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Maybe young Chinese bankers aren’t so hot after all

If there’s anything resembling a sacred cow in the investment banking job market, it’s the idea that young Chinese bankers are as desirable as they come.

Sadly, this may no longer hold true. Despite the hope that China might soon lift its moratorium on domestic listings and assertions that the world economic centre of gravity is moving to Asia, Chinese bankers are not as popular as all that.

Matthew Hoyle, chief executive of Hong Kong-based recruitment firm Matthew Hoyle Financial Markets, says he’s deluged with CVs from Chinese bankers with a few years’ experience in New York or London who want to return to Asia.

“Up to associate level, the supply far exceeds the demand,” says Hoyle. “Hong Kong is awash with highly qualified junior people who think that because they speak an Asian language and have a few years’ banking experience, they’ll get a job. That’s really not the case any more.”

Instead of starting out in London or New York and hoping to move to Asia a few years later, Chinese bankers’ better bet in the current circumstances might be to stick to Asia all along. “If you haven’t got a Hong Kong mobile number or address on your CV, people won’t look at you,” says Hoyle.

So if young Chinese bankers aren’t hot, who is? Adrian Ezra, chief executive of international search firm Execuzen, says Indians and Koreans are at least as popular. Hoyle says highly qualified Indians are flooding the Asian market: “There’s huge, huge competition. A lot of the Indians are absolutely top notch.”

Comments (30)

  1. Are Chinese and Indian bankers the new Goldman Sachs?

    NYC Morgan Stanley Banker Reply
  2. NYC Morgan Stanley Banker, im proud of you man

  3. i would advise any recruiter to be extra vigilant checking their background and eligibility to work here.

  4. Jon Appleby – what sort of BS and irrelevant comment is that? The article’s main theme is about Asian juniors trying to move back to Asia….

  5. “Adrian Ezra, chief executive of international search firm Execuzen…”

    ahhh yes…could this be the same Adrian Ezra who in 1999 along with James Archer and the other “flaming ferraris” got done by the FSA for insider trading/ market manipulation?

    So from trader to executive search…….

  6. All I am saying is there are better ways to make money than banking.

  7. @Jon Appleby, what about French and Swiss bankers? Even American ones in London. You folks are just a bunch of xenophobes…plain and simple. Insular and Inbred.

    Mr. Frank White Reply
  8. Good spot tradervic – have to say thought I’m not entrirely comfortable with labelling people according to race…..is an article to follow on whether African American bankers are wanted in London? Or if Algerians are welcome in Paris…..? Surely a lot of these so called ‘chinese’ bankers have international experience ie: they may have been schooled in the US or Europe…..I think most of right minded people aren’t too fussed about race these days…or perhaps that’s just me with my outdated notions……

  9. Tradervic: Scandi index trades i seem to recall……Ezra well known in HH circles particularly after moving a certain trader from BofA to CS to run Eq derv trading (short lived)

    waiting for the call Reply
  10. The only colour that bankers are interested in is the colour of money. Thankfully. If you can make money and are good with clients, you’ll do well.

    There is, however, a tiny minority who will cut you off from jobs because your face doesn’t fit.

  11. Agree with you Paul. Seen articles on here before which talk about race. Dodgy territory

  12. Frank White – European and American Bankers are usually fully background checkable and don’t resort to fake degrees and passports.

  13. “If you haven’t got a Hong Kong mobile number or address on your CV, people won’t look at you,” says Hoyle

    This guy clearly doesn’t know what he is talking about.

  14. @Jon Appleby, You have a sense of entitlement dont you? Don’t blame anyone for you lack of quality education. What a laugh!
    Are you insinuating that the vast majority of ivy league educated “foreigners” are therefore not background chekable? Do a quick scan of the most prestigious schools and courses in the UK and beyond and you will find that more than 55% of the class are from overseas. How can someone who probably went to a private college, top-5 UK /world University, excellent references therefore not be background checkable.

    Mr. Frank White Reply
  15. @ Jon Appleby (CONTD)

    For the sakes of a firm that you work/ aspire to work for, I hope psychological profiling is used to exclude you for you potentially xenophobic ideas.

    ps: I bet the foreigners in your class had the best results?!!! Eh!

    Mr. Frank White Reply
  16. This article is just typical selective racially charged spin about the job market that could apply to anywhere else, and any other ethnicity. The author chose to target “Chinese”, though. Why is that?


