The company is represented by a diversely qualified team of dedicated professionals, whose individual expertise in financing and managing domestic and cross-border transactions in many cases exceeds 20 years of experience.
- Baldur H. VanderManaging Director
Baldur is Managing Director and a shareholder of EastMerchant Capital GmbH. He has been part of EastMerchant’s management since 1999. Baldur also holds the position of Chief Executive Officer of Crianza Aviation Ltd. He has closed more than 115 transactions with an asset value exceeding EUR 25 bn.
In 1994 he moved to Sachsen LB, his latest position being Senior Vice President for Tax-Structured Finance. After graduating with a degree in Business Administration from the University of Cologne, Baldur joined the Leasing / Specialized Financing division of WestLB in 1993.
- Patrick GieseManaging Director
Patrick is Managing Director and a shareholder of EastMerchant Capital GmbH. He is responsible for arranging aircraft purchase, lease and financing transactions, the structuring of funds and investment opportunities for asset managers and institutional investors as well as the asset and risk management required for this. Patrick is a member of the Board of Directors of Crianza Aviation Ltd. and a member of the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading.
From 1999 to 2009 Patrick primarily worked on cross-border leasing and transport financings as well as structured transactions at EastMerchant. Until 1999 he worked for Sachsen LB closing and managing cross-border lease financings as well as project and special financings for the public and municipal sector. Patrick obtained a degree in Business Administration.
- Dietrich ZangerManaging Director
Dietrich founded EastMerchant GmbH together with Gert Jan Staal in 1998, following a team spin-off from WestMerchant Bank Ltd., the former merchant bank of WestLB, Standard Chartered Bank and LBBW.
There, he had managed the Structured Finance Division since 1992, with teams based in Düsseldorf and London. Previously, he had set up West LB’s project and special financing department in Düsseldorf. After completing his studies of Business Administration at Cologne University and his traineeship with Chase Manhattan Bank in London, he worked for Chase as a Corporate Client Relationship Manager through 1987 in Frankfurt and Düsseldorf.
- Gert StaalManaging Director
Gert founded EastMerchant GmbH together with Dietrich Zanger, which followed a team spin-off from WestMerchant Bank Ltd., the former merchant bank of WestLB, Standard Chartered Bank and LBBW.
He had worked in the company’s Structured Finance Division since 1991, concentrating on tax-optimized big ticket equipment leasing. Previously, he had directed WestLB’s cross-border leasing department. After completing his studies in Business Administration and Economics in the Netherlands and the US, Gert worked at Chase Manhattan Bank in London, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf between 1984 and 1987, where after his training he managed key corporate clients.
- Diego IeraVice President
Diego joined EastMerchant in April 2016 as Vice President and is based in London. Before that, Diego had been working for Numera Services, a corporate finance boutique specialized in the aviation sector.
During his six years at Numera, Diego was responsible for deal structuring as well as building and maintaining relationships with a wide pool of investors, banks and airlines. Prior to that, Diego has worked at IG Partners, a management consultant firm in Milan and was deeply involved in the selection and evaluation of renewable energy transactions for a leading European private equity fund.
Diego holds a degree in Economics, Statistics and Social Sciences from Bocconi University in Milan and a Master in Finance from Strathclyde Business School in Glasgow.
- Thomas CentnerMarketing Director
- Dominique HolmesMarketing Manager
As Marketing Manager, Dominique is responsible for maintaining and developing our network of partners as well as providing support on various projects.
Dominique joined EastMerchant in August 2017 as Assistant to the Managing Director before moving into the role as Marketing Manager in October 2021. Before EastMerchant, Dominique worked as a Team Assistant at Durham County Council in England. Between 2010 and 2012, she was employed by Nigel Frank International as Senior Recruitment Consultant. Her qualification as International Management Assistant was the foundation for her Bachelor studies in Management, Business and Administration at Leeds Metropolitan University.
- Simone WernerAdministrative Assistant
Simone joined EastMerchant in May 2021 as Adminstrative Assistant. After more than 20 years of hospitality experience in various positions in Canada, Switzerland and Germany, she returned to her native Leipzig.
- Susanne BuffiDirector
Susanne heads our project and portfolio management team. Having joined EastMerchant in 2010, she has held various positions at the company, with her last position as Senior Project Manager.
Before joining EastMerchant, she worked as Assistant to the CEO of Q-Cells between 2008 and 2010. From 2003 to 2008 she was employed as Operations Manager with the international headhunting company Horton International in London, where, amongst others, she carried out research on companies and potential candidates.
Susanne studied at the University of Westminster in London achieving a BA (Hons) in Business Studies. From 1999 to 2002 Susanne studied at Euro Schulen Organisation in Zwickau and obtained an Advanced Diploma in International Administration and Management.
- Ute SchröterDirector
Ute works on EastMerchant’s advisory mandates as Director.
Between 2002 and 2010 she has been working on transactions in the areas of structured financings, transport financings and financings of German investor transactions for LBBW and EastMerchant.
Ute studied Business Administration.
- Ivo NikolovSenior Project Manager
Ivo joined EastMerchant at the beginning of 2018 as Senior Project Manager.
Prior to joining the company, Ivo gained wide-ranging experience in the field of the capital markets as part of the investment team at a global asset manager. While focusing on asset allocation and risk management he also performed industry analysis and business valuation.
Ivo has a Bachelor degree in Finance and Banking and an MBA with focus on Corporate Finance and Asset Management. In addition, he earned the Certified Treasury Professional ® (CTP) designation and the Chartered Financial Analyst ® (CFA) credential and is a member of the Association for Financial Professionals ® and the CFA Institute ®.
- Stephan SonnabendProject Manager
Stephan joined EastMerchant in February 2022 as Project Manager. He was born and raised in Leipzig and studied Economic and Business Science in Heidelberg and Berlin.
Later, he moved to Frankfurt am Main and started his working career in a small consulting company specializing in controlling topics for the banking and energy market. Further positions for companies like Dell, Commerzbank and Avaloq followed.
During his working life, Stephan gained knowledge in reporting, finance and controlling in different industries like banking, consulting or IT distribution.
- Hui Kyong YimProject Manager
As Assistant Project Manager at EastMerchant since May 2019, Hui Kyong liaises and coordinates between management of the company and its affiliates in connection with accounting, financial audits and budget.
Prior to joining EastMerchant, she has worked as Budget Analyst at Joint US Military Advisory Group in the US government, performed budget formulation, financial planning, budget execution, and monitoring.
Hui Kyong studied Accounting and Statistics.