Jean Salata, CEO and Founding Partner of Baring Private Equity Asia
In this episode, Jean Salata, CEO of Baring Private Equity Asia, discusses growing the private equity industry in Asia, navigating the challenges of the pandemic, and investment opportunities in the years ahead.
On his investment opportunities coming out of the pandemic: “I think the first place to look for most people was really within their own companies. What sort of ‘bolt-on’ opportunities are there where you have a strong business that's dominant in [its] sector, has a good management team that has good liquidity, good funding, good balance sheet? … The second big area of opportunity that we've been focusing on is in companies that are publicly traded — either that we already own or businesses that we've been looking at for some time in sectors that we study and that we follow. I think the other big area that we've been paying a lot of attention to, which has gotten a lot of coverage I think as a result of COVID-19, is the acceleration of the digitalization and the acceleration of everything that's online. So what was already happening in terms of disruption and transformation has just been accelerated.”
On what makes a successful investor: “What's been important is the continuous learning, the continuous evolution of our business and our thinking and my own thinking about how to invest: how best to invest; how to manage risk; how to build a firm. I think it's also about being humble enough to look around and see that there's a lot of other people that are better than you and that know what they're doing. And especially in the more developed private equity world, when we first started out, Asia was really a cottage industry when it came to private equity whereas the US and Europe, to some extent, were much more advanced. And so, to me it was about learning from what other people were doing. Figuring out how they'd done it. And then adapting that to our business and our culture and our markets.”