Executive Management Team


Kevin Lester, AMCT

Managing Partner


Kevin is the Managing Partner and a co-founder of Validus. He started his career in Switzerland, trading currencies and commodities for multinational corporations including Rio Tinto Alcan and Dow Chemical.  An advisor to the alterative asset management sector since 2007, Kevin has pioneered the use of innovative financial hedging tools and strategies for the private equity, private credit, infrastructure and real estate markets.  He holds an MBA from McGill University in Montreal, and regularly lectures at the London Business School on Risk Management, Private Equity and M&A.


Nationality: Canadian and British










Francois Scheepers, CFA

Partner, Head of Technology


Francois is a co-founder of Validus Risk Management and has specialised in financial services technology since 2001. He is responsible for the research & development of the company’s proprietary client-facing technology platform, and his focus is on the application of emergent technologies to financial risk management so that practitioners at alternative investment funds can manage risks more practically and intuitively.


Francois holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa and is a CFA Charterholder.


Nationality: South African and British










Haakon Blakstad

Partner, Head of Commercial Development


Haakon is responsible for the continued growth of the firm and manages a global sales team to source and develop new business opportunities. Together with his fellow partners he also focuses on creating new revenue streams through service development and geographical expansion. Many such initiatives are done in close collaboration with our clients.


Haakon has a decade’s experience in financial services and capital markets, having previously worked in front office roles at Visa, Hoare Capital, and Société Générale. During his career he has built strong relationships with institutional investors globally, and in recent years has been instrumental in the delivery of risk management solutions to alternative investment managers with several hundred billion dollars in combined AUM. Haakon holds a BA with honours in Business Management from Newcastle University.


Nationality: Norwegian




John Glover

Partner, Head of North America


John heads up our North American division from our offices in Toronto, Canada. He manages a team that looks after Validus clients from coast to coast in both the US and Canada, and he is also responsible for growing our presence further in those markets.


John has worked in the foreign exchange industry for twenty-three years, and has been responsible for leading and executing foreign exchange risk management projects for local as well as multinational companies in several industry sectors, including government agencies, technology, utilities, commodities and financial services. Formerly the Head of Foreign Exchange at Barclays Canada as well as TD Bank in the UK, John has expertise in the area of FX risk quantification and hedging policy construction, for companies with FX exposures ranging from $2 million to $5 billion per year across Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. John holds an MBA from Schulich School of Business in Toronto.


Nationality: Canadian and British







Professor Florin Vasvari, Ph.D, MA 

Senior Advisor to the Board


Professor Vasvari is the London Business School (LBS) Term Chair, Associate Professor of Accounting, and Fellow and Board Member of the Coller Institute of Private Equity in London.  He is the co-author of International Private Equity, a leading MBA textbook on the subject of Private Equity.  Professor Vasvari is a senior advisor to, and board member of,  Validus Risk Management, ensuring that our Private Equity Risk team is continually kept abreast of the latest academic research regarding private equity risk management trends and techniques.



Validus Staff


Our team of risk management consultants and market analysts has extensive experience  in the trading and analysis of foreign exchange, commodities and interest rates,  derivatives structuring, corporate treasury management  and treasury technology. This variety of expertise ensures that every client engagement team is assembled to combine technical skills, practical experience and market knowledge.


White Papers


FX Hedging:

10 Common Pitfalls


Commodity & FX Risk:

An Integrated Approach


The Corporate Use of Credit Derivatives:

Where Next?


Corporate Hedger’s Guide to Basel III


Currency Volatility – Are markets nearing an inflection point?



Private Equity


 “The Validus team understand how private equity thinks about financial risk management issues and they are rigorous in the way they help our portfolio companies to understand and mitigate their risks.”


James Markham, Partner – Portfolio Management, Graphite Capital LLP


FX and Commodity Risk


“Validus provides us with independent strategic advice relating to our long-term currency and commodity risk management program.  The people are extremely capable and collaborate very well with our finance and operations teams here at JD Irving.”


Mark Bettle, Director, J.D. Irving Ltd.


FX  Risk


 “Validus developed a tailored hedging solution to mitigate the risks from our unique combination of existing supplier agreements. The implementation and management of this rolling hedging programme with our FX service providers has been expertly and efficiently handled”.  


Mark Goldby, Finance Director, SMS Electronics Ltd.


FX, Commodity & Interest Rate Risk


“Validus comes up with risk management solutions that are innovative and comprehensive but practical to implement, that is their strength compared to other consulting companies we have worked with in the past.  Validus provided valuable insights into how FX, interest rate and commodity risks impact our organisation, and provide actionable recommendations and solutions.”


Andrew Ayres, Finance Director, U-POL Ltd.

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