David Liu, a partner and head of China at the US-based private equity firm, is planning to leave the company later this year and set up a new China-focused investment firm, KKR said on August 30. He will be joined by Julian Wolhardt, another senior KKR executive focused on China, the firm said.
Liu and Wolhardt both joined KKR in 2006 from Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia.
Liu, based in Beijing, led a number of China investments including appliances maker Qingdao Haier, dairy product maker China Modern Dairy Holdings, leasing company Far East Horizon and the Craigslist-like website 58 Home. Wolhardt is based in Hong Kong.
As part of the management shake-up, KKR unveiled five appointments in China, South Korea and Singapore, including naming Ming Lu as sole head of Asia private equity and interim head of China. Lu will report to the firm’s Asia managing partner Joseph Bae.
KKR manages the largest Asia-focused private equity fund, which raised $ 6 billion in 2013.
Liu and Wolhardt will join a string of China-focused private equity executives who left established investment firms to set up their own. David Ma, a former partner at China-focused fund Hillhouse Capital Group, started a hedge fund called Composite Capital Management in late June. Chang Sun, former head of North Asia for Warburg Pincus, set up an agriculture-focused fund, Black Soil, in 2015.
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This story was first published by The Wall Street Journal