  18. “So if young Chinese bankers aren’t hot, who is? Adrian Ezra, chief executive of international search firm Execuzen, says Indians and Koreans are at least as popular”

    so chinese bankers arent hot, but if you are at least as poplular as them, then you are hot!! thats a very fine line between being hot and not hot! Great journalism efinancial

  19. Do those young Indians have HK mobile number and address?

  20. @Paul W – I chose to ‘target’ Chinese for the reasons described in the article. To reiterate…the centre of global economic gravity is widely held to be shifting to China. This should surely mean that junior Chinese bankers with experience of Western financial products are among the most employable in the world . However, as the article sets out, this would not appear to be the case.

    Sarah, Editor, eFinancialCareers Reply
  21. @ Sarah. You simply chose an angle for your “journalism” to denigrate “Chinese”, whatever that means to you. It was a totally NON-ISSUE unless you really do want to write about the issue of equality of recruitment practices within the international banking world. But your article was not about fairness in recruiting, nor about competition in a tough job market. It was simply a cheap snipe. However, I understand that it would be difficult for you to recognise and acknowledge that.

    Would you presume any young bankers are “hot” based purely on their race or nationality? If not, then you have just proven my point. If “yes”, well, the international banking industry really does need to re-evaluate their recruitment practices, then – which could be a better focus for your article.

  22. @Paul W – it is perfectly reasonable to assume that a certain nationality might be in demand if their country of birth is expected to be an engine of global growth in future. It is equally reasonable to look at why there is not the level of demand that might be anticipated for these people. It is not a cheap snipe, it is a reasoned argument (apart from the final paragraph which admittedly contains some logical inconsistencies.)

    ‘However, I understand that it would be difficult for you to recognise and acknowledge that…’

    Sarah, Editor, eFinancialCareers Reply
  23. @ Sarah, Jon Appleby and the whole EFC team. Quite dissapointed really. This sort of attitude is what is holding Europe back from innovativeness. Coming from the states, I can honestly say that the so- called ethos of diversity in the UK is a big SHAM!!!! You are making some really denigrating statements -albeit under the guise fo financial journalism, without actually realising it. As I said earlier, I am quite dissapointed.

    Mr. Frank White Reply
  24. Calm down, dear !!

  25. “Coming from the states, I can honestly say that the so- called ethos of diversity in the UK is a big SHAM!!!”

    have you worked in the US??? London is beyond comparison in terms of equality.

  26. @Sarah. Your article does not even articulate your non-sequitur assumptions. Any information in your article only points to how difficult it is for Junior level bankers (but your article highlights “Chinese” candidates) with experience outside Asia to get a job within Asia…but you spectacularly link this to the value judgement of how hot-or-not “Chinese” bankers are in general. Would it be appropriate if you were to use the same arguments to report on overseas “Jewish” bankers trying to find work in Israel, or to conjure an article on US “black” bankers with experience abroad, but now trying to find a job back in the US? Would you create a derisive headline and commentary, but justify it with the assumption that black bankers should be more in demand because of a black president!

    If you really have no news or anything meaningful to report from these difficult times and competitive job market, then I would suggest that you simply do what Yahoo does, and report what is happening on the Soap Operas or Big Brother rather than conjure racially derisive headlines and articles…

    ‘However, I understand that it would be difficult for you to recognise and acknowledge that” ~ Repeat

  27. @ Paul and @ Mr Frank White – The headline wasn’t intended to be racially divisive, or racially provocative. It was intended to make the point that, given the success of China, Chinese bankers are not as popular as you may think.

    @Paul, the success of China and grounds for the assumption that Chinese bankers are popular are not substantiated at length in the article. They are, however, substantiated by the clickable links which offer more depth. Such is the nature of online journalism.

    Sarah, Editor, eFinancialCareers Reply
  28. I’m with Sarah on this one. Clearly, there’s been a little bit of over-sensitive reaction here.

    Ying Tong Tiddlee-Ho Reply
  29. @previous poster. Thank you for demonstrating my point that a few people, like yourself, feel it is ok to deride and mock anything Asian, yet would not have the same bravado to do so for other races. Your username that you posted is obviously a casual snipe at the “hilarity” of Chinese names. I understand that for some people, mocking others is part of their nature. Just don’t pretend it is anything else, though, by wrapping it up in academic debate.

  30. Quite a few of these Indian “Bankers” have obtained postal, paid for degrees…There good for the back office.

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