Serge Desprat

Serge Desprat

Senior Advisor
Serge Desprat

Serge Desprat is a professional with 35 years of international experience in private equity (PE), business development and M&A globally with an early sector focus on financial institutions and insurance. He also has been involved in international relations and security matters since the early 1980s. Born and raised in the left bank of Paris, Serge today sees himself as a Transatlantic European. He resides in Prague where his family has been permanently located since 2006 after a first stint in 2001-02.

Since mid-2018 he has published Book Notes and Interludes on world affairs and the defense of Western liberal values to his global network of business, media and government deciders. His blog is “Desperate Measures He was the author in August 2020 of “2027”, a fictional Orwellian geopolitical journey into the post-pandemic Trumpian near future and a world upside down.

Today Serge works on private equity projects he likes which reflects his values and are not simply driven by money even if the latter is key. From December 2013 to October 2017, Serge was the Global Coordinator and then 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 (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 an active partner at London-based Europa Partners Limited, mainly responsible for PE fund advisory and placement worldwide (2005-2010), a platform founded by ex-SG Warburg professionals with which he has kept close ties ever since. 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 Head of Business Development (1995) 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/ insurance sector focus). From 1986 to 1987, Serge worked at NY-based Johnson & Higgins, a leading corporate insurance broker, as a senior corporate planning analyst.

Serge holds an M.B.A. Degree and an M.I.M. Degree (with Distinction; GPA: 3.83) from the Thunderbird School of Global Management (Glendale, Arizona) and a Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures in International Relations and Business (first in 1983 class) from the “Institut Libre d’Etude des Relations Internationales” - ILERI (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. He was a member of the ten-strong National Youth Leadership Team of the RPR party then led by a young Nicolas Sarkozy in 1980- 81. Serge speaks English and French fluently, having working knowledge of German and received introductory training in Czech and Russian.