About Vietnam Partners LLC

Vietnam Partners brings together a unique combination of expertise in international finance and hands-on experience in Vietnam. Formed as an independent company in 2003, its founders trace their on-the-ground engagement in Vietnam back to 1994, following decades of building businesses in emerging markets around the world. The firm has offices in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and New York.

  • 1994
19 years after Citibank closed its Vietnam operations, Bradley LaLonde is appointed Country Manager to lead Citibank's re-entry into Vietnam
  • 1994
Mr. LaLonde co-founds the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AMCHAM) and is elected its first Chairman. Testifies before the U.S. Congress, advocating full and free trade with Vietnam.
  • 1995
Citibank opens first U.S. bank branch in Vietnam in Hanoi, followed in 1997 by a second branch in Ho Chi Minh City.
  • 1999
U.S. and Vietnam agree in principle to a bilateral trade agreement. Citibank plays an important supporting role.
  • 2003
Bradley LaLonde and James W. Lewis found Vietnam Partners LLC
  • 2006
Vietnam Partners and BIDV form a 50/50 joint venture BVIM to manage domestic Vietnamese private equity growth investments. Bradley LaLonde appointed CEO & Chief Investment Officer, James W. Lewis Vice Chairman.
  • March 2007
BVIM completes closing of Vietnam Investment Fund I (VIF-I) denominated in Vietnamese Dong for equivalent of $ 84 million.
  • Late 2007
BVIM secures capital commitment of $42 million in Vietnam Investment Fund II (VIF-II), an offshore U.S. dollar denominated fund.
  • 2009
Vietnam Partners founds Indochina Automotive to engage in automotive distribution and service in Vietnam.
  • 2010
VIF-I and VIF-II are fully invested in 27 companies, of which six have already been liquidated. Major investments include Vinasun, Exim Bank, FPT and Minh Phu. Indochina Automotive acquires exclusive distribution rights for Ducati in Vietnam.
  • 2011
James Lewis retires from management of Vietnam Partners LLC. Continues to serve as Chairman of BVIM
  • Jan 2013
David Wisowaty, an experienced private equity professional, joins Vietnam Partners as Head of U.S .Operations.
  • Early 2013
VIF-II is successfully liquidated for a net gain of 18% to investors.
  • Oct-Dec 2013
Sean Jeffries, James (Jimmy) Lu and Richard (Dick) Bailey join the Strategic Advisory Board of Vietnam Partners.
  • Q3 2014-Q3 2015
Six distributions of VIF-I. 60% accumulated return of capital. Distribution of substantial remaining net asset value planned for 2016.
  • Q1 2016
7th distribution of VIF-I planned for Q1 2016

Vietnam Partners is a Delaware Limited Liability Company with sole managing member Bradley C. LaLonde who works closely with a three-member Executive Board team on daily operations and draws upon a close network of advisors in Vietnam.  A nine-member Strategic Advisory Board comprised of senior executives from around the world provides guidance on firm strategy and governance.

Executive Board Members

Carry out the daily operations of the firm.

Lead specific projects.

Collaborate in project management and financing and in new business development.

Bradley C. LaLonde

Sole Managing Member

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David Wisowaty

Executive Board Member, Head of U.S. Operations

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Richard L. Smith

Head of Bank Strategic Advisory Services

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Bradley C. LaLonde

Co-founder

Position: Sole Managing Member

Fields of expertise: Investment and Commercial Banking, Private Equity, Corporate Finance, Asset Management

Career
  • 2011 - present: Sole Managing Member of Vietnam Partners LLC
  • 2010 - present: Chairman of Indochina Automotive
  • 2006 - 2010: CEO and Chief Investment Officer of BVIM
  • 2003: Co-founder of Vietnam Partners
  • 1994 - 1999: Citibank Country Manager and Senior Credit Officer for Vietnam
  • 1981 - 1994: Citibank senior corporate banking positions in Tunisia,Turkey, Bahrain and Liberia.
Education
  • MA in Development Economics, Columbia University School of International Affairs
  • BA in Political Science, University of Michigan
Other
  • Independent Director for Vietnam International Bank.
  • Member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AMCHAM)
  • Visiting Lecturer, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
International Experience

