Report: Ex-Providence director joins Mary Ma at Boyu

Sean Tong has added his name to the ever-growing list of Chinese nationals leaving Western private equity groups’ Asia operations to strike out on their own.

Sean Tong, Hong Kong-based managing director at Providence Equity Partners, is reportedly leaving the firm to join Mary Ma and Louis Cheung’s new venture, Boyu Capital.

Providence declined to comment. However, Tong’s name is no longer listed on the firm’s website.

According to Reuters, Tong will leave Providence at the end of this month to join Ma, a former partner and managing director of TPG Capital in China who left the firm in February, and Cheung, former executive director and president of Chinese insurer Ping An Insurance. Boyu is raising a $1 billion China-focused fund and, according to Reuters, a number of Chinese entrepreneurs and Hong Kong-based tycoons have reportedly agreed to commit to the fund. 

In September 2008, Tong joined Providence from General Atlantic, where he had been a managing director since 2000. Previously, he worked at Morgan Stanley in New York.

In January this year, Providence agreed to buy a 26 percent stake in Hong Kong-listed free-to-air broadcaster Television Broadcasts (TVB) from the company’s co-founder Run Run Shaw in a deal reportedly worth up to HK$8 billion. The firm was investing alongside Charles Chan, chairman of Hong Kong-listed diversified investment holding ITC Corporation, and Cher Wang, the chairwoman of Taiwanese mobile phone manufacturer HTC.

Established in 1989, Providence focuses on the media, entertainment, communications and information sectors. It currently manages more than $22 billion of assets across offices in Providence, New York, Los Angeles, London, Hong Kong and New Delhi.