Money Games: Negotiating Private Equity (w/ Weijian Shan)
November 2, 2020
When the influence of private capital exceeds that of a sovereign state, it raises an important question: Where does real power reside? Increasingly, it seems, money makes the world go round. At a time when stocks are over-valued, bond yields are flat, and property prices are inflated, private equity is where it’s at. Indeed, since the chaos of the 2008 Global Financial Crises, PE firms have only grown in size and influence. Asia has been a key beneficiary. And China – until recently – has absorbed the lion’s share of private capital. As and when US-China tensions subside, the surge is likely to continue In this week’s episode of Inside Asia, I speak to one of the PE industry giants - Weijian Shan, Chairman and CEO of PAG Group. Shan’s new book, Money Games: The Inside Story of How American Dealmakers Saved Korea’s Most Iconic Bank, is a tale on how deals get done in the convoluted world of big money and big personalities. It’s been over 20 years since Shan and his colleagues at Newbridge Capital landed in Seoul to rescue Korea First Bank, but he tells it like it happened only yesterday. The transaction is epic in both size and circumstance. But it also speaks to the central importance of developing personal trust and accountability to offset fears of xenophobia and big money exploitation. It also speaks to the enormity of PE as a vehicle for rescuing distressed businesses – a point not lost in these pandemic times.