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Our Team

Ciel Capital was formed in August 2015 by Vedrana Riley (CEO) and Matthew Riley (Director). Zahra Hassan joined as CFO in 2016.
Vedrana B. Riley

Vedrana is Ciel’s founder. She covers a wide range of areas including Asset Management, Finance Structuring and Modelling, Fundraising and Legals.

Prior to Ciel, Vedrana was a Corporate Finance Manager at Pacific Investments and Managing Director of IPIN Global Capital and BridgePoint Ventures UK Ltd. Vedrana graduated with a first class degree at the Sorbonne, Paris, followed by a Masters degree in London, where she got a distinction. A French national who was born in the former Yugoslavia, Vedrana is fluent in five languages. Vedrana is a member of The Monopoly Network, The Hospitality Real Estate Group and the Hotel Property Network.

Smaragda Progiou
Director of Business Development

Smaragda has joined Ciel Capital as Investor Relations Manager. This role allows her to build on 15 years’ experience in sales and business development during which she has established a reputation for outstanding relationship management skills, building and managing relationships with clients, vendors and stakeholders. Smaragda initially worked across the Europe & Middle East and Asia/Pacific regions within the Medical Devices & Life Sciences industry before a change in direction. A passion for Commercial Real Estate started within the Serviced Office space working within Sales, Business Development and Operations. Smaragda’s natural aptitude has been bolstered by an MBA from Cranfield University which afforded her a solid grounding in business dynamics and an understanding of the wider investment context.

CONTACT Smaragda
John Danias
Finance Director

John is an experienced real estate banker with over 15 years’ experience in deal structuring and real estate finance. Most recently a Director at BNP Paribas where he was involved in the origination and structuring of over EUR 2 billion of loans across Europe and across asset classes. Post financial crisis his role morphed into that of asset manager as he took control of a portfolio of over EUR 1 billion of loans. Given the timing, the role was heavy on workouts and re-syndications which he successfully accomplished in both loan and bond format. Prior to his finance career, John spent 4 years in the tourism and hospitality industry in his native Greece. John studied Mechanical Engineering at University of Wales, Swansea.

Zahra Hassan
Chief Financial Officer

Zahra is CFO of Ciel and brings a wealth of expertise in Venture Capital and Mergers and Acquisitions. Prior to Ciel, she was VP of the Raine Group, Principal at Code Advisors and M&A banker at UBS in London and New York. Zahra has a Bachelors degree from the University of Chicago (honours) and a Masters degree from London Business School.

Adi Hodzic
Development Director

Adi is Managing Director of Dean Street Developments and Ciel’s Development Director. Adi has extensive experience in the development and construction industries working on his own schemes as well a third parties’ developments – currently delivering a boutique hotel in Bethnal Green and 8 Ibis hotels across the UK. Prior to that, Adi spent 15 years with Starboard Hotels and Roselodge Group and was responsible for driving numerous pan-European initiatives and establishing the company’s central procurement function. He also leads Starboard’s national hotels development activity through his extensive knowledge and network across key target countries.

Matthew Riley

Matthew has a wide wide ranging remit, covering Structuring, Investment Banking, Origination, Asset Management, and Capital Stack Management.

Prior to Ciel, Matthew was Investment Director at Virtue Capital Partners, after a 18 year career in investment banking at Jefferies, RBS, Morgan Stanley and Dresdner Bank.

Matthew studied Chemical Engineering at Exeter University and speaks fluent French and Japanese.

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