Chris Varelas


Chris Varelas is a founder and managing partner of Riverwood Capital, a private equity firm focused on high growth technology and technology-related companies in need of capital and expertise to scale on a global basis. The firm’s successful investments include ALOG, GoPro, Globant and Nutanix. Prior to establishing Riverwood, Chris worked at Salomon Brothers/Citi as Global Head of Technology, Media & Telecom Investment Banking, Head of Citi’s National Investment Bank, member of Citi’s Global Operating Committee and Culture Czar for all of Citi.  As an investment banker, Chris’ primary focus was Mergers & Acquisitions, working on many of the landmark transactions that shaped the technology industry including Compaq/HP, Peoplesoft/Oracle, IBM/PWC, Lucent Fiber and Flextronics/Solectron. In addition, he was the lead team member for the Chapter Nine reorganization of the County of Orange, California. Chris was selected as one of the 100 most important deal makers by the New York Times and was named top “rainmaker’ in the technology sector by Dealmaker Magazine.

Chris earned an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and a BA from Occidental College in Los Angeles, California for which he serves on the Board of Trustees and leads the Investment Committee. He is a moderator for the Aspen Institute for which he co-founded the Aspen Finance Leaders Fellowship program, created to produce effective enlightened leaders in the financial services industry. He sits on the boards of NextDoor, Elemental Cognition and MotionPoint, and the Advisory Boards for Streamlined Ventures, Global Ventures and the RAND Corporation’s Center for Global Risk and Security.

Chris is the author of How Money Became Dangerous, the inside account of our turbulent relationship with modern finance.