US Private Equity with Asia Investment

Hello All,

Currently undergoing recruiting now and was wondering if anyone know any US based funds that invest particularly in cross-border deals in HK, China, Taiwan, etc. Went through a lot interviews and ultimately decided that this might be something I want to do and need some guidance on how to find these type of funds. Thank you.

Comments (15)

 
Apr 15, 2011 - 9:21pm

Go recruit in Asia - you're not going to find them in NY.

Not sure if you're referring to PE or HF's... but try Indus Capital. 8bn AUM, specializes in APAC - most of their hires are in Hong Kong / Singapore though.

 
Apr 15, 2011 - 10:58pm

You're gonna find that most pan-asia type investment strategies are based out of HK, Singapore, etc... NYC is simply just too far away to have your finger on the pulse of what's going on over here.

If you've got some language skills I'd come over to Asia for a bit and check it out / stack up your resume before MBA applications... especially if you've already got analyst experience at a BB in the U.S. so you can make your way back home and get a job whenever you like (basically)... If you don't have language skills it makes less sense though... i

 
Apr 16, 2011 - 1:12am

The megafunds all have Chinese funds/offices/jvs (KKR, BX, Bain, TPG, Carlyle). There's no way you're getting a job at any of them unless you're a Chinese princeling though.

Mainland PRC PE is all about relationships and deal flow. There is way too much money chasing way too few deals. LBOs are essentially nonexistent and with government regulations producing either state-owned monopolies or provincial fragmentation in most markets, it's very difficult to find good deals in the growth equity/pre-IPO space.

My perception has also been that the Asia branches of most of the megafunds are treated like red-headed step-children. Many of the founding MD's of Chinese megafund offices have splintered off to start their own funds these days since the value of the megafund brand name is virtually nil and is almost a liability in the mainland market.

Anyway, if you don't know the language and aren't super connected in Asia, I would stay in the US. Pay is lower and you will have minimal value-add for most firms.

 
Apr 16, 2011 - 2:20pm

PE's in China concentrate less on the Princeling model... having Jiang Zemin's grandson on your deal team isn't helping you convince the SME owner that he should see a minority stake to you. Relationships matter more on the sell-side, but even then, the model is quickly dying out. Deal flow is increasingly driven by SME's, not SOE's as most of the dealflow from that end is wrapping up. Does networking matter? Sure. But that's the same anywhere in the world.

I know a few analysts who jumped to a smattering of PE funds in Hong Kong, and while all of them were great analysts, certainly most of them did not land the job because they were XYZ's grandson. Also, can't speak for all the firms, but I know for a fact that TPG/KKR/Carlyle pays the same global pay in HK in addition to a sweet housing comp and other benefits for expats.

 
Apr 17, 2011 - 2:18pm

ibhopeful532:
PE's in China concentrate less on the Princeling model... having Jiang Zemin's grandson on your deal team isn't helping you convince the SME owner that he should see a minority stake to you. Relationships matter more on the sell-side, but even then, the model is quickly dying out. Deal flow is increasingly driven by SME's, not SOE's as most of the dealflow from that end is wrapping up. Does networking matter? Sure. But that's the same anywhere in the world.

I know a few analysts who jumped to a smattering of PE funds in Hong Kong, and while all of them were great analysts, certainly most of them did not land the job because they were XYZ's grandson. Also, can't speak for all the firms, but I know for a fact that TPG/KKR/Carlyle pays the same global pay in HK in addition to a sweet housing comp and other benefits for expats.

Just about everyone I've met or worked with in mainland PE from Analyst through MD/MP either went to Beida, Tsinghua, Fudan, or studied abroad in the US. While not necessarily princelings in the Livan Zhu sense, your average kid in China does not get into these schools and get these jobs without being born in a certain city and having parents who knew certain people or made lots of money through connections with certain people. US schools don't give financial aid or loans to international students. No middle class Chinese household can ever save the 200k it takes to send a kid to a private US university, let alone pay a foreigner to tutor them in the SAT for 3 months.

The self-made kids are few and far between and tend to start their own businesses instead of grinding it out in financial services.

Comp packages are for sure worse in PRC compared to international standards. Can't comment on HK at the megafund level, but I looked at a few opportunities at the MM level and was pretty disappointed.

If you were born and raised in China and have native knowledge of the language especially reading/writing, go for it if you have some solid experience in the US already. If you're non-Chinese or ABC/ABT you're going to have a tougher time I would imagine, but it's not impossible.

 
Apr 16, 2011 - 6:21pm

I see. Thanks for the information guys. I do know the language but would not want to go into specific details for the sake of confidentiality. Another question, is it better to finish off my analyst years at US or try to lateral now to HK? Is US analyst favored or HK analyst.

 
Apr 16, 2011 - 7:08pm

Why exactly would a US analyst be favored for a PE gig in Asia that specializes in China (presumably)?

