People Moves

Rockefeller Family Member Joins Asia-Focused Investment House; MD Named

Editorial Staff 6 May 2022

Rockefeller Family Member Joins Asia-Focused Investment House; MD Named

The Sylvan Group was founded in 2019 after members of the Hyundai and Rockefeller families and Asia buyout figures from UBS Capital and KKR began a series of discussions.

(An earlier version of this item appeared in Family Wealth Report, sister news service to this one.)

Sylvan Group, a private equity and buyout firm backed by members of the Rockefeller and Hyundai dynasties, has appointed Valerie Rockefeller as vice chairman for its advisory board.

At the same time, Kin Wong has joined Sylvan as managing director carrying out deal origination, structuring, execution and portfolio management across Asia. Ms Rockefeller, a well-known philanthropist and Sylvan’s environmental, social and governance impact partner, will help the firm identify and assess potential investments based on their positive impact on society, Sylvan said in a statement earlier this week.

“Valerie comes from one of the most iconic families in American philanthropy and is an active social impact practitioner, while Kin’s expertise in private equity and knowledge of Southeast Asia are what we need to source fairly priced assets, provide hands-on guidance to investee companies and ultimately create value to boost our returns to our partners,” Kyungsun Chung, Sylvan’s co-founder and managing partner, said.

Ms Rockefeller chairs the board of trustees for the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, a private foundation advancing social change to contribute to a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world. She also co-founded and co-chairs BankFWD, a network aiming to persuade American banks to phase out financing for fossil fuels. (One of the ironies of this is that the Rockefeller fortune was created in the 19th Century by oil tycoon John D Rockefeller.)

In other roles, Ms Rockefeller serves as a trustee of Achievement First, a network of schools that help pupils from low-income families to achieve their full potential; the Asian Cultural Council; Columbia University Teachers College; DC Preparatory Academy, a school that helps students from underserved communities; Greenwich Academy, a private school for girls; and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

“I respect Kyungsun for what he is trying to do in impact investing in Asia. I am honoured to be able to partner him in this exciting enterprise. Scarcity and inequality are two of the biggest challenges facing mankind today and I look forward to contributing in any way I can to overcoming these challenges,” Ms Rockefeller said. 

Wong joined KKR in 2012 and was a principal in the team that focused on Southeast Asia. He was previously an analyst with Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s global mergers and acquisitions team in New York City.

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