Vietnam: Mekong Capital appoints first female partners

Pham Vu Thanh Giang (left) and Truong Dieu Le, Mekong Capital's first female partners.

Vietnam-dedicated private equity firm Mekong Capital has added its first two female partners – Pham Vu Thanh Giang and Truong Dieu Le – who will join the current partners, Chris Freund and Chad Ovel, the firm announced.

The female partners both have around 19 years of experience in private equity space in Vietnam.

Giang joined the firm in January 2007, and is one of Mekong Capital’s senior deal leaders and a member of the investment recommendation committee, together with her male counterparts.

She has been responsible for the long-term investments in Phu Nhuan Jewelry, from which Mekong Capital is looking to make divestment, and Vietnam Australia International School, the sole education portfolio in which the PE company invested in 2010. Giang also serves as a member of the board of directors of both companies.

The deal leader successfully executed exits for her past investments, including International Consumer Products (acquired by Indian group Marico) and IT distributor DigiWorld.

Giang has also been involved in adding value at other of Mekong’s portfolio companies over the last almost 10 years, the PE firm said. Currently much of her effort is focused on leading new investments for the latest $112 million Mekong Enterprise Fund III.

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Meanwhile, Le started her role as head of operations at Mekong Capital in 2006, after a stint where she was involved in appraising the firm’s investee companies from 2003 to 2006.

She currently oversees all activities of the 12-member operations team, including finance and accounting, human resources, investor relations, fund administration and reporting, corporate governance, IT, office administration, and compliance and sustainability.

As of 31 March 2016, Mekong’s 22 team members have worked for the firm for an average of 6.2 years, with senior team members averaging 9.2 years.

“The much-deserved promotion of Le and Thang Giang to Partner roles, joining myself and Chad Ovel as Partners, represents the fulfillment of our transformation into a true partnership culture,” Chris Freund, the founding partner of Mekong Capital, said.

Having recently announced the final closing of its $112 million fourth fund, Mekong Capital has completed 29 private equity investments, of which 17 have been fully exited and 3 have been partially exited.

The funds’ portfolio businesses range from the retail, restaurants, consumer products and distribution, to education sectors. The most successful investments have been in Mobile World, which generated a 21x return for Mekong Capital through some partial exits, and in restaurant operator Cong Vang (Golden Gate), for which Mekong earned over 9x return as it exited to Standard Chartered Private Equity.

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