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I'm Asian-American. I see tons of Asians going into finance at the analyst level, and many who are Asian at the lower levels of PE firms (associate, analyst), but it seems to me that it's rarer to see Asians at the higher levels of PE or IBD. In my opinion, I think this is because it's simply harder for Asians in general to develop relationships with all you white folk who run the companies of this country (than for other Caucasians), and thus Asians tend to bring in less revenue.

Why this is so is possibly because people in general tend to get along better with similar people - others with similar backgrounds, cultures, and appearances. Another plausible reason is because of immigration patterns that led to second generation Asian-Americans being much larger now than maybe 10 years ago. Nevertheless, I can't seem to think of a single important Asian-American financier in the United States among the hundreds of important American financiers out there today.

One of my friends who worked at Goldman Sachs this past summer but decided not to accept his return offer told me one of the main reasons is because he thinks his chances of making it to the top are really slim since he is Asian. He decided to pursue a PhD instead.

What do you guys think about Asian-Americans in finance? Do you think I'm overthinking things? Is there potential for someone like me to be the Jeremy Lin of finance?

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Comments (117)

  • seedy underbelly's picture

    Interesting. Asian-Indians, in comparison, tend to have little problem with the 'bamboo ceiling'. In fact, considering their share of the US population (0.9%), they've done exceptionally well. CEO of Pepsi, Citigroup, McKinsey, Deans of Harvard Business School and UChicago Booth, several of the top (not the very top, obviously) executives at Goldman, Blackstone, Bain Capital, Governors of two States, etc.

    I personally think it has to do with the personality types of the East Asians who do end up going into finance. At my school at least, all are incredibly intense, focused, and of course smart. The Indians, in comparison, are all of that and also, crucially, laid back. Meh, just a theory.

  • Falcon's picture

    How do you think Blacks and Hispanics feel?

    Honest question btw, no trolling.

  • bbjhva's picture

    What an interesting question, though I was gonna say the same thing as seedy underbelly - tons of Indians who make it OK. Anshu Jain even made it big in a German, highly White setting...so I don't think there's firstly racism or latent racism as such. We all know brown people face a lot more racism than Asians...!

    On the other hand, I think it has something to do with cultural/stereotypical strengths. Indians tend to talk more, be better at presenting than Asians, while Asians are more detail-oriented and excellent at analytics. Typically you find a lot of Asian CFOs for instance - those not doing a lot of customer facing work but still handling hugely important duties.

    I think you should definitely keep going at your dream if finance is your passion. If you have strong interpersonal skills and are good at the analytical portions of your job, of which there'll be plenty, you'll be OK.

  • protectedclass's picture

    Tell your friend the PhD, that he needs to understand "sampling bias" before he writes anymore papers.

  • Powa23's picture

    I remember reading this in an article somewhere but they attributed this to the simple fact that not that many minorities entered finance until the 90's. Even during the middle to late 90's many people who entered finance were still of the old boys club variety. Nowadays its quite common ( maybe more than common) to see an Asian in finance. Maybe after a decade, the vast influx of minorities who enter finance right now will move onto the MD level of the firm. Just look at people at Qatalyst,they have three Asian MD who went into finance around the 2000s and lots and lots of East Asian analysts and associates.

    I think the bamboo ceiling is vastly exaggerated. Its not that uncommon either to see an Asian person in the MD level especially in the West Coast and there isn't a inherent bias against Asians in finance. As long as you can perform and you are sociable, you should be totally fine.

  • CHItizen's picture

    I think you're overthinking things. There are a number of different Asian-Americans who are prominent in business that I could point to, but no amount would probably be enough (Stephen Chao and Jerry Yang are two that come to mind immediately; if you're looking for pure finance, how about Ping Jiang or if you're looking at dealmakers, the Greenhill MD who brought in the ATT/T-Mobile deal was Asian, and yes, I realize it fell apart). The point is that it's possible for an Asian-American to attain the highest level of business in the US. If the only reason your friend didn't return to GS was because of this, then I don't think he made a very good decision; there's no way the sample sizes we're using could be anywhere close to being statistically significant, and while I realize that's not how we make decisions in real life, I still think it's a very narrow minded view. After all, there's nothing that says that unless you make MD at GS by a certain age, then you fail at life.

    Another point that's been raised is why Indian Americans tend to succeed more in finance than (East) Asian Americans, and I think this is a very valid question. It seems that you can extend this trend more generally to the entirety of the business world as well. My answer to this is that while both groups are traditionally associated with highly skilled positions (doctors, engineers, computer scientists), Indian culture is more embracing of business careers and aspirations. Part of this is because East Asian cultures place a huge emphasis on the group over the individual, meaning there is pressure to conform. While conformity has its advantages in some situations, in the corporate workplace, it's not very conducive to getting noticed and therefore promoted.

