The Spirit and Culture of Centerra
Victor Vadaneaux co-founded Centerra in 2006 following a 10-year career in Western European private equity. Romanian by birth, Victor was attracted by the opportunity to bring his experience and skills to this country almost three decades after having defected from its communist regime. The motivation behind the creation of Centerra was the opportunity to build thriving, quality businesses that stand out against competition in performance and transparency.
In leading the Centerra team, Victor worked to instil a culture of integrity and quality. It was essential that the team upholds the highest standards of these values in everything they do, while at the same time maintaining an entrepreneurial spirit and taking advantage of a fast-developing economy. Romania being an emerging market, it was equally important to anticipate potential risks and be prepared to manage them if and when they materialised.
By managing a team and projects that delivered results of a high standard, Centerra was able to attract international financial and commercial partners, and ultimately international buyers for the companies it managed in Romania. Coresi Braşov is an example of the ambitious, high-value, complex projects Centerra was able to deliver due to its capabilities and access to capital and expertise.
As the 2008 financial crisis hit Romania hard, Centerra had to adapt. Until then, it was relying on entering partnerships with developers who brought expertise, while Centerra brought capital and investment acumen. As many of these developers had to restructure to deal with the crisis, Centerra was able to attract and retain some of the best professionals, project managers, developers, and marketing executives and become a developer in its own right. Some of its main achievements, including most of the development of Coresi Braşov occurred during the financial crisis years. In 2010, owing to its quality, the Coresi Braşov shopping centre was one of the very few projects in Romania that received debt funding to pursue its development.
Later on, as it matured, the Centerra organisation had to change in order for it to continue to uphold the highest standards it embodied from the start. For Centerra to maintain these values, one of the founders had to leave the firm.
In 2012, having completed the sale of Coresi Braşov (Flavus), Centerra achieved an exit from all the four companies it managed. Subsequently, it undertook a more pan-European role, working with private equity firms to help build value in their portfolio companies.