Warburg Pincus’s Asia head, David Li, leaves firm

  • David Li stepped down in January
  • To form own company
  • Julian Cheng and Frank Wei take over

David Li, head of the Asia-Pacific region for Warburg Pincus, left the firm, a spokeswoman confirmed.

Li resigned last month, a source said. He left to form his own company, Warburg said in a statement. He has been replaced by Julian Cheng and Frank Wei, who were appointed co-heads of China and members of the executive management group.

Mary Zimmerman, the Warburg Pincus spokeswoman, declined to discuss details of Li’s new venture. One market source said Li was hired by a large Chinese group to “build the next Berkshire Hathaway.” Further details were not available.

Li had worked at Warburg Pincus since 2002. He led the firm’s business in Asia Pacific, according to his biography on an archived version of the firm’s website. His primary focus was China, according to a person with knowledge of the firm.

Prior to Warburg Pincus, Li worked at the investment banking divisions of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

Cheng has worked at Warburg Pincus since 2000 and Wei since 2002. Prior to Warburg Pincus Cheng worked in investment banking at Salomon Smith Barney and Deutsche Bank in Hong Kong. Wei worked at Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong and McKinsey & Co in Shanghai.

Warburg Pincus invests globally through its flagship fund, which closed on $12 billion last year, and through its energy fund, which closed on $4 billion in 2014. The firm does not manage separate funds earmarked for Asia.

Action Item: Contact Warburg Pincus at 212-878-0600.

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