    Additionally, this focus on the group's well-being also encourages risk-aversion in most East Asians; careers in medicine or engineering are viewed as 'safe' in that unless something really bad happens (i.e. losing your license to practice medicine), you're going to have a marketable skill that's in demand. On the other hand, business, and to an even greater extent, finance, is seen as much more risky; it's a foregone conclusion that recessions will occur, and that during these recessions, jobs will be cut. When my Asian roommate in college told his parents that he wanted to accept his IBD offer and not go to grad school, they didn't flip out per se but they sure tried to talk him into doing something more 'tangible'.

    Anyway, the bottom line is that your race/ethnicity/gender/whatever doesn't define you. It's a part of your identity, but it's only as important as you let it be.

  • In reply to bbjhva
    CHItizen's picture

    bbjhva wrote:
    We all know brown people face a lot more racism than Asians...!

    Only in TSA security lines...

  • guyfromct's picture

    I think that what determines your long term ability to succeed in IB is your soft skills. My MD last summer wasn't a financier first and foremost, yes he was good at it, but he was a hard sciences PhD. His strength was his people skills. He had a great Rolodex, was a great networker and that's why he succeeded. A lot of Asian people I have known make incredible analysts, but lack in the soft skills that make you ultimately a good SVP/Director/MD.

  • In reply to seedy underbelly
    melvvvar's picture

    seedy underbelly wrote:
    Interesting. Asian-Indians, in comparison, tend to have little problem with the 'bamboo ceiling'. In fact, considering their share of the US population (0.9%), they've done exceptionally well. CEO of Pepsi, Citigroup, McKinsey, Deans of Harvard Business School and UChicago Booth, several of the top (not the very top, obviously) executives at Goldman, Blackstone, Bain Capital, Governors of two States, etc.

    I personally think it has to do with the personality types of the East Asians who do end up going into finance. At my school at least, all are incredibly intense, focused, and of course smart. The Indians, in comparison, are all of that and also, crucially, laid back. Meh, just a theory.

    spoken like a true college kid.

    wait til you work a couple of years boy and let me know how this theory of yours works in your life.

  • jgx101's picture

    YOU'RE OVERTHINKING IT. ASIAN AMERICANS ARE OBVIOUSLY VERY AMERICANIZED, AND THE NEXT GENERATION OF ASIANS WILL HAVE MANY MORE PEOPLE IN HIGHER MANAGEMENT.
    IN FACT, MY EX-GIRLFRIEND'S COUSIN'S BROTHER'S FRIEND'S DAD IS A PARTNER AT A TOP BB, AND I KNOW OF SEVERAL OTHERS THAT ARE GETTING THERE.

  • In reply to CHItizen
    SaucyBacon85's picture

    CHItizen wrote:

    the bottom line is that your race/ethnicity/gender/whatever doesn't define you. It's a part of your identity, but it's only as important as you let it be.

    Amen

    __________

  • Ultima-RDK's picture

    goldman in da house wrote:
    Nevertheless, I can't seem to think of a single important Asian-American financier in the United States among the hundreds of important American financiers out there today.

    Here's another notable Asian-American financier: Chinh Chu. Look up his story -- very fascinating.

    In summary, he fled to America from Vietnam at a very young age (Vietnam War), learned good engrish, funded his own education at a NON-TARGET (for all you monkeys out there) as a door-to-door salesman/telemarketer, and became one of Blackstone's youngest senior managing directors.

    Some years back he closed the Celanese deal -- the largest public-to-private deal in European history. He's now co-chair of their private equity division / serves on the exec committee.

    Oh, and he owns the top penthouse in the Trump Tower. What a boss.

    Sometimes lies are more dependable than the truth.

  • euinvestor12's picture

    This question is full of stereotypes and bias.
    Once you've grown up out of them maybe you might have a chance at IB.

  • In reply to seedy underbelly
    Macro Arbitrage's picture

    seedy underbelly wrote:
    In fact, considering their share of the US population (0.9%), they've done exceptionally well. CEO of Pepsi, Citigroup, McKinsey, Deans of Harvard Business School and UChicago Booth, several of the top (not the very top, obviously) executives at Goldman, Blackstone, Bain Capital, Governors of two States, etc.

    You forgot the Co-CEO of Deutsche Bank.

    Although, I don't agree with your theory.

  • Human's picture

    The funny thing is that I just had a counseling session with one of the WSO mentors last night and I actually brought up the same question. I am a South East Asian and so is the mentor. I have been working close to five years in Finance, from BO to MO and to FO. It is all the same. Based on my personal experience here are a few things that I would like to point out:

    1. Meritocracy. Finance is based on meritocracy. You are either making money for the bank or you are not. In the end of the day, bottom line matters.

