• Li has left the private equity company after 14 years
  • Julian Cheng and Frank Wei will become co-heads of China

David Li, the top China executive at Warburg Pincus LLC, has left the firm after 14 years to form his own company.

Li, who was based in Beijing and joined the private equity firm in 2002, will be replaced by Julian Cheng and Frank Wei, who will become co-heads of China, the company said in a statement Friday in response to a Bloomberg inquiry.

His departure comes less than two years after the firm made its largest single China investment, purchasing a stake in China Huarong Asset Management Co. in August 2014 for almost $700 million, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time. Li led the deal and became a director of the state-owned asset manager afterward. 

Warburg Pincus has announced at least four deals in China since the Huarong stake purchase, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Before joining the private-equity firm, Li was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley. Li didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Cheng, a Hong Kong-based managing director who specializes in technology, Internet and media investments in China, joined Warburg Pincus in 2000. Wei, who is based in Shanghai, started at the firm in 2002 and leads its China health-care and consumer investments.

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