David Olson, an ex-chairman of CSFB's Asia Pacific investment banking division, has established a private equity fund specializing in direct investments into Asian financial services companies. Primus Pacific, which has offices in Hong Kong and Chicago, is expected to launch its first fund with a target size of US$1 billion.

The new venture sees Olson teaming up with Guocang Huan, previously HSBC's head of investment banking in Asia, and Wing-Fai Ng, ex-head of strategy at Fubon Financial.

"We see great investment opportunities ahead in the financial services industry in Asia, especially in Greater China, which we believe will be one of our most important markets," says Olson.

He notes that the team has an extensive background in the Asian financial services industry and have known each other and worked together over the years.

"The team's combined transaction experience and high-level relationships developed over the years are second to none and will be instrumental as we develop our platform across Asia," he comments.

Olson's financial institutions background goes back to the 1990s when he was co-head of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette's (DLJ) financial institutions group in Chicago. Most recently, Olson was Chairman and CEO of Guggenheim Merchant Bank, the private equity arm of Guggenheim Capital. Prior to that he was chairman and CEO for Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette in Asia and after the merger with CSFB took on the role of CSFB's Asian investment banking chairman.

Bringing China expertise to the team is Huan, who in his role as head of Asia Pacific investment banking at HSBC, has been involved in eight of the last thirteen financial services transactions in China since 2001. Prior to HSBC, Huan was co-head of investment banking at Citigroup and head of China at BZW Asia.

Huan will be based in the firm's Hong Kong office, together with Wing-Fai Ng.

Ng brings to the team his credentials and experience in implementing bank restructurings and reorganizations from the inside. During his time at Fubon he was responsible for the $2.3 billion acquisition and integration of Taipeibank as well as the International Bank of Asia in Hong Kong. Prior to Fubon, Ng worked in the financial institutions group of the investment banking division of Salomon Smith Barney in Asia.