HarbourVest moves into mainland China

The global fund of funds specialist has hired former JP Morgan managing director Sally Shan to expand the firm’s efforts to Beijing.

HarbourVest Partners has hired former JP Morgan managing director Sally Shan to establish a local presence in Beijing. Shan will start with the firm on 15 May as a managing director.

The firm already maintains two offices in Asia, with teams in Tokyo and Hong Kong. In a release, HarbourVest indicated that the expansion into Beijing would capitalise on growing opportunities in China, where private equity has boomed in recent years. 

Overall fundraising in Asia rose to $30 billion in 2011, a 23 percent increase over the previous year, according to a recent study from Private Equity Connect. The growth was driven in large part by investor appetite in China-focused firms and funds. 

The fund of funds-specialist made its first commitment to a China-focused fund in 1987, the firm said in a statement. 

Before joining HarbourVest, Shan worked in JP Morgan’s Asia-Pacific securities department, where she headed the bank’s Asia technology investment banking division for the last six years. She had previously worked in Lehman Brothers’ global technology investment banking department and at Asia Strategic Investment Corporation in Beijing, according to a press release.

Shan has experience in private equity, the technology industry as well as equity and M&A deal execution, according to HarbourVest. 

HarbourVest did not respond to requests for comment.

HarbourVest was founded in 1978 and has invested approximately $38 billion since inception, with a focus on fund of funds as well as secondary, co-investment and direct strategies. In addition to Tokyo and Hong Kong, the firm maintains offices in Boston, London and Bogotá.