Growing Businesses.
Unlocking Potential.

OUR STORY

Founded in 2012, Certares brings together a team of experienced private equity and industry professionals with deep domain, investment, transaction and operating experience.  Our investing activities focus on several key sectors, including travel and tourism, hospitality, business and consumer services.

We take a proactive and patient approach to unlocking the full potential of our investments. Our core principles include:

  • Partnering effectively with the management of our companies
  • Aligning directly with our investors and fellow shareholders
  • Identifying and executing strategic and operational improvements to grow our businesses

Our collaborative and informed approach makes Certares a trusted partner for companies, management teams and investors seeking to generate long-term value.

OUR INVESTMENTS

AMexLogo

Headquarters: Jersey City, NJ

CEO: Doug Anderson

American Express Global Business Travel is a leading corporate travel company providing end-to-end travel and meeting program solutions for its global client base. The company is owned as a joint venture between American Express and a select group of investors led by Certares in the largest ever equity investment in the travel management space.

TL-stacked

Headquarters: New York, NY

CEO: Ninan Chacko

Travel Leaders Group is a leading premium corporate, leisure, franchise and consortia travel company operating under a variety of diversified divisions and brands. Operating units include Tzell Travel, Protravel International, Travel Leaders Network and Nexion.

ma-gold

Headquarters: Calabasas, CA

CEO: Rudi Schreiner

AmaWaterways is a luxury river cruise company offering high-end itineraries with destinations in Europe, Asia and Africa. Founded in 2002, AmaWaterways is renowned for its innovative, modern fleet of ships and outstanding customer service.

gaurdian-stacked

Headquarters: Southfield, MI

CEO: David Goldstein

Guardian Alarm is a leading security alarm monitoring and related services provider to over 120,000 residential, commercial, and medical customers. Guardian was founded in 1930 and operates in the Midwestern region of the United States.

OUR TEAM

GOHara
Greg O'Hara
Founder and Managing Partner

Michael Gregory (Greg) O'Hara is the Founder and a Managing Partner of Certares. Prior to forming Certares, he served as Chief Investment Officer of JPMorgan Chase's Special Investments Group (“JPM SIG”). Prior to his role at JMP SIG, Greg was a Managing Director of One Equity Partners (“OEP”), the private equity arm of JPMorgan. Prior to joining OEP in 2005, he served as Executive Vice President of Worldspan and was a member of its Board of Directors. Greg is the Executive Chairman of American Express Global Business Travel and serves on the Board of Directors of Travel Leaders Group.

Greg received his Master of Business Administration degree from Vanderbilt University.

CFarmer
Colin Farmer
Managing Partner

Colin Farmer is a Managing Partner with Certares. Prior to joining Certares, he was a Managing Director of OEP. Prior to joining OEP, he worked for eight years at Harvest Partners, a middle market private equity firm, and for two years at Robertson Stephens & Company, a middle market investment bank. Colin serves on the Board of Directors of Travel Leaders Group, AmaWaterways and Guardian Alarms.

Colin received his A.B. in English Literature from Princeton University.

Ahrens
Chris Ahrens
Partner

Chris Ahrens is a Partner with Certares. Prior to joining Certares, he was a Managing Director of OEP. He was active in OEP’s healthcare, technology and travel industry investments. Prior to joining OEP, he worked at Goldman Sachs. Chris serves on the Board of Directors with Travel Leaders Group.

Chris received his A.B. in Modern European History from Princeton University.

Ahye
Gil Ahye
Partner

Gil Ahye is a Partner with Certares. Prior to joining Certares, he served as Executive Vice President – Chief Development Officer of American Express from 2003 – 2014. Gil held various roles at American Express since he joined in 1981. Prior to that, Gil was head of Capital Budgeting for International Paper Company and worked at Union Carbide Corporation, as well as Ernst & Young. Gil serves as an Independent Director on the Board of TriplePoint Venture Growth BDC Corp, an Advisor to the Board of Lianlian Pay Inc (a Chinese payment company) and as a member of the advisory Board of Henry Street Settlement.

Gil received hisBachelor of Science degree from Manhattan College and his Master of Business Administration from St John’s University.

