Carlyle hires China healthcare veteran

Jesse Wu will advise the firm on its Asia-Pacific portfolio, which contains Chinese private hospital group Zhongmei Healthcare Group and medical device manufacturer MicroPort Scientific.

The Carlyle Group has appointed former chairman of Johnson & Johnson China, Jesse Wu, as a senior advisor to its Asia buyout team, the firm said in a statement.

Wu, who has more than three decades of experience in the healthcare and related sectors, has been with Johnson & Johnson since 1989. He served the company in multiple roles including chairman of operations in China, worldwide chairman of the consumer group, as well as a member of the company’s management committee from 2013 to 2016. Earlier in his career, he held positions at Procter & Gamble and PepsiCo.

Wu  will be based in Shanghai, advising on healthcare investment opportunities for Carlyle’s Asia buyout team and helping to create value for Carlyle’s portfolio of companies. 

The firm’s buyout team in Asia has over $1.3 billion invested in seven healthcare companies across the Asia-Pacific region. Among its investments are pathology specialist Metropolis Healthcare Limited, Chinese private hospital group Zhongmei Healthcare Group and medical device manufacturer MicroPort Scientific from Carlyle Asia Partners IV; specialty health provider Global Health and Australian hospital provider Healthscope from Carlyle Asia Partners III; medical screening firm Meinian Onehealth Healthcare, laboratory equipment maker Haier Bio-Medical and Laboratory Company from Carlyle Beijing Partners Fund.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jesse Wu, a global business leader and experienced healthcare expert, as an advisor to Carlyle,” X.D. Yang, managing director and co-head of the Carlyle Asia buyout team said. “With his deep healthcare industry expertise and highly respected senior management capabilities, Jesse will be a great resource for our team and our portfolio companies as we continue to expand our investments in the fast-growing healthcare sector and other related industries in China and across Asia.”

Carlyle is currently investing its latest Asia buyout vehicle, the $3.9 billion Asia Partners IV. Known investors in the fund include the Rhode Island State Treasury, Texas County District and Retirement System and the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System, according to PEI Research & Analytics.

The firm had recently named David Bluff as its new managing director in Australia and New Zealand, as reported by Private Equity International. Bluff has been with Carlyle since 2008 and was involved notable transactions in Australia such as Healthscope and Qube Holdings.

Carlyle has about $178 billion of assets across 125 funds and 164 fund of funds vehicles.

According to Bain & Company’s Global Healthcare Private Equity and Corporate M&A Report 2016, Asia-Pacific had a record year in 2015 for deal value, led by activity in India and China. Globally, nearly twice as many deals over $1 billion were recorded in 2015 as in 2014.

China’s emphasis on access to healthcare through its Five-Year Plan has increased interest in the sector, with digital health, medical technology and biopharma drawing private equity activity.