If you're sure if this is the route you want to go (i.e. get on the buyside in Asia), you should lateral now to Hong Kong if you can. But just 2 caveats. #1, make sure its a bulge-bracket. #2, since you are lateralling over, your assocaite promote is less than guaranteed. So there's a very real possibility if things don't go the best, you're not gonna get your associate offer and be left hanging in limbo.

 
Apr 16, 2011 - 10:05pm

Thanks ibhopeful532.

I just heard they want US candidates with modeling skills as opposed to HK guys who do more on the equity side. However, I can be completely off here as I never worked in HK in my life before.

With regard to associate promotion, is it more usual for analysts to move up or is it more like a 2 year and out program like it is in US?

 
Apr 16, 2011 - 10:16pm

Ricqles:

I just heard they want US candidates with modeling skills as opposed to HK guys who do more on the equity side. However, I can be completely off here as I never worked in HK in my life before.

I talked to a lot of contacts in HK and they suggested this as well - the concept that US-based analysts/associates were taught 'best practices' or had more modeling exposure. Though having the asia-based exp. is also seen in a positive light. So if you're someone that did a stint in US, some exposure to Asia (China in particular) and have the language skills you're in very high demand.

 
Apr 16, 2011 - 10:35pm

Got it. Thanks Kanon! I do have all three so we'll see how it goes

 
Apr 16, 2011 - 11:38pm

just go on the KKR/Carlyle/BLX website and see where there Hong Kong / Shanghai -based analysts come from. That's an easy-enough metric to use.

http://www.carlyle.com/Geography/Asia/item8462.html

With regards to associate promotions, it's the norm. If you do well in Asia, there's no compelling need for an MBA. Networking and Language are key, the modeling not so much. Most of the PE deals over here are PIPEs, so no need for complex LBO's and whatnot.

I have a few friends trying to jump over from NY BB IBD to the buyside in Asia and it's proving to be difficult through headhunters. If you're committed to getting buyside here, I think the best path is to lateral over through your bulge-bracket bank, network and eventually it'll happen. Also keep in mind buyside recruiting in HK/Shanghai is not like NY's "annualized ritual". They tend to hire 2nd/3rd year analysts/associates directly, and don't commit to heavy recruiting for 1st year analysts.

 
Apr 17, 2011 - 2:47pm

I agree with you Tracer re: the well-connected Asia kids @ top US schools. It's really surprising how tiny the expat Chinese circle is at the Ivies - and a substantial amount of them have massive backgrounds. Arguably, I found this to be of the most value during the four years of college - interacting and befriending these guys really allow for a deeper insight into how China operates. More than a few expat Chinese at the Ivies have grandfathers sitting on the Politburo Standing Committee.

Anyway, your analysis is correct. Just want to add though, that someone can be born with relationships, and someone can make them. I would argue that a great source of potential value in going to Hong Kong / Shanghai is meeting the right people. Tracer, if you worked in HK, I'm sure you can attest to the fact that you're bumping shoulders with analysts who do come from extremely 'strong' Chinese backgrounds due to the extremely small HK/China banking circle. As China grows and develops, and as these 'mini'-princelings develop their own careers, there definitely is the potential for many interesting opportunities in the future.

 
Apr 17, 2011 - 7:18pm

I spent 2.5 years in M&A in Beijing. As a white guy at a non-BB, though I know Chinese, I was always a bit of an outsider, and for sure always a laowai.

Another fund that the OP should check out is MBK partners. Pan-Asian fund started by a bunch of ex-Carlyle Asia MDs, $3.7b AUM.

If you need a bigger list you can check out the Asia Venture Capital Journal, CapIQ, or ChinaVenture. If you have more specific criteria, send me a PM.

Start Discussion

Popular Content See all

Girlfriend vs PE
+89PEby Investment Analyst in Private Equity - Growth Equity">Investment Analyst in PE - Growth
I’ll never take WSO for granted again
+51OFFby Principal in Venture Capital">Principal in VC
What's so good about Evercore?
+41IBby Prospective Monkey in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions">Prospect in IB-M&A
I'm tired man
+30IBby Intern in Corporate Finance">Intern in CorpFin
First year analyst, still feel incompetent and like I haven’t learned anything
+24IBby 1st Year Analyst in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions">Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Friends in IB are chilling hard, how can I get this?
+20IBby 3rd+ Year Associate in Private Equity - LBOs">Associate 3 in PE - LBOs

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 (249) $224
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (23) $162
  • 2nd Year Analyst (56) $139
  • 1st Year Analyst (163) $119
  • Intern/Summer Associate (18) $71
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (178) $59

Leaderboard See all

1
LonLonMilk's picture
LonLonMilk
98.5
2
Jamoldo's picture
Jamoldo
98.4
3
Secyh62's picture
Secyh62
98.3
4
CompBanker's picture
CompBanker
97.9
5
redever's picture
redever
97.8
6
frgna's picture
frgna
97.6
7
NuckFuts's picture
NuckFuts
97.5
8
bolo up's picture
bolo up
97.5
9
Addinator's picture
Addinator
97.5
10
Edifice's picture
Edifice
97.5