Batt
Michael Batt
Advisor

Michael Batt is an Advisor to Certares and the Founder and Chairman of Travel Leaders Group, where he is a member of the Board of Directors. Prior to joining Certares, Mr. Batt served as an executive with Carlson Companies where he was President of Carlson Leisure Group. He joined Carlson in 1996 and was responsible for leisure travel operations in the U.S. for 11 years as well as Carlson’s initial investment and subsequent sale of Thomas Cook Group in the UK.

Prior to joining Carlson, Mr. Batt was Executive Vice President, sales and marketing for Alamo Rent-A-Car. Prior to Alamo, Mr. Batt served as Marketing Director (and member of the executive board) of British Airways. Mr. Batt started his business career working for M and M Mars, enjoying a 12-year tenure with the company in various sales and brand management positions working in the United Kingdom, Spain, Africa and the Middle East.

Mr. Batt was inducted into the British Travel Industry Hall of Fame in 2014. Mr. Batt is a native of the United Kingdom and holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Materials from the University of Wales.

Brianca
Henry Briance
Partner

Henry Briance is a Partner with Certares. Prior to joining Certares, Henry served as a Managing Director with OEP, where he started in 2006. While at OEP, Henry focused primarily on investments in the Business Services and Travel sectors. Henry serves on the Board of Directors of AmaWaterways and Guardian Alarms.

Henry received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Cambridge.

Fonseca
Dhiren Fonseca
Partner

Dhiren Fonseca is a Partner with Certares. Prior to joining Certares, he was the Chief Commercial Officer for Expedia, Inc. from 2012 through April 2014 and served as Expedia’s Co-President, Partner Services Group from 2009 through 2012. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Strategy from 2005, and prior to this held several roles responsible for development of external facing relationships and business development at Expedia, Inc. Prior to Expedia, Dhiren was a longtime Microsoft Corporation employee, and a member of the management team responsible for creating Expedia.com in 1995, while still part of the Microsoft Corporation. Dhiren serves on the Board of Directors for Alaska Airlines (NYSE: ALK), and Rackspace.

PRESTON-han
Preston Han
Associate

Preston Han is an Associate with Certares. Prior to joining Certares, Preston worked at GTCR, LLC as an associate where he focused primarily on investments in the financial services and technology sectors. Previously, Preston worked at Goldman Sachs as an investment banking analyst where he focused on M&A, debt and equity financings in the financial services sector.

Preston received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Harvard University.

LaMacchia
Tom LaMacchia
General Counsel

Tom LaMacchia is General Counsel of Certares. Prior to joining Certares, he was the Senior Legal Counsel with the Qatar Investment Authority where he advised QIA on its major international corporate and real estate investments, including its investment into American Express Global Business Travel and Travel Leaders Group. Previously, he was a partner at White & Case in Tokyo where he specialized in M&A transactions and investment fund formation. He began his legal career at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York.

Tom received his Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law School where he graduated Summa Cum Laude and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering at Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University.

Lande
David Lande
Partner

David Lande is a Partner with Certares. Since joining Certares in 2013, he has focused his efforts on opportunities that leverage Certares’ travel distribution assets and expertise including tour and packaged travel opportunities, hotel management companies and experiential travel businesses. He has a passion for experiential travel and an energetic focus on the growing trend in which consumers are choosing authentic experiences that are meaningful over passive vacations. David serves on the Board of Directors of Guardian Alarms and is a partner at Ziffren Brittenham LLP.

David received his Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Lazar
Zachary Lazar
Associate

Zachary Lazar is an Associate with Certares. Prior to joining Certares, Zachary worked at TMG Partners, LP, a real estate private equity firm, as an analyst. Previously, Zach worked at Credit Suisse as an investment banking analyst where he focused on M&A, debt and equity financings in the technology, media, entertainment and telecommunications sectors.

Zachary received his Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Pennsylvania.

Lorente
Pilar Lorente
Chief Financial Officer

Pilar Lorente is Chief Financial Officer with Certares. Prior to joining Certares, she served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Compliance Officer of Arsenal Capital Partners from August 2006 through March 2014. Previously she served as Chief Financial Officer of Spire Capital Partners in 2000 and prior to that she was the Chief Financial Officer of Jupiter Partners in 1994. Pilar started her career at Arthur Anderson. She is also a founding board member of the Private Equity CFO Association of New York.