Mr. LaLonde has extensive international experience, focused especially on emerging markets. During his undergraduate junior year, he attended Bosphorus University in Istanbul, Turkey. After earning his Masters at Columbia's School of International Affairs in 1977, he entered Chemical Bank's international credit training program and subsequently moved to Liberia. In 1980, he joined Citibank's renowned program for high-potential international bankers, progressing over the course of 23 years through assignments of increasing responsibility in Bahrain, Turkey, Tunisia and finally Vietnam. Due to the nature of Citibank's business in these markets, he gained experience not only in commercial banking, but also equity investing that often involved small to medium-sized companies. Mr. LaLonde has a working knowledge of Turkish, French and Vietnamese.

 
 
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David Wisowaty

Head of U.S. Operations (based in New York)

Position: Executive Board Member, Head of U.S. Operations

Fields of expertise: Investment Banking, Private Equity, Corporate Finance, Executive Management

Contact details:

David Wisowaty

Career
  • Executive Board Member and Head of U.S. Operations of Vietnam Partners
  • Chief Marketing Officer at CIGNA Healthcare
  • SVP Strategy and Marketing at ADP Payroll Processing
  • General Manager Corporate Cards at American Express
  • General Partner at Endeavor Capital Management
  • Co-founder of Healtheon/WebMD
  • Founder of Geometry Financial Partners
  • CEO of Fenimore Partners, LLC
Education
  • MBA, Harvard Business School
  • MA in International Economics, Columbia University School of International Affairs
  • BA in German Studies, Stanford University
Other
  • American Field Service-Gala Chairman 2012
  • American Council on Germany
International Experience

Mr. Wisowaty has been fascinated by international culture and business since early on. In his junior year of high school, he won a scholarship for a year in Vienna living with a host family and attended an Austrian school. At Stanford, he earned an interdisciplinary degree in German Studies that included a year at the University of Bonn in Germany. At Columbia's School of International Affairs Mr. Wisowaty specialized in international economics and then joined Chemical Bank's training program. Upon graduation from Harvard Business School, he joined Bain & Company's European practice where he focused on and co-founded Bain's German business. At American Express he identified and helped launch a number of new overseas businesses. Mr. Wisowaty has complete command of spoken and written German.

 
 
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Richard L. Smith

Executive Board Member

Position: Head of Bank Strategic Advisory Services

Fields of expertise: Commercial and SME Banking, Strategic Planning, Risk Management, Corporate Governance and Compliance

Career
  • International banker specialized in trade finance and correspondent banking (1975-1984)
  • Joined Citibank in 1985 to manage Midwestern U.S. multinational accounts
  • First Citibank Pan European Account Manager, based in Brussels and Zurich (1989-1995)
  • Citibank’s first Country Manager in Kazakhstan (1996-1999)
  • Since 2001 bank consultant focused on former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and Middle East
  • Twice appointed Chief Executive Officer (Kosovo and Serbia)
  • Represented the Asian Development Bank and the International Finance Corporation on the Board of Directors of the leading bank in Mongolia (2002-2006)
  • New York Representative of the International Bank of Azerbaijan (2007-2010)
  • Chief of Party of USAID Banking Project in Iraq (2012)
Education
  • MBA, University of North Carolina
  • BA, University of Virginia
Other
  • Member, Institute of International Bankers (IIB), New York

  • Co-Founder, Compliance and Regulatory Professional Certificate Program (CCRP), a joint venture between the Lubin School of Business at Pace University and the Association of International Bank Auditors (AIBA), New York

  • Member, Finance Committee, St Thomas Aquinas High School, Dover, New Hampshire

     

              

     

International Experience

At Citibank Mr. Smith initially managed the bank’s global relationships with large American multinational firms including Westinghouse and HJ Heinz. Later, from positions in Brussels and Zurich, he served the Pan European client needs of a dozen similar multinationals including Procter and Gamble, Philip Morris, and Dow Chemical.  His Citibank career was capped in 1996 when he was named as the bank’s first country manager in Kazakhstan (Central Asia) where he started up a new branch banking operation in a difficult post-Soviet environment. 

