Ascendent was founded by its two Founding Partners, Liang Meng and Kevin Zhang, and supported by a team of investment professionals with rich investment and capital market experiences. Prior to founding Ascendent, each of the Founding Partners separately held leadership positions, and founded and run the Greater China private equity franchises at leading global investment and financial institutions.
The Founding Partners have, separately or jointly as co-investors, made over $2 billion of private equity investments in Greater China during the five year period prior to founding Ascendent. Over the past decade, the Founding Partners and senior members of the team have advised and orchestrated a large number of complex landmark transactions in China, including private equity investment, M&A, IPOs share and debt financing for both major domestic enterprises and multinational corporations.
The Senior Members have worked closely at various points during their careers as colleagues, co-advisors or co-investors at leading global investment and financial firms over the past decade. Their combination of international experience and Chinese background brings a mix of localized network, proprietary ideas and institutionalized processes to the Fund.
Liang Meng | Managing Partner
Mr. Meng co-founded Ascendent Capital Partners. Prior to that, Mr. Meng was a Managing Director of D. E. Shaw & Co., where he started and managed the firm’s Hong Kong office and was founder and CEO of D. E. Shaw’s Greater China Private Equity Unit. Before joining the D. E. Shaw group, Mr. Meng was a managing director of JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Limited and co-head of that firm’s China investment banking activities. He served on JP Morgan’s Asia Pacific M&A Committee and China Business Engagement Committee. During his over a decade investment banking career, Mr. Meng led and completed over US$40 billion equity, debt, hybrid, and restructuring transactions in the U.S. and Asia Pacific. Mr. Meng earned his M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management, where he currently is the Co-Chairman of the Greater China Advisory Board. Mr. Meng is a Donaldson Fellow of the Yale School of Management.
Kevin Zhang | Managing Partner
Mr. Zhang co-founded Ascendent Capital Partners. Prior to that, Mr. Zhang was a Managing Partner of Trustbridge Partners Limited (TBP). Before joining TBP, Kevin was Partner of Goldman Sachs and co-head of Goldman Sachs Asian Special Situations Group (ASSG) where he was responsible for all the investing activities in China. He had also held various management positions in Securities division and Investment Banking division and was Head of Asian Fixed Income Sales and Head of China Financing Group prior to his ASSG responsibilities. Mr. Zhang served on Goldman Sachs Asian Management Committee, Goldman Sachs Firm Business Practices Committee and Goldman Sachs China Operating Committee. Mr. Zhang is currently a governor of The Independent Schools Foundation in Hong Kong and a board director of The Silver Lining Foundation in China. Mr. Zhang earned his M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management, where he currently is the Co-Chairman of the Greater China Advisory Board.
Stone Shi | Managing Director
Prior to joining Ascendent, Mr. Shi was a Senior Vice President at the D. E. Shaw group, responsible for Greater China private equity investment business. Prior to joining the D. E. Shaw group, Mr. Shi served as a vice president at CCMP Capital Asia Ltd. (formerly JP Morgan Partners Asia), where he focused on buyouts and other private equity investments in China and the Asia-Pacific region. He began his career at Goldman Sachs Investment Banking division, where he focused on providing overseas equity offerings and cross-border mergers and acquisitions advices for Chinese companies. Mr. Shi earned his B.A. and M.A. from Tsinghua University.
John Wang | Managing Director
Prior to joining Ascendent, Mr. Wang was a Director at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and head of the firm’s China M&A practice, where he focused on cross-border and domestic mergers and acquisitions across all industries in China. Prior to joining Bank of America Merrill Lynch, he started his M&A career at JP Morgan in New York and later in Chicago and Hong Kong focusing on global M&A transactions. During his banking career, he was also involved in leveraged finance, equity, hybrid, and structured products. Mr. Wang also worked for Rohm and Haas in operations management in Beijing. Mr. Wang is a CFA charterholder, and earned his M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management.
Jeffrey Chen | Managing Director
Jeffrey Chen is a Managing Director of Ascendent Capital Partners. Prior to joining Ascendent, Mr. Chen served as the chief strategist for Biltmore Capital Group. Prior to that, he worked for CMS Companies, an alternative investment firm based in Philadelphia, becoming a partner and Head of its Alternative Investment Group responsible for investing US$640 million capital in different alternative investment areas. During his eleven years with CMS, his areas of focus included trading fixed income securities, serving as portfolio manager for two internal hedge funds and one private equity fund, investing and seeding external hedge funds and private equity funds as well as conducting analytical work for CMS Real Estate group. Mr. Chen is a CFA charter holder and earned his M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management.