Ten years’ ago, if you wanted to get into investment banking after completing an MBA, US and European schools were the only options. Not any more – Asia schools are getting a look in.
Now that Asian schools are getting on to the top rankings globally, students from around the world are starting to take note – and so are investment banks’ recruiters. Analysis of the eFinancialCareers CV database, encompassing over 1.2m finance professionals globally, suggests that graduates of Asian business schools are gaining traction in front office investment banking roles.
We then analysed resumes in our database from individuals who went to top Asian universities, trying to work out the percentage of MBA graduates from these schools who went on to work in front office roles in investment banks.
The top two universities are both from Mainland China: Fudan University and Shanghai Jiaotong University, each with a 42% of their MBA graduates on our database now working in the front office, as shown in the table below.
The second group consists a mixture of schools from Hong Kong, Mainland China and India, led by Hong Kong University of Science and Technology with 40% of its MBA graduates in front office jobs. China Europe International Business School (better known as CEIBS), a rapidly growing school in reputation and ranking, has 37% - on par with a few other Hong Kong-based business schools.
On contrast, the two Singaporean universities don't have as many MBA graduates as other schools who go into front office roles. National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University only achieved 34% and 30% respectively, even lower than Indian Institute of Management, which has an impressive figure of 38%. This is possibly down to the fact that Singapore has traditionally been a hub for back office and technology work rather than front office positions.
Of course, front office has many sub-categories. In hot areas like M&A, it's still the Mainland China universities that take the lead. This time CEIBS tops the list with a ratio of 32%, followed by Fudan and Shanghai Jiaotong with 27% and 24% respectively. Universities in Hong Kong, the most important financial centres in Asia, don't seem to churn out a lot of MBA graduates who go into M&A.