In 2010, Ping An took over Shenzhen Development Bank, ending an experiment that had never been tried before, and not been tried since: a foreign company owning and managing a Chinese bank. Newbridge Capital, a private equity firm, shocked the financial world when it agreed to take over the bank five years earlier–and successfully made it a pioneer.

Weijian Shan, then a partner in Newbridge Capital, writes about the whole escapade in his third book Money Machine: A Trailblazing American Venture in China (Wiley: 2023), from when the deal first started, through its many reforms, to Newbridge’s final exit.

In this interview, Shan and I talk about the trailblazing deal to take over Shenzhen Development Bank, how important that was in the story of China’s development–and whether private equity gets a bad rap.

Weijian Shan is co-founder and executive chairman of PAG, a leading private equity firm in Asia. Prior to his career in private equity, Shan was, at different times, a managing director at JP Morgan and a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is also the author of Out of the Gobi: My Story of China and America (Wiley: 2019) and Money Games: The Inside Story of How American Dealmakers Saved Korea’s Most Iconic Bank (Wiley: 2020).

You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books.. Follow on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia.

Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.

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