Providence hires Rickards for new Hong Kong office

The media/telecom equity investment group is also opening shop in New Delhi.
Andrew Rickards is moving to Providence Equity to head the firmÆs new office in Hong Kong. He is joining as a managing director having spent the last three years at NM Rothschild & Sons as head of its Asian operations based in Hong Kong. Providence Equity is one of NM RothschildÆs clients. Jennifer Yu, who runs the Rothschild China team, will replace him.

Providence focuses on investing in media, entertainment, communications and information companies, and its investments are driven opportunistically. The firmÆs funds are global and it does not have specific funds for each region. It is understood to be raising a new $12 billion global fund from which asset allocations will be made in the media and telecommunications sector.

In Asia, Providence partnered in VoiceStream (which is now part of T-Mobile) and recently invested in Idea Cellular in India. Many of the firmÆs portfolio companies have business interests in Asia (including, inter alia, MGM and Warner Music).

In addition to the new Hong Kong office, Providence is also opening up in New Delhi. That office will be managed by Biswajit Subramanian, who has been with the firm since 2000 and moves from the London office. He has been instrumental in a number or Providence deals covering telephone networks, cable television, programming content and wireless. Prior to Providence, he worked at Morgan Stanley in London.

Speaking to AsianInvestor, Andrew Rickards, who has not yet formally started work at Providence, says, ôProvidence has been active in Asia for some time. They feel now is an opportune time to formally establish offices in Hong Kong and India. Providence is looking at opportunities across Asia with a special focus on Australia, India, Japan and China, including Taiwan.ö

Rickards used to be co-head of the CME team at Goldman Sachs and was based in Hong Kong and Sydney. In that capacity he handled accounts for some of the regionÆs biggest telecoms companies, such as Chunghwa Telecom in Taiwan, SK Telecom in Korea and Telstra in Australia.

Andrew Rickards will be taking with him Thura Ko, who is an assistant director at NM Rothschild in Hong Kong and, coincidentally, also used to work in the CME team at Goldman Sachs. More hirings are envisaged. Rickards: ôProvidence will be looking to build a team in Hong Kong to cover the wider Asia region and in New Delhi for the India market.

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