Michael Chu was appointed a Senior Lecturer in the Initiative on Social Enterprise of the General Management Group of the Harvard Business School in July 2003. He is also Managing Director of the IGNIA Fund, an investment firm based in Monterrey, Mexico, dedicated to investing in commercial enterprises serving low-income populations in Latin America, which he co-founded in 2007. He continues to serve as Senior Advisor and a founding partner of Pegasus Capital, a private equity firm in Buenos Aires, with a portfolio which includes major companies and real estate developments in Argentina, and a real estate joint venture in Colombia.
Chu teaches the second year elective Business at the Base of the Pyramid, a course developed with Professor V. Kasturi Rangan. He is Faculty Co-Chair of the Executive Education program Strategic Leadership for Microfinance. In the past, he has taught the course Investing and Managing in Emerging Markets, and Effective Leadership of Social Enterprises. Chu is co-head of Project Antares, a collaboration between HBS and the Harvard School of Public Health focusing on commercial approaches to deliver high-impact primary health care to low-income populations in developing nations.
Before Pegasus, as President & CEO of ACCION International, Chu participated in the founding of several regulated microfinance institutions and banks throughout Latin America, including Banco Solidario, which under his chairmanship has been the most profitable bank in Bolivia, Mibanco in Peru and Compartamos Banco, which following its IPO in the Mexican Stock Exchange in 2007 has been incorporated into that exchange's index.
From 1989 to 1993, as an executive and limited partner in the New York office of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, Chu was one of sixteen professionals deploying KKR’s $5.7 billion private equity fund and managing an investment portfolio with aggregate annual revenues in excess of $60 billion. He joined the private equity firm from PACE Industries, a KKR-sponsored leveraged buyout, where he served as Senior Vice President & CFO, and listed by Forbes as one of the twenty largest private companies in the United States. Previously, he held senior management positions in U.S. corporations and was a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group. Chu currently serves on the boards of Arcos Dorados (NYSE-ARCO), Sealed Air Corporation (NYSE-SEE), and is a Trustee Emeritus of Dartmouth College.
Chu graduated with an A.B.(Honors) from Dartmouth College and received a M.B.A. with highest distinction (Baker Scholar) from Harvard Business School.
Chu was born in Kunming, China and grew up in Montevideo, Uruguay. He and his wife Victoria Cowling Chu reside in West Newton, MA.