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Michael Kim

Firm Name:

MBK Partners


Partner and Co-Founder


$24 Billion




Private Equity




MBA, Havard Business School

Michael Kim

Mr. Kim moved to the US from an early age and is one of the few in his generation to have so successfully transitioned back to Asia, where local culture and knowledge is often critical to success in finance. He founded MBK Partners after 6 years at Carlyle Group, where he oversaw the firm’s operations in Asia and played a critical role in the acquisition of a 40.5% stake in one of Korea’s largest commercial banks for $450M. Prior to his time at Carlyle, Mr. Kim was MD and COO of Asia-Pacific Investment Banking at Salomon Smith Barney.

The Seoul-based MBK Partners now manages more than $22 billion in assets across Greater China, Japan and South Korea, making it the largest Asia-based private equity firm (by assets) focused primarily on buyouts. Some of the most notable transactions include South Korea’s largest buyout deal by value – a $6.1 billion acquisition of Tesco’s Korean subsidiary Homeplus in 2015 – and acquisition of Godiva Chocolatier's Asian-Pacific operations for $1.5 billion in 2019.

Mr. Kim holds an MBA degree from Harvard Business School and completed his undergraduate degree in English at Haverford College in 1985. As an active philanthropist, Mr. Kim pledged $7.5 million toward the construction of a new dormitory at Haverford College, and, in 2018, endowed $7 million toward the Michael B. Kim Associate Professorship for Asian business leadership at Harvard Business School. He is also the author of Offerings, the first English novel written by a South Korean billionaire.

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This interview is exclusively open to LSE students.

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