A playbook for private equity success: An interview with Jean Salata, CEO and Founding Partner, Baring Private Equity Asia
By Wouter Baan and Ivo Naumann
Jean Salata, CEO and Founding Partner of Baring Private Equity Asia, discusses key trends in the evolution of private equity deal flow, how digitalization is affecting private equity firms, and why leadership and talent are key to unlocking outsized returns.
Jean Salata has watched China liberalize and open up from his office in Hong Kong for more than 30 years, in the process turning Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA) from a small private equity firm with about $300 million in its first fund to a $20-billion business.
Over that period, BPEA has evolved a distinctive operational approach involving deep sectoral knowledge of the healthcare, logistics, media, education, financial services, and retail businesses it invests in, controlled development of scale, cross-border expansions, and bolt-on acquisitions.
Amid a shifting geopolitical environment in Hong Kong and the unwinding of the COVID-19 crisis across Asia, Salata spoke with Ivo Naumann, a Shanghai-based Partner who heads McKinsey’s private equity practice in Greater China, and Wouter Baan, an Associate Partner in Hong Kong, about the state of PE in China, including the development of an increasingly active secondary market for private assets.
The conversation covers key trends in the evolution of PE deal flow, how digitalization is affecting not just invested businesses but PE firms themselves, and why leadership and talent are key to unlocking outsized returns.