Antoine Dréan, WG'92
Founder & CEO
Triago & Mantra

Wharton Speaker >> Biography

Antoine founded Triago in May 1992 straight out of Wharton. The idea back then was to help European private equity (“PE”) fund managers raise money from third-party investors in North-America, the Middle-East and some parts of Asia. Indeed, at the time, most PE funds in Europe were captive to banks and insurance companies; most of them were willing to become independent but had no idea how to raise third-party capital and there was close to none in Europe. Triago was the first “placement agent” in Europe and one of the very early ones in the United States. To date, Triago has raised over 130 funds all around the world.

In 2004, Triago decided to enter, again as an agent, the PE secondary marketplace. Private equity funds are illiquid by nature. It is difficult for sellers to identify the appropriate buyers at the right price and execute the transaction. It is also difficult for buyers to access deal flow. In this space, Triago is acting as an advisor to the sellers exclusively. To date, Triago has advised on the transfer of over 1.000 fund interests around the world.

Today, Triago is a world leader in the fundraising and the secondary transfer of private equity funds. The company is located in New York, Paris and Dubai. It has been active in 38 countries to date. It employs 32 people from 15 different countries. Triago is an independent firm owned by its Partners.
In 2007, Antoine founded Mantra and is now spending about half of his time on this venture. Mantra is an active investor in listed private equity vehicles. As such, Mantra identifies mispriced entities in this very specific space, invests in some of them and builds shareholder value by proposing or imposing some changes. Mantra has over US$100 million in equity and a much larger co-investment power.

Mantra is fully independent from Triago. It employs six people and is located in Paris. Its Advisory Board is headed by Alain Madelin, former French Minister of Finance.