The Private Equity Advantage: Strengthening Performance of Chinese Middle Market Companies

Published on: 2017-10-14



Although the private sector in China now accounts for about 70 percent of economic output, many small and mid-size firms persistently underperform relative to their counterparts in developed countries. Drawing on his recently published book, “Private Equity Investing in Emerging Markets,” Professor Leeds will focus on why private equity investors are uniquely qualified to address two of the main causes for this underperformance: (i) Limited or no access to medium and long term capital on affordable terms that companies require to grow, compete and generate sustained profitability; and (ii) a scarcity of specialized business expertise that small and mid-size businesses need as their growth accelerates, placing new, more complex demands on management.

About the Speaker

Dr. Leeds is a Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and Director of the School’s Center for International Business and Public Policy. He also has taught at Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University’s Graduate Business School. He was the founding Chairman of the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA), a global industry association that conducts research and outreach on private equity investing in developing countries. Professor Leeds also is co-founder of the Leadership Academy for Development, an organization that designs and runs intensive training programs for government officials and business leaders in developing countries focused on public policy initiatives to strengthen private sector performance. Earlier in his career Dr. Leeds spent two years at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, teaching and heading a research project on privatization in developing countries.

Prior to joining the SAIS faculty, Dr. Leeds worked as an international finance practitioner for 25 years, including positions as an investment banker at Salomon Brothers, a senior staff member of the International Finance Corporation (World Bank), a partner at KPMG in charge of the firm’s global privatization practice and co-head of the emerging markets practice at a based private equity firm. His publications include Private Equity Investing in Emerging Markets, Opportunities for Value Creation (which in 2017 will be translated into Chinese), Financing Small Enterprises in Developing Countries, and more than 30 articles and book chapters. Dr. Leeds has been a guest commentator on various radio and television programs, including CNN, Bloomberg News, CBS News, CNBC, and National Public Radio, and is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations in New York, He received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University, and his M.A. and PhD from Johns Hopkins University (SAIS).

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Photo by Asian Development Bank / Flickr. CC.

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