After leaving Citibank in 2001 his bank consulting practice focused on post-conflict environments including Albania, Kosovo, Serbia, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Syria, and Iraq. Additionally, he has specialized on banking assignments in the republics of the former Soviet Union including Kazakhstan, Moldova, Georgia, and Azerbaijan.  In these assignments, he provided steady executive leadership, while imparting ‘best practices’ compliance and governance principles, authoring strategic plans for institutions that largely lacked them, and training young local staff in risk management techniques.    

He was twice appointed the Chief Executive Officer of commercial bank start-ups (in Kosovo and Serbia) and from 2002-2006 represented the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) on the Board of Directors of the leading bank in Mongolia.  From 2007-2010 Mr. Smith served as the Chief Representative of the International Bank of Azerbaijan in New York City. 

More recently his consulting assignments have been focused on the Middle East including work in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Tunisia, and Iraq where he was the Chief of Party of a USAID banking project in Bagdad and Erbil in 2012.

 
 

Key Advisors in Vietnam

Pool of independent experienced professionals based in Vietnam and the region who stand ready to support the firm's projects.

Individual members participate in specific projects based on fit with project needs and potential high impact on project execution.

Compensation by individual project.

Phuc Pham

Key Advisor in Vietnam

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Viet Huynh

Key Advisor in Vietnam

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Quoc Bao Vu

Key Advisor in Vietnam

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Phuc Pham

Advisor for Real Estate of Vietnam Partners

Position: Key Advisor in Vietnam

Fields of expertise: Real Estate

Career

Present:

  • Advisor for Real Estate of Vietnam Partners
  • Managing Director & Co-owner of Viethome Real Estate Corp., one of Ho Chi Minh City’s leading brokers of sales and leases for foreign and upper-income local clients

Past:

  • Director of Real Estate at Vietnam Partners (2010 -2014)
  • Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Indochina Land, one of the largest foreign real estate funds in Vietnam
  •  Country Manager for Sotheby International Realty Vietnam (SIRV), a master franchiser for Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos
  • Residential/commercial sales and lease brokerage at Chesterton Petty Vietnam, now Savills International Vietnam
 
 
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Viet Huynh

Advisor for Private Equity and Special Opportunities

Position: Key Advisor in Vietnam

Fields of expertise: Investment banking, Private Equity, Corporate Finance, Asset Management

Career

Present:

  • Advisor for Private Equity and Special Opportunities for Vietnam Partners
  • CEO of Biospring, manufacturer and distributor of chemical-free organic animal feed
  • Advisor to Titanium Mining Group
  • Advisor to Ecopark Township Development, a 500-hectare environmentally friendly urban development near Hanoi

Past:

  • M&A advisory and wealth management for Morgan Stanley New York and Los Angeles
Education
  • MBA, Harvard Business School
  • MS in Industrial Engineering, Stanford University
  • BA in Economics, Stanford University
Other

Co-founder of two non-profit organizations: VietAbroader, Vietnam, dedicated to supporting Vietnamese youth, and Southeast Asian Service Leadership Network, a U.S. 501(c)(3) dedicated to promoting service leadership among Southeast Asian communities in the U.S. and abroad.

Full scholarships at Stanford University, B.A. (Economics) and Masters (Industrial Engineering) and Harvard Business School (MBA).

