Warburg MD joins former colleague at China’s Centurium

Michael Chen, who led consumer investments in China, joined Centurium Capital in June.

A former managing director at Warburg Pincus has joined Centurium Capital, a Chinese private equity firm launched by Warburg’s ex-head of China.

Michael Chen, who led Warburg’s consumer investments in China before his departure in May, joined Centurium Capital as a managing director in June, according to a statement. He is reunited with Centurium founder David Li, a 14-year veteran of Warburg who left the firm in 2016.

Chen is understood to have worked on around 15 deals at Warburg during an eight-year tenure, a source with knowledge of the matter told Private Equity International.

Michael Chen Centurium
Michael Chen. Credit: Centurium Capital

Jericho Zhang, a consumer and healthcare-focused executive in Warburg’s Shanghai bureau, has taken on Chen’s responsibilities, the source said. Zhang – who joined the firm in 2012 – is listed as a managing director on the Warburg Pincus website and as a partner on his LinkedIn profile.

Centurium Capital reached the $2 billion hard-cap on its debut dollar-denominated private equity fund in early July. It had previously raised 6 billion yuan ($871 million; €772 million) across two funds, one of which is sponsored by Chinese ride-hailing business UCAR and the other by a local healthcare company.

Centurium’s portfolio includes China’s Luckin Coffee, which listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market in May, software platform Keking and eyewear retailer LOHO. The firm has close to 20 investment professionals in Beijing and Hong Kong.