Softbank partner reduces role

Jay Chen is now a part-time venture partner, which allows him time to focus on the research and consulting firm he founded in 2003.

Jay Chen, until recently a partner at Softbank China & India, has quit his full-time role and is now a venture partner at the firm.

Chen will spend most of his time working with ChinaVenture Investment Consulting, an investment research and consulting firm, Kabir Misra, president of Softbank China & India, said in an interview.

Founded by Chen in 2003, ChinaVenture provides third party research, and consulting services to private equity and venture capital firms, investment banks and companies in China.

Misra said that when Chen joined the firm in December 2006, the arrangement was for him to spend most of his time at Softbank and about 20 percent to 25 percent of his time at ChinaVenture. He added that over the last couple of years, the ChinaVenture business has grown rapidly, and as a result, Chen will be spending more time there.

He currently sits on the boards of five Softbank portfolio companies. Misra said that once the transition is complete, Chen will continue to remain on the boards of two of the companies. He will also continue to work with Softbank in an advisory capacity.

The firm will not seek a replacement to fill the position vacated by Chen, Misra said. It now has four partners.

Prior to his role as a partner at Softbank China & India, Chen worked for Bear Stearns in the mortgage-backed securities department and for BlackRock Asset Management in the fixed income pricing department. He was also earlier a head trader at a New York-based hedge fund.

Softbank China & India manages the Bodhi Fund, which closed on $105 million in May 2007. The fund focuses on early stage and select pre-IPO opportunities in China, India and Southeast Asia. It invests in the telecommunications, media and technology, and consumer-focused sectors such as healthcare and finance.

The firm is a fully-owned subsidiary of technology company Softbank Corp., which is also the fund’s anchor investor. Cisco Systems and Deutsche Bank are the other limited partners in the fund.

Bodhi Fund has made 18 investments thus far and about half of its capital has been deployed, Misra said. Softbank India & China has made six investments in India, seven in Greater China and five in Southeast Asia.