 
 
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Quoc Bao Vu

Executive Advisor for Special Transactions, M&A, Corporate Finance and New Business Development

Position: Key Advisor in Vietnam

Fields of expertise: Investment and commercial banking, Private Equity, Corporate Finance, Asset Management

Career

Present:

  • Executive Advisor for Special Transactions, M&A, Corporate Finance and New Business Development of Vietnam Partners
  • Member of the Board and Chief Financial Officer at Truong Hai Automobile Joint Stock Company (THACO) - the largest automotive group in Vietnam

Past:

  • Deputy Manager-International-Vietcombank
  • Chief Credit Officer at Citibank Vietnam
  • Executive Director at Vietnam Partners
  • General Director at ACB Securities Ltd., the capital markets subsidiary of Asia Commercial Bank
Education
  • MA in International Business, Curtin University
  • BA in Foreign Languages, Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City
Other

Fulbright Economic Teaching Scholar. One of the first employees at Vietnam Partners, Quoc was instrumental in completing several of Vietnam Partners’ landmark transactions.

 
 

Strategic Advisory Board

Diverse group of highly experienced individuals based in Vietnam and around the globe.

Provides advice on firm strategy, service offering, key personnel and governance.

Members participate in specific projects according to experience and interest.

Business development and client acquisition both inside and outside of Vietnam.

Robert Gartland

Member of Strategic Advisory Board

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Amirapu Somasekhar (Soma)

Member of Strategic Advisory Board

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Sean Jeffries

Member of Strategic Advisory Board

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James (Jimmy) Lu

Member of Strategic Advisory Board

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Richard (Dick) Bailey

Member of Strategic Advisory Board

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Bill Edwards

Member of Strategic Advisory Board

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Robert Gartland

Chairman & Managing Partner, Gartland & Mellina Group

Position: Member of Strategic Advisory Board

Fields of expertise: Investment and Commercial Banking, Private Equity, Corporate Finance

Career

Present:

  • Strategic Advisor for Vietnam Partners.
  • Senior Advisor to FPT Software, Vietnam's leading software company
  • Independent Trustee of Fidelity Mutual Funds

Past:

  • Partner at Vietnam Partners LLC (2008-2010)
  • Managing Director of Morgan Stanley
    • ​​Led the Firmwide Profit Improvement Initiative
    • Head of Global Infrastructure for the Fixed Income Division
    • Head of Morgan Stanley Services Business
    • Head of Global Information Systems
    • Head of Finance, Administration and Operations in Europe
    • Vice President of Money Cashiering Operations and Manager of Financial Planning
  • Member of the Board of the National Securities Clearing Corporation
  • Member of the Board of Directors of Southwest Securities Corporation
  • Member of the Board of Directors of Trade Web LLC
  • Member of the Board of Directors of OMGEO
Education
  • MS in Industrial Engineering, Columbia University
  • BA, Hofstra University
 
 
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Amirapu Somasekhar (Soma)

Senior Vice President at US Bank

Position: Member of Strategic Advisory Board

Fields of expertise: Investment and Commercial Banking, Private Equity, Corporate Finance, Asset Management

Career

Present:

  • Strategic Advisor of Vietnam Partners LLC
  • Senior Vice President at US Bank and Head of Small Business Lending, Leasing and Asset Management

Past:

  • Senior management positions at Citibank
    • Corporate Bank Head of Citibank Bombay and Citibank Calcutta
    • Country Manager for Nigeria and Niger
    • Managing Director at CitiCapital USA
    • Global Head of Strategy-Emerging Markets
    • Regional Head of Asset Management-Central Europe, Middle East and Africa
    • Head of Small Business Product Management for North America.  
Education
  • MBA, Indian Institute of Management
Other

Soma is a Certified Financial Analyst and earned an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management

 
 
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Sean Jeffries

Vice President of Millennium Partners

Position: Member of Strategic Advisory Board

Fields of expertise: Real Estate, Corporate and Real Estate law

Career
  • Strategic Advisor of Vietnam Partners LLC.
  • Vice President of Millennium Partners
Education
  • J.D, Chicago-Kent School of Law
  • BA, University of Colorado at Boulder
Other

Vice President of Millennium Partners, a leading developer of high-end mixed-use properties in the U.S. Over the past twenty years, Millennium has completed more than $3 billion of projects ranging in size from 500,000 to over 2 million square feet in New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Millennium’s unparalleled portfolio brings together luxury condominiums, state-of-the-art entertainment complexes, class-A office space, leading spa and fitness facilities, including Sports Club/LA, and five-star hotel brands, including the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Under Jeffries’ direction, Millennium Partners has expanded the firm’s real estate development operation on the west coast of the U.S. and completed over $1 billion of projects. 

