Chris Lerner is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Verse Holdings in Singapore, a private markets focused investment holding company that owns and operates the investment manager Asia Heritage and its affiliates Thrive Alternatives, a private capital advisory firm, and Asense Technologies, a SaaS business.
Chris has spent his career helping companies build their businesses in Asia and globally. He has over 25 years experience in corporate finance, strategic planning and private market investments. During that time, Chris completed investments, acquisitions and capital raises as an advisor and principal totaling over $20 billion.
Prior to Verse, Mr. Lerner most recently served as a managing partner at MSA Capital where his role was to oversee the firm’s fundraising and institutional operations and work with its global investment and operating partners on the design and implementation of new strategic initiatives, best practices and continual improvement. MSA is a independent investment firm that invests in innovative companies at the convergence of science and technology. During his tenure, MSA received mulitple accolades including Private Equity International’s Firm of the Year in China and Exit of the Year in Asia (2021).
Prior to MSA, Chris was a global partner and head of Asia for Eaton Partners where he turned around a dormant, loss-making business into one of the region’s leading private market practices in fund placement and secondary advisory. Under Chris’ leadership, Eaton won numerous industry awards in Asia including Private Equity International’s fund placement firm of the year for four consecutive years, and two-time secondary advisor of the year. Prior to Eaton, he was a managing principal of Mercer Street Capital, an independent investment and advisory firm with business in the US, China and Vietnam. Chris began his career with Citigroup and its predecessor firms, Salomon Brothers and Smith Barney. He was the firm’s first investment banking expatriate based in Mainland China and helped establish and build the Asia Pacific Financial Institutions Group. Later, he worked on the corporate buy-side in strategic planning and corporate development, including for The Timberland Company where he completed the first four acquisitions in that company’s history.
Chris received an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA from Tufts University. He also completed the joint China Senior Executive Leadership Program of Tsinghua SEM, CEIBS and Harvard Business School. He is an active member of YPO and Kauffman Fellows.