Industry Newsroom

Emerging Markets Private Equity Association Names Robert W. van Zwieten as President and CEO

Washington, DC: The Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (“EMPEA”) is pleased to announce that Robert W. van Zwieten has been appointed by the Board of Directors as the organization’s next President and Chief Executive Officer. Jennifer Choi, Vice President of Industry and External Affairs, has served the organization as Acting CEO during the executive search, following the departure of founding President and CEO Sarah Alexander earlier this year.

Mr. van Zwieten brings more than 25 years of industry experience in senior leadership roles at financial institutions across the U.S., Europe and Asia. Most recently, as the Asian Development Bank's (“ADB”) Director of Private Sector Capital Markets based in Manila, Philippines, he oversaw a US$2.5 billion emerging markets debt, equity and guarantee portfolio, including ADB's private equity investments. Previously, Robert served as Managing Director and COO for an Asia-focused hedge fund venture, and prior to that as Senior Executive Vice President and CFO for the Singapore Exchange.

His experience further includes roles as Senior Vice President, CAO and other leadership positions with Lehman Brothers in New York; Managing Director and Global Treasurer with GE Energy in Atlanta; and Managing Director and Treasurer for GE Capital Asia-Pacific in Hong Kong during the Asian Financial Crisis. Earlier in his career he worked with ABN AMRO Bank in Amsterdam, Chicago and Singapore, and with Royal VOPAK in Rotterdam. Robert’s philanthropic endeavors include service on the Boards of International House of New York, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (USA) and One Laptop Per Child.

EMPEA currently serves approximately 320 member firms representing over US$1 trillion in assets under management. The organization’s membership, including fund managers, institutional investors and other industry stakeholders, share the belief that private equity investment in emerging markets can generate attractive returns to investors while creating significant value for companies, economies and communities.

Commenting on the appointment, Jeffrey Leonard, Chairman of EMPEA’s Board of Directors, said, “I am delighted Robert is joining EMPEA. He has demonstrated his passion and commitment to EMPEA’s mission to develop the asset class globally through his frontline work in the industry. His familiarity with the complexities of investing in emerging markets and adept skills in relationship building will serve EMPEA well as we enter a second decade of offering unique membership value and global private equity intelligence.” Mr. Leonard added, “The Board and I are very grateful for Jennifer’s leadership during the search process. She continues to be a great asset to EMPEA and a strong advocate for the organization’s mission.”

Mr. van Zwieten commented, “I have admired EMPEA’s accomplishments in providing investors the intelligence needed to successfully invest in emerging markets. I look forward to the opportunity to work with EMPEA’s leadership and our members in developing innovative platforms that will address the global needs and challenges of the industry and further stimulate economic growth around the world.”

Mr. van Zwieten’s appointment is effective immediately.

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About EMPEA
The Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA) is an independent, global membership association whose mission is to catalyze the development of private equity and venture capital industries in emerging markets. EMPEA’s 300+ member firms share the belief that private equity can provide superior returns to investors, while creating significant value for companies, economies and communities in emerging markets. Our members, representing nearly 60 countries and more than US$1 trillion in assets under management, include the leading institutional investors and private equity and venture capital fund managers across developing and developed markets. For more information, visit EMPEA.org and follow us on Twitter @EMPEA.

EMPEA’s Board of Directors
H. Jeffrey Leonard, (Chair), Global Environment Fund; Teresa Barger, (Vice Chair), Cartica Capital Management LLC; Thomas C. Barry, Zephyr Management LP; Michael Calvey, Baring Vostok Capital Partners; Okechukwu Enelamah, African Capital Alliance, Paul Fletcher, Actis; Mark Kenderdine-Davies, CDC Group plc; Roger S. Leeds, Johns Hopkins University SAIS; Piero Minardi, Gávea Investimentos; Arif Masood Naqvi, The Abraaj Group; Sanjay Nayar, KKR India Advisors Pvt. Ltd.; Robert Petty, Clearwater Capital Partners; André Roux, Ethos Private Equity Ltd.; Jean Eric Salata, Baring Private Equity Asia; George W. Siguler, Siguler Guff & Company; Pote Videt, Lombard Investments; Rebecca Xu, Asia Alternatives Management LLC and Yichen Zhang, CITIC Capital.