Bain moves European operations co-founder to Asia

Walid Sarkis is set to reinforce Bain Capital’s presence in Asia with a transfer to the firm's Hong Kong office.

Walid Sarkis, a co- founder and managing director of Bain Capital’s European operations, will move from London to Hong Kong to bolster the firm’s Asian operations, a source at Bain has confirmed.

Sarkis will retain his title as managing director and will serve in a new position created for him, said the source. He will be replaced in London by former Boston-based executive Steven Barnes who will co-head Bain’s European operations with Sarkis’ former partner Dwight Poler.

Sarkis joined Bain Capital in Boston in 1997 and has served as managing director since 2002. He is a founder of Bain’s European operations and was formerly a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group in France.

Sarkis’ relocation to Hong Kong comes at a time when the firm has begun to leave significant private equity footprints in the region.

In November last year, the firm paid Citigroup Capital Partners $1.1 billion for 93.5 percent of Japanese telemarketing company BellSystem24, after fending off other suitors including Permira and a CVC-Blackstone partnership. This was followed by another Japanese investment in the form of an undisclosed size acquisition of Domino’s Japanese operations.

In January, the firm made its initial foray into Indian private equity with a $125 million investment in Mumbai-listed Himadri Chemica. Earlier this month, the firm followed this with a $61 million in Indian clothing manufacturer Lilliput Kidswear.