Hristo Valev, Finance Expert in Sofia, Bulgaria
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Hristo Valev

Verified Expert  in Finance

Finance Expert

Sofia, Bulgaria
Toptal Member Since
February 24, 2020

Hristo has over 14 years of private equity and venture capital investment experience. He’s built and managed a $13-million portfolio of renewable energy investments while working with the PE/VC firm, Advance Equity Holding. He’s also been an active driver of due diligence, valuation, and structuring process in several other deals. As a freelancer, Hristo leverages his investment experience to deliver top-notch results across challenging projects.

Career Highlights

Executive Director
Energy Invest
Investment Manager
Advance Equity Holding

Education Highlights

Master's Degree
Central European University
Bachelor's Degree
University of National and World Economy

Certification Highlights

Project Management Professional (PMP)
Project Management Institute (PMI)

Case Studies

Work Experience

Financial and Investment Adviser

2018 - PRESENT
  • Built a financial model for an information technology company and advised the launch of a new product line.
  • Revised the financial model and structured fundraising round to scale up an organic vegetable producer.
  • Built a financial model for a cleantech startup looking for seed financing.
  • Revised the financial model and the investor pitch deck of an AI-driven marketing automation startup. Prepared investment teaser for a seed financing round and identified suitable investors.
  • Prepared an investor pitch deck for a travel technology startup seeking seed financing.
Focus areas: Change Management, Process Improvement, Project Management, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Investment Consulting, Deal Structuring, Investments, Fundraising, Financial Modeling

Executive Director

2006 - 2020
Energy Invest
  • Conducted valuation and due diligence of several business opportunities in the wind power sector and had a leading role in the selection and structuring of investments.
  • Managed the arrangement of bank financing and supervised the construction works of a 2.4 MW wind farm, refining its operating model, and optimizing costs and identifying opportunities for incremental revenue generation.
  • Negotiated, structured, and executed the divestment of a wind farm as a spin-off, earning a 12% IRR on the investment.
  • Managed the development of a large-scale wind farm project and navigated the pivot of the initiative from a subsidy-supported to a market-based business model.
  • Built detailed business cases for investing in Bulgarian wind power projects on competitive (subsidy-free) grounds.
  • Developed and maintained a vast network of international contacts in the cleantech industry with a focus on renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors.
Focus areas: Business Development, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Project Management, Management, Operations Management, Budgeting, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A)

Investment Manager

2006 - 2019
Advance Equity Holding
  • Managed the screening, reviewing, and selection procedures for deal flow and served as a member of the investment committee.
  • Conducted financial due diligence, valuations and verification of the financial/business models for more than 50 investment proposals.
  • Participated in the negotiations, structuring and drafting of the shareholder agreements of all of private equity and venture capital investments.
  • Managed a portfolio of four investee companies in the clean energy and renewable sectors with total invested capital of $13+ million.
  • Participated in the initial fundraising and subsequently led the investor relations function for an extended period.
  • Acted as a project manager and change agent for several high-scale internal projects.
Focus areas: Change Management, Post-merger Integration, Financial Modeling, Investment Committee Advisory, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Investor Relations, Contract Negotiation, Term Sheet Negotiations, Due Diligence, Valuation, Investment Analysis

Managing Director | CFO

2008 - 2018
  • Oversaw the investment cycle for a photovoltaic (PV) power plant, including the assessment of the investment opportunity, the financing, construction and operation, and, the sale of the company to a strategic investor.
  • Managed relationships with third-party financiers, including local banks and a multilateral lender, throughout the financing period.
  • Managed the relationships with the company’s primary counterparties, including off-taker and energy traders, efficiently reducing variable costs associated with the production process, while ensuring uninterrupted and timely revenue collection.
  • Prepared and executed an exit strategy for the majority shareholder of the company, achieving a cash-on-cash return of 1.5x and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 12%.
Focus areas: Negotiation, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Deal Advisory, Project Development, Management, Budgeting, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A)

Financial Analyst

2005 - 2006
Karoll Capital Management
  • Conducted financial analyses of publicly traded Bulgarian, Serbian, Romanian, and Russian companies.
  • Provided various recommendations (buy, hold, or sell) to the portfolio managers.
  • Introduced a set of metrics including tracking error—the Treynor ratio, Sharpe ratio, M-squared, and the appraisal ratio—to manage and measure the performance of mutual funds under the firm's management.
Focus areas: Performance Management, Investment Decision-making, Valuation, Financial Analysis
2003 - 2005

Master's Degree in Economics

Central European University - Budapest, Hungary

1996 - 2001

Bachelor's Degree in Economics

University of National and World Economy - Sofia, Bulgaria


Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

CFA Institute


Project Management Professional (PMP)

Project Management Institute (PMI)