January 17, 2017 – Contrast Capital Global Advisory Board member, Mr. Philip M. Bilden, is under consideration for the appointment of United States Secretary of the Navy, according to published news reports. Francis X. Claro, Founder and Portfolio Manager of Contrast Capital, said, “Philip has been a trusted advisor to me for over 25 years and to Contrast Capital since its inception. His outstanding financial and management skills, and in-depth knowledge of the Asia Pacific region where he has built a successful business over two decades, have been essential to the development of Contrast. Philip is a gentleman of the utmost integrity, with a record of honorable service to our country in and out of uniform. Philip served our country as a Military Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Army Reserve for ten years, from distinguished ROTC graduate at Georgetown University through the rank of Captain. Philip’s leadership, work and advocacy for the U.S. Naval War College Foundation and the U.S. Naval Academy have benefited the U.S. Navy greatly. The Bilden family has served the nation in uniform for four consecutive generations with Philip’s two sons presently serving in the U.S. Navy. We commend Philip’s willingness to undertake public service after a highly successful career as a private sector business leader. We are proud that Philip is being considered to serve our nation as the 76th US Secretary of the Navy.”
Contrast Capital Management is an independent investment management and advisory firm with a long term track record focused on fundamental global investing. Our clients include individuals, RIA’s, partnerships and institutions.
The firm was founded and is led by Mr. Francis X. Claro, a senior investment professional with over 20 years of experience managing multi-billion dollar investment funds for leading asset management firms including Wells Capital Management, the investment arm of Wells Fargo Bank and Evergreen Investments, the investment arm of Wachovia Bank.
Philip Bilden is a co-founder and recently retired Senior Advisor of HarbourVest Partners, LLC, a leading global private equity investment management firm with institutional assets under management currently in excess of $40 billion. He was a founding member of the firm following the management buyout of HarbourVest’s predecessor company in 1997. Mr. Bilden joined the firm in Boston in 1991 and relocated to Hong Kong in 1996 to establish the firm’s Asian presence as a pioneering investor in the region.
Mr. Bilden has three decades of international management, leadership, and investment experience building a complex, large scale business across global markets with diverse international partners. Throughout his 25 year tenure, Mr. Bilden has served in senior leadership roles in the firm’s global management, including the firm’s four person Executive Committee responsible for governance.
Mr. Bilden established HarbourVest Partners (Asia) Limited which he led as Managing Director for 15 years. Based in Hong Kong, he was responsible for the firm’s investment strategy and execution, capital raising, and client service activities throughout the Asia Pacific region, managing personnel and partnerships in multiple countries and cultures.
Mr. Bilden served on the advisory boards of numerous international private equity partnerships throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America. He served as the inaugural Chairman of the Asia Advisory Council for the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (2011-2012). He is widely recognized as an industry pioneer and leader in the formation of the Asian private equity industry.
Mr. Bilden has been active in U.S. national security initiatives and support over three decades. The Bilden family has established several endowed funds for U.S. military veterans scholarship fellowships and faculty support for U.S. national security, U.S. Asia Pacific regional security, and national cybersecurity curricula at leading academic institutions including Georgetown University’s Center for Security Studies; Harvard Business School & HBS Asia Pacific Research Centers; the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation, and the U.S. Naval War College Foundation.
Mr. Bilden serves as the inaugural Chairman of the Center for Cyber Conflict Studies Task Force at the Naval War College Foundation. Over the past three years, Mr. Bilden has convened distinguished leaders from the US military, intelligence community, legislative branch, policy organizations, and private sector to address the challenges of cyber resilience of critical infrastructure at the national level impacting the U.S. Navy and the nation. Recent task force recommendations will be presented to the incoming Presidential administration with support from Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation.
Mr. Bilden currently serves on the Board of Directors of the United States Naval Academy Foundation; the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of the Naval War College Foundation; the Cyber & Tech Council of Business Executives for National Security; the Asia Pacific Advisory Board and Dean’s Board of Advisors of Harvard Business School; and the Board of Visitors of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
Mr. Bilden graduated with a BS in Foreign Service (magna cum laude) in 1986 from Georgetown University with a concentration in International Politics and as a Distinguished Military Graduate, Army Reserve Officer Training Corps, where he was awarded the President’s Cup as the top graduate of the brigade. Mr. Bilden served ten years in the U.S. Army Reserve as a Military Intelligence officer from 1986-1996, from Second Lieutenant to Captain, until relocating to Asia. He received his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1991.
Mr. Bilden and his wife, Patricia Bilden, MD, have been married 27 years and have three adult children: Ensign, USN (Aviation), USNA’ 15; Midshipman, USNA ’18; and daughter studying at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
Mr. Bilden is the son of a retired career officer whose 20 year service in the U.S. Navy included a combat tour in Vietnam. The Bilden family has eight decades of consecutive service in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army by seven family members over four generations.