Are you a finance student in Singapore looking for role-model young bankers who’ve already made a mark on the firm you want to work for? Or are you a senior banker in Singapore worried about whether your role will be taken by an ambitious junior who’s currently rising up the ranks?
We’ve searched through public profiles of associate-level employee in Singapore to find some high-achieving junior bankers to inspire (or annoy) you.
If you thought that Stan Chart was only cutting jobs in Asia (or that it was just hiring in the middle and back office), Tan’s case may make you reconsider. Tan only joined the firm in January and he joined in investment banking, focused on financial institutions – one of the more buoyant coverage areas in Asian IBD. Unusually and despite a string of financial services internships, Tan began his full-time career outside the sector – at online shopping company Lazada Singapore. He moved to Stan Chart just five months later, however.
Younger bankers in Singapore are almost three times more likely to boast a degree from an elite foreign university than their older counterparts are. Moreover, Wong has a BSc from the Western institution which is most likely to land you a job at Goldman Sachs in Asia: The London School of Economics. Wong got his first taste of GS during a 2011 summer internship and has (unsurprisingly) stuck with the firm – he was promoted to associate last August.
If you’re a junior investment banker in Singapore, you may not get the same exposure to large deals as you counterparts in Hong Kong do. But you are less likely to get pigeonholed into a particular specialism too early in your career because Singapore-based teams tend to cover Southeast Asia across sectors and across both M&A and capital markets. At Macquarie, for example, Tan has been working in ECM, M&A and private capital raising, in industries as diverse as consumer, healthcare, education, ecommerce, and infrastructure.
Tan’s career helps to answer a couple of key question. Is it possible to intern only at Singaporean banks and get a full-time offer from a global firm? Yes – Tan did summer stints at DBS and OCBC before joining Credit Suisse as a graduate. And is it possible to quit a bank as a junior employee and rejoin it just 20 months later? Again, yes – Tan left Credit Suisse for information services company Naspac Marketing in 2012, but the Swiss bank had no problems with hiring him again as an associate in its investment banking division. With Credit Suisse now pivoting more of its business towards Asia, other former staffers might want to take note of Tan’s return.
Singaporean banks are building up their corporate banking ranks, mainly thanks to their large campus recruitment programmes which tap local universities. Goh graduated from Singapore Management University with a Bachelor of Business Management in Finance, Magna Cum Laude in 2011 and promptly joined OCBC. As we reported recently, however, foreign banks in Singapore are increasingly open to hiring juniors who’ve been trained up by local firms. Goh seized her chance in 2014 and joined BAML as a corporate banking analyst, rising to associate the following year.
Banks in Singapore are clamouring to hire overseas-based Singaporeans, especially those in New York or London (who have experience of larger markets) and especially those already within their ranks (who are quicker and cheaper to recruit). No wonder then that Chan was able to secure a transfer earlier this year from London to Singapore in the bank’s private funds group. And he managed a promotion from analyst to associate director (the second-rung on the UBS ladder) in the process.
Not all investment banking associates in Singapore get to where they are by being investment banking analysts. Take Wee – he began his career as a risk management analyst at consultancy Dragonfly before becoming a corporate finance and asset management analyst at investment firm Abacus Capital just a year later. He’s now an investment banking senior associate at Citi in Singapore and his profile proclaims a “broad spectrum of experiences”.
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