Asia’s 25 most influential people in private equity

JEAN ERIC SALATA
Founding partner and CEO
Baring Private Equity Asia

Jean Eric Salata is a pioneer, building BPEA during the industry’s early days. It is now one of the most established, independent private equity firms in the region, with over $5 billion in AUM. In 1997, Salata established the regional Asian private equity investment programme for UK-based Baring Private Equity Partners, later leading a management buyout of BPEA in 2000.

Based in Hong Kong, it focuses on pan-Asian middle-market private equity deals, across growth and mid-cap buyouts.  The firm targets investments across sectors and regional markets, but has made a mark in Asian emerging markets, particularly India and China.

While some of its mid-market peers have piled into consumer brands, BPEA has taken a more considered approach, investing in companies that include cement-maker Lafarge India, Chinese gas producer Asian America Gas Energy, and Hong Kong-based Nord Anglia Education, which operates private schools in emerging markets.

As a testament to the strength of BPEA’s franchise, the firm raised $2.46 billion for Baring Asia Private Equity Fund V in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. The fund held a final close in early 2011, exceeding its $1.75 billion target, and with $1 billion in oversubscriptions.

Having raised money and invested in companies through the Asian financial and global crises. Salata adheres to a strategy focused on improvising businesses.  “In today’s global economic environment,” he says, “the private equity firms that will succeed will be the firms that are successful in making their portfolio companies more efficient” while improving their value.