Serge Desprat is a professional with more than 33 years of international experience in private equity, business development and M&A globally. He also has been involved in international relations and security matters since the early 1980s.
Since early 2018 he has started publishing book notes and views on world affairs and the defense of Western liberal values to his global network of business and government, private equity and media deciders, most of them friends, partners or colleagues which led to the smooth creation of Desperate Measures.
From December 2013 to October 2017, Serge was the Lead Senior Advisor to the Global Fund Advisory Platform of PwC Corporate Finance, the center of excellence which he co-founded for PwC in PE fund placement and strategic advisory services globally. He was also Senior Adviser on CEE and French matters to Munich-based Golding Capital Partners, the leading independent German PE fund of funds manager in 2013. Prior to this role, Serge was an independent consultant (as part of his firm, Desprat s.r.o. – acting as in-house adviser to client teams) mainly dealing with PE fund and direct investment advisory services on a global basis. His PE asset class coverage includes buyout, growth capital, venture capital, real estate, natural resources, infrastructure and clean-tech funds globally mainly on behalf of European and U.S. alternative assets platforms. His global investor network comprises Development Financial Institutions, funds of funds, private and public pension funds, endowments, foundations, insurance companies, banks, Sovereign Wealth Funds and single and multi-family offices with a main focus on Europe and North America and a secondary focus on Asia/Australasia and the Middle East.
Prior to 2010, Serge was a partner at Europa Partners Limited, a London-based investment banking advisory firm, mainly responsible for private equity fund advisory and placement worldwide (2005-2010). Serge was also a Senior Advisor – CEE to Keefe Bruyette & Woods, the US specialist investment bank in financial services M&A advisory in 2006-2007. From 2003 to 2005, Serge was Managing Director & Head of Financial Institutions at Vienna-based European Privatization and Investment Corporation GmbH (EPIC), a CEE-focused investment bank/M&A and investment firm. He was CEE Financial Services Leader – Corporate Finance at PwC in Prague and covered 20 countries in the region (2001-2003). Prior to PwC, he was head of international placement for Paris-based Edmond de Rothschild’s PE funds in 2000. He was Senior Banker – Head of the Insurance Investment Unit, Financial Institutions (1993-1998) and in parallel Head of the Business Development Unit (1995-1996) at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (“EBRD”), where he completed fifteen principal direct investment projects in CEE and started his involvement in the PE fund sector. From 1988 to 1992, Serge was an investment banker at S.G. Warburg & Co. Ltd in London and Paris focusing on cross-border European M&A advisory mandates (acquisitions, disposals and takeover defense). From 1986 to 1987, Serge worked at New York-based Johnson & Higgins, a leading corporate insurance broker, as a senior corporate planning analyst.
Serge has been a member of the Paris-based “Institut Français des Relations Internationales” (IFRI), one of the leading European international relations think tanks, since 1981. Over 1983-1984, Serge served in West Germany in the 3rd Hussar, a French reconnaissance armored cavalry regiment deployed alongside U.S. and NATO forces, with stints in West Berlin. Serge is a recipient of the French National Defense Medal for services rendered. Over recent years Serge has been an angel investor in two start-up companies. He has been the leading investor in Cyber Essentials Direct, Ltd., a UK-based cybersecurity company whose Chairman is Lord Blunkett, former Home Secretary to Tony Blair, PM. www.cybersessentialsdirect.com Serge is also an early investor in Toorbee, a Hong-Kong technology company focused on the mega-trend of rising Chinese middle-class tourism globally www.toorbee.com
Serge holds an M.B.A. Degree and an M.I.M. Degree (both with Distinctions) from the Thunderbird School of Global Management (Glendale, Arizona) and a Masters’ Degree in International Relations and Business (first in class) from the “Institut d’Etudes des Relations Internationales” (Paris, France). At Thunderbird, Serge was also a Teaching Assistant in Insurance and Risk Management Studies. In addition, Serge attended graduate courses (international economics and foreign policy studies) at Harvard University in 1981-1982 (two full terms) as well as a special executive private equity & venture capital program at Harvard Business School in 2008. Serge was a member of the ten-strong National Youth Wing of the RPR party then led by Nicolas Sarkozy in 1980-81. He is a French national and speaks English and French fluently, having working knowledge of German and received introductory training in Czech and Russian.
While spending time in his second home in Paris, Serge resides in Prague where his family has been located since 2006. He has been married to Anne-Sophie since 1992. They have two daughters: Charlotte (22, Yale College BA in History with Distinctions and Graduation Cum Laude, now Manager at Boston-based New Markets Advisors) and Clementine (19, second year student pursuing a BS in criminology and psychology at Swansea University, Wales), both having been previously educated in Prague schools (French Lycée and English College in Prague respectively).
As seen on the picture, Serge cannot easily smile, this following brain surgery in August 2009 though he is quite a funny chap in spite of the seriousness of his drive.