David P. Willard
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
David P. Willard is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of 52 Capital Partners, LLC. 52 Capital Partners, LLC is an American boutique strategic advisory firm that provides general strategic and business advice to North American and European companies in connection with mergers and acquisitions and other strategic transactions with a nexus to the Asia-Pacific region. Mr. Willard is responsible for all major aspects of the Firm’s executive management, strategy, client development and research leadership.
During his career, Mr. Willard has executed and participated in consequential mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts and other corporate transactions in the United States, Europe and Asia. He has successfully advised Fortune 500 businesses, investment firms and multi-national corporations spanning all major industries and geographies. Mr. Willard began his career at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in London and Pantera Capital Management LP in San Francisco, and later was the Vice President of Sage Capital LLC. Mr. Willard’s career expertise in mergers and acquisitions and Asia-Pacific economic matters has been recognized in Bloomberg News, Forbes, the Financial Times, the National Committee on United States-China Relations, Business Today, the Naples Roundtable, Capital Innovators, Policy Punchline, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and eFinancial Careers, among other institutions in the United States and Europe. He is a member of the National Committee on United States-China Relations, a leading American non-profit organization that supports and promotes greater understanding and awareness of important economic and policy matters between the two countries. Mr. Willard was appointed to, and served on, the Advisory Committee of the USS Gerald R. Ford CVN 78 Aircraft Carrier Commissioning Project in connection with the launch of the United States Navy’s super-carrier.
Prior to his career in business and mergers and acquisitions, Mr. Willard held positions at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation in Cambridge, the Delegation of the European Union to China in Beijing, and the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs in the Administration of President George W. Bush. He has served as a guest-lecturer on international business transactions and Asia-Pacific economics at Princeton University, Harvard Business School, Yale University, New York University, Washington University in St. Louis, the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University and Haas Business School at the University of California-Berkeley, among other American colleges and graduate schools. He serves as a subject-matter business advisor for start-up entrepreneurs at Capital Innovators, the nationally-ranked seed accelerator program in the United States. Mr. Willard previously served as a Fellow with the Princeton-in-Asia Program in China, serving as an English teacher for at-risk learning-disabled students in elementary schools and high schools in Beijing, Hunan, Yunan and Liaoning. He is a member of the Alumni Board of St. Louis University High School and serves on the school’s Endowment Investment Committee. Mr. Willard serves on the Board of the St. Matthew’s Day School Foundation and volunteers on behalf of Harlem Lacrosse, a leading American non-profit organization that provides educational training, athletic opportunities and academic mentoring to at-risk youth across the United States.
Fluent in Mandarin and an internationally-recognized expert on Asia-Pacific economics, Mr. Willard holds degrees from Princeton University (A.B., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and New York University (J.D., cum laude). He also completed the Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies at Tsinghua University and the Princeton-in-Beijing Chinese Language Program at Beijing Normal University. Mr. Willard and his family reside in Northern California.