    2. Don't play the victim card. You can keep blaming why you can't be a MD because you are Asian, White, Black, Hispanic, Woman, Old, Young, Veteran, went to target school with liberal art major, went to non-target school, and the list goes on. But what does it really accomplish? Nothing. Instead of complaining, you could have focused on getting something and going somewhere.

    3. Play with the cards you are dealt with. Fine, you are a minority then look out for programs that can give you an edge like this one: http://www.seo-usa.org/Home. Join community groups within the bank or within the region that provide you a support system. Find people whom you can relate to and make them your personal and professional advocates.

    4. Manage perception. Everyone is going to have bias and stereotypes against people whom they don't know. Instead of complaining about it, go out with them. Find topics that you can relate to them. After meeting so many people, I realize that we all wants the same thing: Happiness. Everyone of these people 1) love their families, 2) want to do something that they are good at, 3) want to be loved, get a gf/bf, get married 4) have a hobby/cause that they are passionate about.

    5. You have to prove it all the time. In Finance, you can have a track record, but it doesn't mean anything. As you progress in your career you change role, company, location, you start from ground zero again. The main focus is trying to learn the business, work harder than everyone else, maintain a great professional relationship in the industry, always take a stand for your opinions, and make money for your group. That is the only way that you can move up. And everyone (White, Black, Asian, Woman...) have to do the same thing. Company promotes competent people, and not necessarily because you talk or look a certain way.

    6. Your perception determines your reality. Finally, I am a firm believer in self-determination. I believe how we think affect how we are as a person. If you think of yourself as likable, intelligent and attractive, you are going to act this way. And when you act this way, people are going to view the same. That's why I believe that we can actively manage our perception by focusing on our inner self. As William Ernest Henley said in his poem, Invictus, "I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul." And that is how I view and want to live my life.

    Hope this helps.

    "I am the hero of the story. I don't need to be saved."

  • In reply to melvvvar
    TonyPerkis's picture

    melvvvar wrote:
    seedy underbelly wrote:
    Interesting. Asian-Indians, in comparison, tend to have little problem with the 'bamboo ceiling'. In fact, considering their share of the US population (0.9%), they've done exceptionally well. CEO of Pepsi, Citigroup, McKinsey, Deans of Harvard Business School and UChicago Booth, several of the top (not the very top, obviously) executives at Goldman, Blackstone, Bain Capital, Governors of two States, etc.

    I personally think it has to do with the personality types of the East Asians who do end up going into finance. At my school at least, all are incredibly intense, focused, and of course smart. The Indians, in comparison, are all of that and also, crucially, laid back. Meh, just a theory.

    spoken like a true college kid.

    wait til you work a couple of years boy and let me know how this theory of yours works in your life.

    Agreed..internship doesnt mean youve worked

    I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

  • In reply to protectedclass
    UFOinsider's picture

    This:

    goldman in da house wrote:
    One of my friends who worked at Goldman Sachs this past summer but decided not to accept his return offer told me one of the main reasons is because he thinks his chances of making it to the top are really slim since he is Asian. He decided to pursue a PhD instead.

    Leads to this:
    protectedclass wrote:
    Tell your friend the PhD, that he needs to understand "sampling bias" before he writes anymore papers.

    Get busy living

  • In reply to Human
    JaLe2286's picture

    Human wrote:
    The funny thing is that I just had a counseling session with one of the WSO mentors last night and I actually brought up the same question. I am a South East Asian and so is the mentor. I have been working close to five years in Finance, from BO to MO and to FO. It is all the same. Based on my personal experience here are a few things that I would like to point out:

    1. Meritocracy. Finance is based on meritocracy. You are either making money for the bank or you are not. In the end of the day, bottom line matters.

    2. Don't play the victim card. You can keep blaming why you can't be a MD because you are Asian, White, Black, Hispanic, Woman, Old, Young, Veteran, went to target school with liberal art major, went to non-target school, and the list goes on. But what does it really accomplish? Nothing. Instead of complaining, you could have focused on getting something and going somewhere.

    3. Play with the cards you are dealt with. Fine, you are a minority then look out for programs that can give you an edge like this one: http://www.seo-usa.org/Home. Join community groups within the bank or within the region that provide you a support system. Find people whom you can relate to and make them your personal and professional advocates.

    4. Manage perception. Everyone is going to have bias and stereotypes against people whom they don't know. Instead of complaining about it, go out with them. Find topics that you can relate to them. After meeting so many people, I realize that we all wants the same thing: Happiness. Everyone of these people 1) love their families, 2) want to do something that they are good at, 3) want to be loved, get a gf/bf, get married 4) have a hobby/cause that they are passionate about.

