citybiz+ Former Goldman Exec Isabelle Ealet, ‘Queen of Commodities,’ Joins Catalio Capital’s Board

Retired Goldman Sachs executive Isabelle Ealet, once dubbed the “Queen of Commodities,” has joined the advisory board of Catalio Capital Management, the New York venture firm’s founder George Petrocheilos said in a LinkedIn post on Sunday.

“Very proud to announce that Isabelle Ealet has joined Catalio Capital Management’s board of advisors, chaired by Henry Kravis,” Petrocheilos wrote, referring to the co-founder and co-chairman of KKR & Co.

Catalio’s advisory board’s other members include former Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky and former Goldman executive Tim O’Neill.

She Broke a Glass Ceiling

The French-born Ealet, 61, is a graduate of ESC Marseille and Sciences Po Paris. She keeps a strong interest in life sciences and serves on the board of trustees of The Francis Crick Institute, the largest biomedical research institute in the United Kingdom.

After an early stint at a predecessor firm to France’s energy giant Total, where she oversaw oil purchases, Ealet joined Goldman’s London office in 1991. At the Wall Street firm, she was initially an oil products trader before rising to become Goldman’s global head of commodities, the first woman to run a major division at the firm, in 2007.

In an interview to the French magazine L’Expansion, she said: “What I appreciate most is the culture of results. At Goldman Sachs, you are judged on your performance, not on your relationships or diplomas. It is fairer.” She attributed her success at the firm to “intense working days requiring permanent concentration.”

Ealet later co-headed the bank’s powerful securities division, and served on its management committee until her retirement in 2018. In 2014, she received the Knight of the Legion of Honor, France’s highest order of merit.

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Catalio Came from Baltimore
Catalio was spun out of investment firm Camden Partners in 2020 by Johns Hopkins alumni Petrocheilos and R. Jacob Vogelstein. Initially established in Baltimore, the healthcare- and life sciences-focused firm sold a minority stake to investment powerhouse KKR last year.

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Petrocheilos, who serves as Catalio’s managing partner, has degrees from Harvard and Johns Hopkins. He was only 22 when he made Baltimore Business Journal’s “40 under 40.”

Vogelstein, who worked with Petrocheilos at Camden, served on the faculty at Johns Hopkins University — at both the Applied Physics Laboratory and the Whiting School of Engineering. He earned a BSc. degree in bio-electrical engineering from Brown University and a Ph.D. degree in biomedical engineering from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.