Private equity is a tough industry to break into globally, but add in the fact that the Hong Kong sector is decidedly smaller and there are limited opportunities for those without PE experience, and it’s a whole different proposition.
To help inspire you, we’ve looked through online public profiles of young private equity professional in Hong Kong to see how they got their first break.
Private equity firms in Hong Kong hire even fewer interns than their counterparts in the West do. Yin managed to get two internships – at CDH Investments in 2014 and at Primavera Capital the following year. These were her ticket into a full-time PE analyst job upon graduation, at Hong Kong firm EXS Capital Group. It would have also helped that Yin graduated from Harvard, where she was president of the Harvard China Forum, according to her public profile. PE firms in Hong Kong aren’t just interested in finance degrees, however – Yin studied History of Art and Architecture.
Can you work for J.P. Morgan for just 16 months and get poached by a top private equity firm? Yes, in the case of Ye. He worked in the US bank’s real estate, gaming and lodging group until 2015, before being snapped up by Blackrock’s real estate private equity unit in Hong Kong earlier this year. Ye graduated, Magna Cum Laude, with a BSc from the Wharton School of Business in 2014, according to his online profile. He speaks fluent English, Mandarin, Cantonese…and German.
What does TPG Capital want in its young associates? An elite overseas education if Li is anything to go by. He has a BSc in Finance and Accounting from the Stern School of Business, where he was class of 2012 valedictorian. Li also did internships at Citi in Hong Kong and IDG Capital Partners in Beijing. Impressively, Li was snapped by TPG after just two years and three months as an analyst at Citi. He now covers the consumer, healthcare, TMT and FIG sectors.
Sze didn’t start her career at a bank or private equity firm – she worked for 2.5 years as an auditor at Deloitte, where she specialised in the manufacturing and retail industries and frequently visited clients in mainland China. This experience was enough to land her an associate job at mezzanine fund Bay Capital Partners in 2013, covering similar sectors in China. She’s since moved on to become an investment manager at SEAVI Advent Private Equity.
Su has a junior finance CV to die for. His degree is from Berkeley and it’s a double in Business Administration and Chinese Language. And there’s his four cross-sector internships – from Morgan Stanley to electronics giant Foxconn – and his three years’ investment banking experience at Morgan Stanley. Little wonder he was a prime candidate for a move to PE firm Apollo Global Management in 2014 where he now works as an associate.