People Moves

A recent hire by mega-firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. could indicate the firm is prepping for a shopping spree in Asia.

On August 3, KKR announced the addition of Michael DeNoma, who joins the firm as a senior adviser based in Singapore. Formerly the CEO of Standard Chartered Bank PLC’s Global Consumer Bank, DeNoma will help the firm’s portfolio companies and its investment professionals in their assessment of new deals.

At Standard Chartered, DeNoma also served as group executive director and head of strategy for the overall bank. He joined as head of banking in 1999 before being appointed to CEO in 2000, a position he held until 2008. Revenues grew by $4 billion over the course of his tenure as CEO, and its customer base nearly tripled from 5 million to 14 million, according to KKR’s announcement.

What KKR executives were perhaps most interested in was DeNoma’s leadership in the bank’s rebranding effort and the development and expansion of the company’s consumer banking operations across Asia, Africa and the Middle East—regions into which KKR, like most blue chip buyout shops, has been expanding in recent years.

The firm currently has offices in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Beijing, Mumbai, Dubai and Sydney. And it has three portfolio companies in Singapore alone, as well as two portfolio companies in China, one in Taiwan, one in India and two in Australia. Its Asia team consists of four investment professionals.

DeNoma’s experience in Asia and the Middle East is extremely deep, encompassing much of his professional career and stretching back to his position as senior vice president of marketing for Asia at Citibank from 1989 to 1992. There he managed sales and marketing for 34 businesses in 17 countries across Asia and the Middle East. Following that, he was chief operations manager and marketing officer at Hutchison Whampoa Limited in Hong Kong from 1992 to 1993. Prior to joining Standard Chartered Bank, DeNoma established Asia Foods Limited in 1993, which he expanded across China while serving as the company’s CEO and chairman until its sale in 1999.

DeNoma currently works as an advisor to McKinsey & Co.’s technology board and, in June, he was appointed chairman of Chinatrust Commercial Bank, a subsidiary of Chinatrust Financial Holding Company.