Our Team

William Lee, PhD

Managing Director

A native Chinese, Dr. Lee received his postgraduate education in USA, earning his PhD from MIT and conducting his post-graduate study at Harvard. He published a book on Chinese politics through UC Berkeley, as well as several research articles in prestigious academic journals. Since returning to China over ten years ago, Dr. Lee has been active in the field of M&A. First, he joined Asimco (a major US direct investment company in China with USD 400m under management) as its assistant president, responsible for acquiring businesses, setting up joint ventures, and post-acquisition integration in the sectors of automotive components and beer brewery. One of his major accomplishments was masterminding and negotiating a successful sale of Five-Star Beer, the best brand in Beijing market, to Tsingtao Beer, resulting in the largest M&A transaction in the industry at the time. His rich, challenging, and thought-provoking experiences at Asimco were well documented in Mr. China, a bestseller authored by Tim Clissold.

After Asimco, Dr. Lee worked for McKinsey as a senior associate for 2 years, gaining extensive exposure to various industries (oil and chemicals, FMCG, electronics, and international trade) and functions (business strategy, organization, performance management, sales and marketing).

Before joining TCG full time, Dr. Lee headed up TNT China's strategy department, responsible for China strategy, M&A and alliances, gaining in-depth knowledge of China's logistics, mail, and express sectors. During his tenure with TNT, Dr. Lee's most important achievement was successful acquisition of Hoau, by far the largest and the best privately-owned LTL road transportation company in China, which in 2006, had revenues totaling RMB 1.5 billion, an extensive national network of 1,100 depots covering 400 major cities, and 12,000 employees.

Hoau's acquisition is a highly significant event for cross-border M&A activities, in that Hoau is the archetypical example of the vast majority of Chinese successful private businesses in terms of complex organization, aggressive and creative management, strong local culture, and opaque financials, by Western standards. The success of this deal depended largely on personal trust, mutual respect, honest communication, open-mindedness, creativity, and perseverance.