Victory Park’s new CIO sees busier deal pipeline

  • Upacala Mapatuna joined from Goldman Sachs
  • 20-plus year career includes stint at Mill Road Capital
  • Sees opportunities in PE, debt investments

Upacala Mapatuna, the newly hired chief investment officer at Chicago-based Victory Park Capital, sees current market volatility as a prime opportunity for the firm’s “hybrid” expertise in both private equity and debt investments

“We’re seven years into an expansion but it’s clear that there are multiple points of weakness in the economy,” Mapatuna said in a phone interview. “Our strategy lends itself to that sort of uncertainty in the cycle.”

Named to her job on February 16, Mapatuna said she plans to continue Victory Park’s long track record in private and negotiated debt and equity financings, which sometimes end up in control positions or as a voice at portfolio companies.

“Recent market volatility has certainly increased the number of deals we’re seeing and increased the value that we can bring to the table,” she said. “The beauty of the strategy is we look to position ourselves to hopefully drive upside and drive alpha while mitigating the down side.” 

Mapatuna said she’s known Victory Park founder and CEO Richard Levy and Senior Partner Brendan Carroll for many years. The job appealed to her because of its broad mandate that matched her skill sets in economic research, banking, private equity and credit, she said.

Her 20 years in financial services includes time as managing director at the Alternative Investments and Manager Selection Group of Goldman Sachs, managing director with Mill Road Capital, and investment positions at Warburg Pincus and Lazard Freres & Co. Mapatuna started her career at the Board of Governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

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