Michael Chu holds an appointment as Senior Lecturer in the General Management Unit of the Harvard Business School where his research and teaching has focused on business delivering goods and services to the low-income sectors that comprise the majority of humanity, with a particular interest in the use of commercial platforms to respond to social issues and public responsibilities. In addition, he serves as the HBS Faculty Chair for Latin America.
Chu is also active as Co-founder and Partner Emeritus of IGNIA, an investment firm with offices in Mexico City and Monterrey, N.L. that has pioneered venture capital in Mexico and focuses on disruptive business models across the region, often with a particular emphasis on the emerging middle class and lower-income populations. He continues to serve as Senior Advisor to Grupo Pegasus, a private equity firm headquartered in Buenos Aires which he co-founded and is active in Argentina and Colombia.
Previously, as President & CEO of Accion International, Chu participated in the founding and governance of regulated microfinance banks throughout Latin America, including BancoSol, which under his chairmanship became the most profitable bank in Bolivia, Mibanco in Peru and Compartamos Banco, which following its IPO in the Mexican Stock Exchange in 2007 was incorporated into that bourse'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, listed by Forbes as one of the twenty largest private companies in the United States, a KKR-sponsored leveraged buyout, where he served as Senior Vice President & CFO. Previously, he held senior management positions in U.S. multinational corporations and was with the Boston Consulting Group.
Chu currently serves on the boards of Arcos Dorados (NYSE-ARCO) and Takeoff Technologies, Inc, an artificial intelligence and robotics firm serving the e-grocery industry. He is an Academic Advisor to the Chinese Academy of Financial Inclusion and a Trustee Emeritus of Dartmouth College. He also served on the inaugural Economic Advisory Board of the International Finance Corporation (The World Bank).
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.