David Williams joined DFJ in February this year and has invested in just two companies in his time with the firm - techpacific.com and Itelco. He says he misses the financial stability of investment banking as well as the deal flow. Moreover he feels that he is leaving DFJ at a time when the Asian office is fully staffed and when the companies he has invested in are financially secure. He believes his departure will not have a meaningful impact on the businesses of DFJ or its investments.
He says he has two jobs offers on the table - one in Hong Kong and one in Silicon Valley. "Both firms are top five investment banks and it is nice to return to firms that you know." In his previous career as an investment banker, Williams worked for both Salomon Smith Barney and Merrill Lynch.
Williams stresses that he still believes in the long term viability of venture capital investing in Asia. His decision has been made purely for personal financial reasons and his love of the deal. "I prefer the financial stability and constant deal flow of investment banking over the slim chance of making huge wealth [at a venture capital firm]," he says. Although he adds ruefully, "I think I am the only person I have ever heard of who has left a partnership at a venture capital firm to return to investment banking."
Williams was a vice president at Merrill Lynch before he joined DFJ. He is a board member of techpacific.com and Itelco and has resigned both positions. He is also a board member of Netease - the Chinese internet portal - a position he will retain as it was awarded during his time at Merrill Lynch.