In Britain anyone who is anyone has a hedge fund, or did. In China, anyone who is anyone’s child has his own private equity firm:
Prominent private equity princelings include George Li, a former banker at Merrill Lynch and UBS with an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, whose father, Li Ruihuan, was one of the country's senior leaders from the late 1980s until 2003. Another son, Jeffrey Li, recently resigned as China head of Novartis, the pharmaceuticals group, to go into private equity, according to people familiar with the matter.
Wilson Feng, who bankers and private equity investors say is the son-in-law of Wu Bangguo - officially second in the party hierarchy - left Merrill Lynch two years ago to launch a fund with ties to the state-owned nuclear energy conglomerate, according to media reports and people familiar with the matter. Mr Feng was key to securing Merrill's mandate to take Industrial and Commercial Bank of China public in Hong Kong in 2006 in the biggest initial public offering in history.
Other private equity princelings include Li Tong, daughter of Li Changchun, the member of the nine-strong ruling Politburo standing committee in charge of propaganda and the media. Ms Li now runs a private equity fund at Hong Kong-based Bank of China International focusing on the media sector, according to three people familiar with the matter. Stanford-educated Jeffrey Zeng, son of Zeng Peiyan, former vice-premier, has also set up a fund affiliated with state-owned financial institutions.
And top of the lot is Winston Wen, son of Premier Wen Jiabao. I don’t think this is factional behaviour, part of some organized push into the commanding heights by an up and coming network. It’s more like the thing to do amongst people raised in the same type of environment who know each other socially. Or maybe, with rigorous Marxist logic, the children of the fourth generation of CPC leadership are trying to turn themselves into pure money.