News Article

TPG grabs KKR veteran for Southeast Asia

Reinforcing the Singapore TPG team as more asset managers consider the region attractive

US personal equity company TPG recruited a former KKR trader for Southeast Asia as the region’s financing, and business activities are intensifying and competitive.

In a move announced on Monday, David Tan joins TPG in Singapore as managing director. He invested over a century in KKR, including his headquarters in Hong Kong and Singapore. TPG owns over $108 billion in leadership wealth.

“I am pleased to join the firm at a time when the private equity market in Southeast Asia is increasingly attractive,” Tan said in a statement.

The Wharton graduate was one of the initial employees of the KKR department in Singapore when it was formed in 2012, and took a leading role in KKR investment from the moment he was in Hong Kong in Vietnamese food and beverage business Masan Consumer and Singapore’s Unisteel. He was later involved in transactions including a KKR investment of more than $1 billion in Singaporean logistics company Goodpack, as well as support from Mandala Energy, a petroleum and gas company based in Southeast Asia.

The transition of Tan to TPG takes place as personal equity undertakings see increased business opportunities in Southeast Asia, one of the world’s fastest-growing areas.

Southeast Asia is listed for a second consecutive year as the most appealing business sector in the next 12 months, top of China and India, according to the Emerging Market Private Equity Association study this year.

According to a November study from consultants Bain & Co., personal property contract valuation in the area increased from the year before by a decade-long period of steady development, 75% to $15 billion in 2017.

But “years of robust financial development, public assistance for start-ups, perseverance through personal investment investments have established the circumstances for a fast move to the next stage of development,” the study states.

“Growth is staying here, but so is competition,” he said.

As Southeast Asia becomes a new hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, the activity of venture capital has also recovered. Total enterprise capital investments in the business businesses of the region in the first quarter amounted to $3.4 billion, up more than 300 per cent of 2018, reflected in Financial Times figures.

In the meantime, dry powder is increasingly being deployed in the region. TPG completed its seventh private equity fund in Asia with more than $4.6 billion previously this year, surpassing its funding aim. In the next six to eighteen months, KKR intends to increase fresh funds for its Asia private equity fund, one of the company’s top three co-chairmen and co-chairman Scott Nuttall said on a profits call last month.

The Asia-focused funds of Boston-based Bain Capital and the Chinese Hillhouse Capital have been shut down by other private equity companies for the past 12 months, with the $10.6 billion Asia Fund remaining the most prominent private equity investment vehicle in the region.

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