 
 
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James (Jimmy) Lu

Managing Director and Head of Global Operations at WI Harper Group

Position: Member of Strategic Advisory Board

Fields of expertise: Private Equity, Corporate Finance, Investment Banking, Corporate law

Career

Present:

  • Strategic Advisor of Vietnam Partners LLC.
  • Managing Director and Head of Global Operations at WI Harper Group, a $750 million venture capital firm focused on Greater China
  • Member of Board of Director of CNano Technology Limited
  • Member of Board of Director of China Diagnostics Medical Corporation
  • Member of Board of Director of Kindstar Global Co. and Stem Cyte Inc

Past:

  • Acer Group
    • General Counsel, then promoted to General Partner of iD Ventures America (formerly Acer Technology Ventures)
  • Attorney at Bingham McCutchen in San Francisco, specialized in M&A and venture transactions, debt and equity financings and public securities work
  • Banker at JP Morgan in New York
Education
  • J.D, UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall)
  • MBA, Harvard Business School
  • BA, Yale College
Other

He served five years as the Chair of the Association of Yale Alumni and is a member of Florida College of Engineering West Coast Advisory Board.

 
 
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Richard (Dick) Bailey

President and CEO, Pacific Beachcomber SC, and President and CEO, Paul Gaugin Cruises

Position: Member of Strategic Advisory Board

Fields of expertise: Tourism, Real Estate, Project Finance

Career
  • Strategic Advisor of Vietnam Partners
  • President and CEO, Pacific Beachcomber SC
  • President and CEO, Paul Gaugin Cruises
Education
  • MBA, Harvard Business School
  • BA, Stanford University
Other

President and CEO, Pacific Beachcomber SC, and President and CEO, Paul Gaugin Cruises. Pacific Beachcomber owns and manages six luxury hotels in French Polynesia and recently launched its newest destination The Brando, a luxury eco-resort located on Tetiaroa, the late actor's remote private island. Paul Gaugin Cruises operates the award-winning, 5+-star small luxury cruise ship, the m/s Paul Gauguin and recently commissioned a second ship m/s Tere Moana. Both companies are long-time champions of sustainable development and pioneers of environmental protection in French Polynesia. Mr. Bailey was born and raised in Louisiana, earned his BA in French at Stanford University and MBA at Harvard Business School. He has lived in French Polynesia since 1986.

 
 

Bill Edwards

President of K&M Associates

Position: Member of Strategic Advisory Board

Fields of expertise: Mass Retailing and Marketing through Retailers

Career

Present:

  • Strategic Advisor of Vietnam Partners
  • President and Minority Owner of K&M Associates
  • President and founder of the privately-held consulting company, W.B.E., Inc.

Past:

  •  President and Chief Operating Officer of Revco, D.S., Inc.
  • President and Chief Executive Officer of F&M Distributors
  • President and Owner Xpect Discount Stores
  • President and Chief Operating Officer of Milor/Solo Inc.
  • Vice President of Mattel
  • Vice President at W.T. Grant Company
Other

William “Bill” Edwards is an expert in mass retailing and marketing through retailers.  He is President and Minority Owner of K&M Associates, where has directed overseas manufacturing operations in China, Vietnam, India, Philippines and other countries for companies based in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Europe, and Australia.  He is also President and founder of the privately-held consulting company, W.B.E., Inc., which specializes in strategic planning, business re-engineering and other services for international businesses. 

 
 

Clients

Selected clients, past and present:

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Chevron

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Bank of America

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Techcombank

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SHB

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PG Bank

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FPT

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BIDV

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SSI

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Ministry of Planning and Investment