEP Sciences Po Paris (and UCLA), from which I graduated in end 2008, right after Lehman Brothers went bust. It encouraged me to stay away from large banks and I instead joined a newly-formed M&A boutique with a strong challenger mindset (Leonardo & Co., sold later to Houlihan Lokey). I learnt fantastic skills there, from craft dealmaking to mastering all excel shortcuts.

But that was nothing compared to my desire to learn how to build truly outstanding brands and exponentially grow businesses in a global context. And so I joined Verlinvest, and my last eight years here have taught me just that. We strive to help entrepreneurs innovate, solve problems, bring value and joy to consumers anywhere they can, to deliver on their mission.

Today I oversee Verlinvest’s Asia operations, and I serve (or have served) on the Boards of multiple Verlinvest portfolio companies in the Digital Consumer, Food & Beverage, Health & Care and Education sectors. I’m particularly excited to lead our global Digital practice, where we constantly look for new digitally-savvy brands that will use technology to improve the lives and journeys of customers across the globe.

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite quotes, from the guy that invented Facebook, which I find true every day, in life or business: “The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks”.




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