TPG poaches MD from Morgan Stanley

Sanghoon Lee will become a partner at TPG as the firm continues to ramp up investments in South Korea.

TPG Capital has appointed Sanghoon Lee as a partner to lead its investment activities in South Korea, the firm said.

Lee, formerly managing director and head of Korea for Morgan Stanley Private Equity, will be based in Hong Kong.

His appointment comes after a string of senior hires at TPG this year. Jin-Yong Cai, former chief executive officer of the International Finance Corporation, joined in February to source projects in frontier and emerging markets. In the same month, Jinping Sun, who was previously director of strategic investments at IFC, was hired as partner. Jia Dong and Daniel Hu also joined as partners in January. Both had previously worked with China Life Investment Holding Company, the alternative investment arm of China Life. Joel Thickins, formerly at Australian private equity firm CHAMP, will formally join in October as country head of Australia.

“We see Korea, in particular, as a country poised for growth with untapped opportunities across multiple industries,” Tim Dattels, managing partner of TPG Capital Asia, said in a statement.

“TPG’s deep knowledge across sectors, together with Sanghoon’s track record as a leading investor in the country, makes for an exciting combination as we look to source and identify investment opportunities in this dynamic and economically impactful market.”

TPG’s investments in Korea include government-owned Korea First Bank and Hanaro Telecom, which were bought through US investment firm and affiliate Newbridge Capital.

In South Korea, TPG will continue to identify opportunities in its core focus areas such as financial services, consumer and retail, and healthcare, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.

TPG is currently investing three vehicles: TPG Partners VII, which raised $10.5 billion in May this year; the $3 billion TPG Growth III, which focuses on financial services, healthcare, and technology; and its sixth Asia-focused fund, the $3.3 billion TPG Asia Partners VI.