Private Equity in China

Hi all, I'm curious if anyone here knows what are some top PE firms in China and how the recruiting processes are for those firms. I'm a Chinese native having lived most of my life in North America, but is currently interested in potentially pursuing a career back home. Feel free to PM me if anything.

PS. my background: 2+ years at a middle market IB firm

Thanks guys !


Comments (33)

Aug 16, 2017 - 5:51pm

Hi loler123, curious, if you grew up in North America, why decide to pursue PE opps in China?

I would you shouldn't worry about any technical stuff, but the requirement for native Mandarin may be the biggest requirement from what I've seen.


Aug 16, 2017 - 6:12pm

Thanks for getting back to me and love the username. One of the main reasons would be more personal/familial, but I also think that there's still lots of interesting opportunities in the already booming Asian market. There's seems to be lots of capital available (although highly levered) with an increasing appetite for both domestic and foreign investments over the last few years.

I'm not limiting my options to only China of course, but would definitely like to explore that path especially given that I'm originally from the country. Being at a well-funded Chinese PE would for sure bring great deal flow and exposure to different geographic markets.
And, yes I am fluent in Chinese, but wondering about how the recruiting process works. Given that I don't have any current contacts/network there, is there a way to break in at all ?

Sep 2, 2017 - 10:20pm

best way is to get a headhunter. Mega funds and Pan-Asia funds in China are still hiring structurally, i.e. hiring from banking or pe every year at a certain time. Many of these funds like someone from the states and you can easily fit in the culture. dont think you are gonna fit for local firms, very different culture.

Jan 25, 2018 - 1:58pm

Breaking into PE in China/HK (Originally Posted: 03/15/2011)

What's the general path for getting a PE job in China/HK? Is it possible straight from undergrad? Can you do it from NYC banking or do you need to do two years in HK first?

Also, who are the big players in China/HK? Is it the same megafunds like KKR/Carlyle/BX/etc. or are there better domestic PE firms?

Jan 25, 2018 - 2:00pm

big funds actually aren't performing that well in china. aren't as localized and often need approval from hq in new york. like early on they did well since they were the only players in the market, but lately they've been getting owned. see krr and chinese cement company. carlyle and chinese forestry company. owned.

domestic players include hony capital and a few others. standard chartered also has a presence but not sure if you would count them as domestic. the focus is shifting towards rmb funds. i don't see that many undergrads here, but megafunds do take them from tsinghua and beida. i rarely, rarely see anyone at the junior level from new york but on occasion, i see some hong kong kids.

pe is getting incredibly localized here, and as an incoming analyst in nyc, i'm a bit scared. but i've been in asia on vacation for the past half year and meeting some pe professionals from time to time. written fluency is a must...

Jan 25, 2018 - 1:59pm

everyone I know who's done megafund PE in China has gotten in through a personal/family connection. I know a junior who summered at BX in Beijing and he/she didn't even have any previous finance internships

not too sure for associates looking to break in though

Jan 25, 2018 - 2:02pm

It's typically via guanxi for foriegners --- almost impossible otherwise. If you're an ABC or native Chinese w/ an Ivy education you can easily get an analyst position here though... just get on a plane and hang out in Shanghai/Beijing at some nice bars for 6 weeks and you'll have a job. People who have native english and native chinese (rare) are in the highest demand you can imagine. Even the best firms don't have enough of them to go around... and hire people with limited experience so long as they are U.S. educated, but born in China. If you are native in Chinese and were at an Ivy and then a BB for 2 years in NYC you are essentially guaranteed a spot in PE here, even without guanxi.

The large funds are all present here, but most of them don't perform that well relative to the mid-sized and smaller funds - that's particularly true in REPE, but also in corporate PE. I'm sure it's still great experience to work at KKR/Blackstone (obviously), but it's smaller funds that have been hitting insanely high returns. There's a lot of VCs here that have been really successful too (Matrix, for example, I heard has had INSANE returns in China... though that's not verified)

Jan 25, 2018 - 2:04pm

国际拉皮条-Internat'l Pymp
我将近期在北京一家投行工作, 希望能与你联系.
你说得很对, 如果有中英双语写作能力, 再加上美国名牌大学背景, 在北京非常容易找工作.

I ditto international pymp's comment. People with Chinese and English writing abilities, with well-respected / top10 US university background, are in high demand here in Beijing's VC/PE world.

Jan 25, 2018 - 2:05pm

Agreed that the big players in nyc are not performing well in China with the exception of Carlyle maybe. The powerful players here are a mix of MM funds and local firms. Top players include: CDH investments (former CICC PE), Sequotia Capital, Baring Asia, etc.

KKR is rapidly expanding tho. They have a big Beijing office and a fund dedicated to chinese firms.

If you want to work in Chinese PE, make sure you have local ib experience. People I met from KKR are mostly ex-ib in BB/local chinese investment banks. In fact, I havent met any single person in a megafund in China who hasnt worked in china for less than 3 years previously.

Do a search on their team in China. You'll see.

Jan 25, 2018 - 2:10pm

Hong Kong PE shops from undergrad (Originally Posted: 03/22/2007)

Are there any top PE shops in Hong Kong that hire out of undergrad (for pe analyst position, not backoffice, accounting, etc.)? Experience and school are not an issue, just whether the positions exist?

Jan 25, 2018 - 2:12pm

China PE shake-ups last week (Originally Posted: 03/06/2011)

Two big names with large U.S. firm (Goldman, D.E. Shaw) leave to start their own shop:…

Similar move at Highbridge:…

I attribute this to a couple different factors, but I'd be interested in hearing more involved in the space:
1. Large Western shops NOT see high quality deal flow. Chinese business leaders would prefer to work with local portfolio managers and local companies.
2. It's more complex and bureaucratic for Western firms to raise RMB-denominated funds
3. The space is incredibly hot and these PMs feel that they can do better for themselves by breaking off.

What do people think of some of these Chinese valuations?

Jan 25, 2018 - 2:14pm

I think the central motivation behind the recent departures is the following:

1) These PM's have gained sufficient experience in the PE space to know what they are doing
2) These PM's hold the bulk of the relationships with these Chinese portfolio company
3) Why work for western companies whose management essentially have no idea what's going on when they can just stake out territory for themselves?

Jan 25, 2018 - 2:15pm

Wow, first time I've seen typos in a Reuters article. On topic, Interesting to see though.

I am permanently behind on PMs, it's not personal.

Start Discussion

Popular Content See all

Life Hacks during WFH | How do you avoid burnout?
+52IBby 1st Year Analyst in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions">Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Leaked EY Email
+48IBby 1st Year Analyst in Investment Banking - Industry/Coverage">Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
I’ll never take WSO for granted again
+24OFFby Principal in Venture Capital">Principal in VC
Have any 1st year analysts actually quit?
+23IBby 1st Year Analyst in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions">Analyst 1 in IB-M&A

Total Avg Compensation

January 2021 Private Equity

  • Principal (6) $693
  • Director/MD (15) $627
  • Vice President (57) $366
  • 3rd+ Year Associate (60) $272
  • 2nd Year Associate (115) $245
  • 1st Year Associate (248) $224
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (23) $162
  • 2nd Year Analyst (56) $139
  • 1st Year Analyst (163) $119
  • Intern/Summer Associate (17) $66
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (178) $59

Leaderboard See all

LonLonMilk's picture
Secyh62's picture
Jamoldo's picture
CompBanker's picture
redever's picture
frgna's picture
Addinator's picture
Edifice's picture
bolo up's picture
bolo up
NuckFuts's picture