On 3 January 2022, over 100 students, alumni, staff and guests gathered at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Business School for an up-close encounter with Dr. Weijian Shan, named “China’s private equity champion” by Fortune magazine and author of Money Games: The Inside Story of How American Dealmakers Saved Korea’s Most Iconic Bank (in Chinese), published by The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press (CUHK Press). The event was also joined by another 120 participants online.
“‘Legend’ is the only word to describe Dr. Shan,” said Prof. Lawrence Lau, former Vice-Chancellor, Ralph and Claire Landau Professor of Economics, CUHK, as he made the opening remarks for the evening book launch event.
Dr. Shan is the Chairman and CEO of Pacific Alliance Group (PAG), a leading Asian private equity firm. Prior to PAG, Dr. Shan was co-managing partner of TPG Asia, formerly known as Newbridge Capital, which sought to acquire Korea First Bank during the Asian financial crisis in 1997–1998. From a high-stakes deal to a massively profitable investment, this legendary transaction was orchestrated by Dr. Shan.
As the chief architect of the iconic deal, Dr. Shan gave a sneak preview of his insider’s views on the acquisition and the private equity industry detailed in his publication. Touching the hearts of many, Dr. Shan shared his enthralling life story and thought-provoking wisdom that transcend borders and cultures.
Looking back at his legendary career, Dr. Shan believes that “luck and good judgement are incredibly important”, but no one should just wait for the luck to come.
“We live to learn and experience. Be ready to seize every opportunity that the world has to offer.” For young investors, Dr. Shan advises that the sense of ownership is key to success.
“There is no short cut. Take one step at a time, and focus on doing everything well.”
In his book, Dr. Shan not only story-tells how private equity investors strike bargains, turn around mega businesses and create immense value over time, but also sheds light on overcoming challenging cultural differences.
The first of its kind, the event was jointly organised by CUHK Business School and CUHK Press, and co-organised by The Hong Kong-Shenzhen Finance Research Centre.
From left to right: Prof. Ling Cen, Associate Professor of Finance, CUHK Business School; Prof. Lin Zhou, Dean of CUHK Business School; Dr. Weijian Shan; Prof. Lawrence Lau, former Vice-Chancellor, Ralph and Claire Landau Professor of Economics, CUHK; Prof. Seen-Meng Chew, Associate Dean (External Engagement) and Associate Professor of Practice in Finance, CUHK Business School; Ms. Gan Qi, Director of CUHK Press; Prof. Michael Zhang, Associate Dean (Innovation and Impact) and Professor of Decision Sciences and Managerial Economics, CUHK Business School
Dr. Shan shared his insider’s view on the private equity industry.
Engaged audience actively participated in the question and answer session.