Permira yesterday announced that Henry Chen and Alex Emery have been promoted to the rank of partner at the European private equity firm and will co-head Permira’s business in Asia out of Hong Kong.

Chen joined Permira in 2008 as head of its Hong Kong office. He was earlier at Goldman Sachs where he co-headed the general industrials group for Asia ex-Japan. Chen was recently involved in Permira’s $200 million buyout of Asia Broadcast Satellite.

Emery joined Permira in 2002 in London from McKinsey. He moved to Japan to help Guido Paolo Gamucci establish Permira's first office in the region in 2005. When Gamucci moved to Hong Kong in 2008 to spearhead the expansion in Greater China, Emery became head of Permira’s Tokyo office. Gamucci retired at the end of 2009.

Chen and Emery's roles are effectively newly created, and they still report into Veronica Eng, Permira’s Asia chairman, who is based in London and took over that role from Gamucci when he retired just over a year ago.

The aim of the new appointments is to establish a more streamlined focus on Asia, with Chen and Emery leading the business from a central point, and the move does not signal any less of a focus on Japan, said Emery.

While there will not be a concrete division of responsibilities between the duo going forward, Chen’s focus is likely to remain on Greater China and Emery’s on Japan and South Korea.

Moreover, Emery added that he has particularly strong experience in the consumer sector, while Chen’s expertise lies more in industrials and technology, media and telecoms – this will further help determine how they divide up their time.

Deals Emery has worked on in Asia include Permira’s $2.2 billion buyout of Arysta LifeScience and its $840 million investment in Macau gaming and hotel company Galaxy Entertainment. Emery has already moved from Tokyo to Hong Kong, where he will be based from now on.

Yuji Kato, who joined Permira in 2006, will take over the leadership of Permira’s Tokyo office. Kato has earlier worked for GE, Morgan Stanley, OECD and the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

Since 2007 Permira has invested more than $2 billion of capital in Galaxy Entertainment, Tokyo-based international agrochemicals business Arysta, and Hong Kong-based Asia Broadcast Satellite.

“Alex and Henry have been working closely on establishing Permira’s presence in Asia over the past couple of years and together they will continue to expand the team and the firm’s franchise in Greater China, Korea and Japan,” said Eng.