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William Watson

William R. Watson (Inducted 2003)


William Watson graduated from BCI in 1983, and received his Bachelor of Commerce from Trinity College at University of Toronto and an MBA, with distinction, from INSEAD, located in Fontainebleau, France. He received the Ashley Award for leadership from Trinity College in 1987, his graduation year.

Bill began his business career with Salomon Brothers in International Corporate Finance, based in New York and later Toronto. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development was established by international treaty in 1991 to promote the economic transition of the former eastern block and Soviet Union to a market economy. Based in London, England, Bill became one of the first members of the Hungary team for the EBRD, where he worked for five years before moving to a regional role with the Telecoms Team. He was posted to Budapest and was, at the time, one of the youngest bankers to be appointed a Senior Banker. He was involved with an estimated 320 million Euros in transactions in such areas as mobile telecoms, pharmaceuticals and fast food restaurants.

In 1997, Bill became a founding partner of the Baring Central European Fund, a private equity fund sponsored by Baring Private Equity Partners, part of ING. The business focuses on development capital investments in private companies in Poland, Hungary and the rest of central Europe. The fund specializes in backing central European management teams with new capital to grow their businesses. Mr. Watson has taken an active role with the portfolio companies after investment. He is a member of the Supervisory Board of Poligrafia S.A., a publicly listed Polish printing company and CR Media S.A., a Polish media group and radio broadcaster. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Boyar estates; a Luxembourg registered Bulgarian wine producer.

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