Meet Emma Vertigen: A fireside chat with Ontra’s Managing Director of Partnerships

February 28, 2024
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What was your main motivation to join Ontra, and what do you enjoy most about working here?

When Ontra reached out to me, it became clear very quickly that this was an impressive company. Every single person I met during the interview process was very smart and incredibly passionate about the company. I wanted to work somewhere where I could continue to learn and grow by working with brilliant colleagues. That was my main motivation to join Ontra, and it’s also what I enjoy most about working here. It’s enjoyable working hard when everyone is working hard with you — you never feel like you’re carrying a burden alone as you are supported by teammates.

Can you describe your unique role as Managing Director of Partnerships and how your background has enabled you to succeed here?

My focus is on how Ontra can partner with a variety of stakeholders in the private equity space to support and deliver the best solutions for our mutual clients. We have partnered with law firms, fund admins, and consultancy firms.

I originally trained and practised as a lawyer (although it was in Aviation Finance, which has not been so relevant at Ontra!). For the past 5 years, I have worked in legal tech in a variety of roles, all of which have focused on helping drive the adoption of technology at law firms and ensuring the successful roll-out of new solutions.

The essence of what we are trying to achieve with partnerships is the same as in my previous roles: We want to grow awareness and usage of our solutions. With partnerships, that means looking at the wider PE ecosystem and building relationships with advisers who work with our clients and encourage them to be users too.

What competitive advantage does Ontra offer that has secured its suite of products as the go-to solution for alternative asset management? What excites you most about Ontra’s future?

It’s the people. The products are great because the Product and Engineering teams took time to research and build something brilliant and spoke to customers to find out what they needed. The go-to-market strategy is great because the Sales and Marketing teams are thoughtful about their approach, and we purposely want to be trusted partners with our customers. The Customer Success team really cares about the customer getting the most out of the tools. Across all the teams, we’re comfortable challenging each other as we all know the aim is to find the best go-forward plan, and there isn’t any ego in the way. I think this response might sound cheesy, but it can’t be cheesy if it’s true!

In terms of what excites me the most about Ontra’s future — we have launched partnerships with some amazing law firms and companies, and this year is about really enabling those partners to get the most out of the relationship.


If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice before beginning such an impressive career, what would it be?

It would be to relax a bit and realise that I don’t need to have a 5-year or 10-year career plan. A lot of people talk about how they plan everything out, and I used to worry that I hadn’t mapped it out. In hindsight, I think it would have been detrimental to my career if I had too much of a plan, as there were opportunities presented to me that I would never have imagined myself.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I have two pups, so I love a good dog walk — I have lovely commons near where I live, so it’s nice to get fresh air. I also took up golf a couple of years ago and have fully caught the bug. Ideal Saturday would be golf first thing, coffee with pals on a dog walk, and then perhaps a nice dinner out. Actually, that does sound like most of my Saturdays… so I think I might be living my ideal life!


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