Baird Capital has promoted Gordon C.C. Liao and Yongshan Zhang to Principals of the firm, both were previously Vice Presidents, and Alex Kessel was promoted to Vice President from Senior Associate. “Gordon, Yongshan and Alex have made substantial contributions to our business and investors, and these promotions reflect their hard work in driving value in our portfolio,” said Gordon Pan, Managing Partner of Baird Capital.
Mr. Liao joined Baird Capital in 2008 and focuses on investment opportunities in the consumer products sectors with the U.S. Private Equity fund. He currently works with Baird Capital portfolio companies Qualitor, New Vitality, Eckler’s and Backyard Discovery. Prior to joining Baird, Mr. Liao was with private equity firms Reliant Equity Investors and Wind Point Partners, where he focused on buyouts in the lower middle market. He began his career in Merrill Lynch’s investment banking group. Mr. Liao received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Mr. Zhang joined Baird Capital in 2008 and works with the China Growth Equity fund. Prior to joining Baird, Mr. Zhang was with EG Capital Group, a New York-based middle market growth equity and buy-out fund, conducting transactions in the consumer sector. He also worked in IBM’s sales and distribution division, serving financial services clients. Zhang received his bachelor’s degree from State University of New York at Buffalo and an MBA from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University. He also holds a master’s degree from The University of Maryland.
Alex Kessel joined Baird Capital in 2011 and works with the U.S. Private Equity fund. Prior to joining Baird, Kessel was with Willis Stein & Partners focusing on buyouts in the business services, consumer services, education and manufactured products sectors. Before that, he worked for Bear Stearns in their technology, media and telecom investment banking group. Mr. Kessel received his bachelor’s degree from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Baird Capital also announced today that John DiGiovanni is rejoining the firm as a Senior Associate. He originally joined Baird Capital as an Analyst in 2007. In 2010 he left the firm to attend graduate school and was recently awarded a joint MBA/MPA degree from a program between Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Mr. DiGiovanni will now focus on investment opportunities in the business services, industrial and consumer products sectors. Prior to his original start at Baird, Mr. DiGiovanni worked as an investment banking analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, focusing on mergers and acquisitions, restructurings and equity and debt offerings. He received his bachelor’s degree from The Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University.
Baird Capital makes venture capital, growth equity and private equity investments in strategically targeted sectors in the U.S., U.K. and China. Having invested in more than 260 companies over its history, Baird Capital partners with entrepreneurs and leverages its executive networks to build exceptional companies. Baird Capital provides operational support to its portfolio companies through teams on the ground in Asia, a proactive portfolio operations team and a network of relationships which together deliver enhanced shareholder value. Baird Capital is the direct private investment arm of Robert W. Baird & Co. (www.bairdcapital.com).
© 2013 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 2-13-13