Pilar received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Connecticut College, her Master of Business Administration from Pace University and is a non-practicing CPA.

Marsden2
Spencer Marsden
Partner

Spencer Marsden is a Partner with Certares. Prior to joining Certares, he was part of the private equity practice at Jones Day and Cravath, Swaine & Moore. Spencer has advised leading private equity funds and Fortune 500 Companies on mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, asset purchases and divestitures, capital markets transactions, corporate governance and other general corporate matters. Throughout his career Spencer has advised and been part of deal teams responsible for closing transactions totaling over $60 billion in value. Spencer serves on the Board of Directors of Guardian Alarms and In The Know Experiences, a luxury travel and lifestyle consultancy company.

Spencer received his Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School and his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Utah.

Alex-Meyer
Alexander Meyer
Associate

Alexander Meyer is an Associate with Certares. Prior to joining Certares, Alexander worked at Deutsche Bank as an investment banking analyst where he focused on M&A transactions in the chemicals, industrials, technology, media, entertainment and telecommunications sectors.

Alexander received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

JDOhara
J.D. O'Hara
Partner

J.D. is a Partner with Certares. J.D. oversees Certares’ investments in premium corporate and luxury leisure travel assets. Prior to joining Certares, he served in various operating capacities within Travel Leaders Group, most recently as President of Tzell Travel, one of Travel Leaders Group’s largest divisions. Prior to that, J.D. was a part of the original management buyout of Carlson Leisure Group (CLG) from Carlson Companies in January 2008. Serving mostly as Executive Vice President of Corporate & Strategic Development, his efforts led to over 50 transactions in his time at Travel Leaders Group. J.D. serves on the Board of Directors of Travel Leaders Group, Global Crew Logistics Concierge and In the Know Experiences, a luxury travel and lifestyle consultancy company.

J.D. received his Master of Business Administration from Vanderbilt University and his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Robakidza
David Robakidze
Partner

David Robakidze is a Partner with Certares. Prior to joining Certares, he was a Managing Director of OEP. He was with OEP since 2008 and focused on US and cross border investment opportunities. Earlier David was Head of Merchant Banking at Ener1Group Inc, a New York investment firm with holdings in alternative energy, media and technology. Prior to that he founded and served as President of RH Capital LLC, deploying U.S. capital in emerging market opportunities.

David received his Master’s Degree in International Finance and Policy from Columbia University, his Masters of Business Administration from Emory University and his Bachelor of Arts degree in International Politics at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.

Sale
Michael Sale
Senior Associate

Michael Sale is a Senior Associate with Certares. Prior to joining Certares, Michael worked at Macquarie Capital as an investment banking analyst where he focused on M&A, principal investments and debt and equity financings in the technology, media, entertainment and telecommunications sectors.

Michael received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania.

Winterton
Andrew Winterton
Partner

Andrew Winterton is a Partner with Certares. Prior to joining Certares, he served as president of Suppliers, Products and Technology for Carlson Wagonlit Travel. During his time at Carlson Wagonlit Travel, in addition to leading the acquisition of Worldmate, Andrew was responsible for leading the Global Supplier Management team as well as the IT and product management organizations. He has broad experience in travel and distribution, having started in the travel industry with Official Airlines Guide where he became regional director of Asia Pacific, based in Hong Kong. Andrew subsequently joined Galileo where he was promoted to Vice President, Airline Vendor Account Management. In 2000, he joined American Express as Vice President, Supplier Relations North America and Global Distribution Strategy where his last responsibilities included leading Global Supplier Relations, Travel Service Network International and Latin America.

Andrew received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from London's Imperial College.

CONTACT US

350 Madison Avenue, 21st Floor
New York, NY 10017

212.624.2940

info@certares.com

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Disclaimer: American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) is a joint venture that is not wholly owned by American Express Company or any of its subsidiaries (American Express). “American Express Global Business Travel,” “American Express” and the American Express logo are trademarks of American Express and are used under limited license.