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Ascendent Capital Partners Team

Get to Know Us

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Leon Meng

Mr. Meng is Founding Managing Partner and CEO of Ascendent Capital Partners.


Prior to founding Ascendent Capital Partners, 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.

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Stone Shi

Mr. Shi is Partner at Ascendent Capital Partners. He is responsible for investments.


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.

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John Wang

Mr. Wang is Partner at Ascendent Capital Partners. He is responsible for investments.


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.

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Jeff Chen

Mr. Chen is Partner at Ascendent Capital Partners. He is responsible for research and portfolio management. 

Mr. Chen is heavily involved in managing the firm's portfolio companies and has accumulated extensive experience in operations and corporate management. Prior to joining Ascendent, he served as the chief strategist for Biltmore Capital Group and Head of Alternative Investment Group for CMS Companies.


Mr. Gang Chen earned his bachelor’s degree from East China Normal University where he taught for three years after graduation. He also holds an M.B.A. degree from the Yale School of Management and is a CFA charterholder.

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Philip Zhai

Dr. Zhai is President of Ascendent Capital Partners. He is responsible for investments. 


Dr. Philip Pu Zhai has over 17 years of experience in corporate development and investment banking in the Greater China market. He was the Chief Executive Officer of China Alpha Fund Management (HK) Limited. Prior to that, Dr. Zhai worked in investment banking as Managing Director of J.P. Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Limited, and as Managing Director of Macquarie (Hong Kong) Limited.


Dr. Zhai has a Ph.D from the University of Cambridge and a bachelor’s degree from Tsinghua University.

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Derek Cheung

Mr. Cheung is Managing Director of Ascendent Capital Partners. He is responsible for investments. 


Mr. Cheung was the Group Investment Director at Verdant Capital Group, a multi-billion private investment firm based in Hong Kong, managing and overseeing private equity, public equity and venture capital investments in China and overseas. Before that, Mr. Cheung was an executive director of the Greater China private equity group at D. E. Shaw & Co. Mr. Cheung started his career as a mergers and acquisitions banker, working at J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse First Boston in Hong Kong and New York.


Mr. Cheung graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a recipient of the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Scholarship for Overseas Studies.

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Haide Lui

Ms. Lui is Head of Investor Relations of Ascendent Capital Partners. Ms. Lui is responsible for IR and fundraising. 


Prior to Ascendent, Ms. Lui spent over 10 years at HarbourVest Partners, focused on private equity fund investments across Asia. During that time, she served on the limited partner advisory committees of a number of pan-regional and China-focused private equity partnerships. Before that, Ms. Lui was with Morgan Stanley in the Global Capital Markets group in Hong Kong, focused on the origination and execution of equity financings, advising Asian and Chinese companies.

Ms. Lui graduated from the University of Cambridge with a B.A. Honours in Natural Sciences.

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