Ex-Credit Suisse fundraisers quietly add big names to new placement shop

Aviditi Advisors, formed by ex-Credit Suisse executives John Robertshaw and Ryan Schlitt, was formed in 2019.

A placement agency launched last year by former Credit Suisse fundraisers has quietly added some hefty IR power to its roster, according to sources and updated LinkedIn profiles.

Aviditi Advisors, formed by ex-Credit Suisse executives John Robertshaw and Ryan Schlitt, was formed in 2019 with backing from Houston private investment firm The Catalyst Group. Catalyst Group was formed by Ron Nixon in 1990.

Nixon is listed along with Schlitt, Robertshaw and Catalyst executives Brad Gurasich, Fred Brazelton and Jeremy Newsom on a Form D filed by Aviditi Capital Advisors dated April 28. It’s not clear how much the firm was seeking to raise.

Aviditi Advisors set up a robust team fairly quickly after launching, sources have told Buyouts. It’s not clear if the firm has mandates in the market, though several sources said they have seen pitchbooks from the firm.

Executives that have joined Aviditi Advisors, based on updated LinkedIn profiles, include:

  • Colin Dinneen, partner, who spent more than five years at Sixpoint Partners and most recently worked as a managing director at First Avenue Partners;
  • Peter Bergschneider, partner, who formerly worked at PJT Park Hill from 2013 to November 2019;
  • Brian Price, partner, who joined in February from First Avenue, where he worked for more than five years;
  • Yair Oshman, partner, who joined in April from Credit Suisse, where he worked since 2008;
  • Laura Coquis, partner, who joined from British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association, where she worked from 2013 to this year;

Other executives include partner Leaf Gross, co-head of capital solutions who worked for more than six years at KKR Capital Markets; and Ed Balsmann, general counsel and chief compliance officer who joined in July from Jackson, where he worked in compliance.

Robertshaw co-led the private fund group at Credit Suisse from 2004 to 2013, after which he stepped into a vice chairman role from 2014 to the end of 2016, according to his LinkedIn profile. Robertshaw worked at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette from 1995 until Credit Suisse acquired the firm in 2000.

Robertshaw also co-founded iCapital Network, which connects wealthy individuals with private equity and hedge fund managers. Robertshaw serves as chairman of the board of iCapital. It’s not clear if Aviditi will affect his role with iCapital.

Schlitt worked at Credit Suisse from 2000 until last May. Schlitt worked out of Dallas and was responsible for the US southeast and southwest, as well as client development in Central and South America, according to his biography in a North Carolina Treasury report.

Schlitt and Nixon did not return a request for comment.