    5. You have to prove it all the time. In Finance, you can have a track record, but it doesn't mean anything. As you progress in your career you change role, company, location, you start from ground zero again. The main focus is trying to learn the business, work harder than everyone else, maintain a great professional relationship in the industry, always take a stand for your opinions, and make money for your group. That is the only way that you can move up. And everyone (White, Black, Asian, Woman...) have to do the same thing. Company promotes competent people, and not necessarily because you talk or look a certain way.

    6. Your perception determines your reality. Finally, I am a firm believer in self-determination. I believe how we think affect how we are as a person. If you think of yourself as likable, intelligent and attractive, you are going to act this way. And when you act this way, people are going to view the same. That's why I believe that we can actively manage our perception by focusing on our inner self. As William Ernest Henley said in his poem, Invictus, "I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul." And that is how I view and want to live my life.

    Hope this helps.

    Agreed

  • TheMasao's picture

    Your core issue is that you're focusing on the wrong market. Come back to Asia. Don't think you'll find many successful PE firms run by us white folk.

    In other words, stop bitching about what you don't have and take advantage of your opportunities.

    By the way, I'm based in Tokyo where the total number of immigrants is less than 1.5% of the total population. Of that there are a handful of us in finance, especially after the earthquake last year.

  • In reply to Human
    cokeaddict's picture

    Human wrote:
    The funny thing is that I just had a counseling session with one of the WSO mentors last night and I actually brought up the same question. I am a South East Asian and so is the mentor. I have been working close to five years in Finance, from BO to MO and to FO. It is all the same. Based on my personal experience here are a few things that I would like to point out:

    1. Meritocracy. Finance is based on meritocracy. You are either making money for the bank or you are not. In the end of the day, bottom line matters.

    2. Don't play the victim card. You can keep blaming why you can't be a MD because you are Asian, White, Black, Hispanic, Woman, Old, Young, Veteran, went to target school with liberal art major, went to non-target school, and the list goes on. But what does it really accomplish? Nothing. Instead of complaining, you could have focused on getting something and going somewhere.

    3. Play with the cards you are dealt with. Fine, you are a minority then look out for programs that can give you an edge like this one: http://www.seo-usa.org/Home. Join community groups within the bank or within the region that provide you a support system. Find people whom you can relate to and make them your personal and professional advocates.

    4. Manage perception. Everyone is going to have bias and stereotypes against people whom they don't know. Instead of complaining about it, go out with them. Find topics that you can relate to them. After meeting so many people, I realize that we all wants the same thing: Happiness. Everyone of these people 1) love their families, 2) want to do something that they are good at, 3) want to be loved, get a gf/bf, get married 4) have a hobby/cause that they are passionate about.

    5. You have to prove it all the time. In Finance, you can have a track record, but it doesn't mean anything. As you progress in your career you change role, company, location, you start from ground zero again. The main focus is trying to learn the business, work harder than everyone else, maintain a great professional relationship in the industry, always take a stand for your opinions, and make money for your group. That is the only way that you can move up. And everyone (White, Black, Asian, Woman...) have to do the same thing. Company promotes competent people, and not necessarily because you talk or look a certain way.

    6. Your perception determines your reality. Finally, I am a firm believer in self-determination. I believe how we think affect how we are as a person. If you think of yourself as likable, intelligent and attractive, you are going to act this way. And when you act this way, people are going to view the same. That's why I believe that we can actively manage our perception by focusing on our inner self. As William Ernest Henley said in his poem, Invictus, "I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul." And that is how I view and want to live my life.

    Hope this helps.

    Best post I've seen in a while. SB

  • lil_barac's picture

    in ib, as long as u close, u can be a dog and still get to the top. in s&t, if u can be in the black all the time, u can be a pussy and still make it. either u make money or u don't.

    stop trying to find excuses to why u didn't make it. god i hate asians who play the victim card.

  • prospie's picture

    I love how people get their panties in a bunch and silently throw monkey shit any time someone makes an innocuous observation on race that they happen to disagree with.

  • Semitarget's picture

    Listen, you're just perpetuating the stereotype of asians being pussies. Shut the fuck up and make money for the firm, and you'll make MD.

    Continue being a pussy and you'll end up as some back-office PHD quant.

  • harvardgrad08's picture

    I would say the primary reason why you don't see many East-Asians in the upper echelons of finance is as follows. Up until recently most Asian's on Wall Street were still first generation Americans (meaning sons / daughters of immigrants generally still born in Asia) who were raised under specific cultural norms to be good analytical employees that followed the rules, didn't speak up, showed respect for management, and knew their place - qualities that, for lack of a better word, don't show leadership. Hence because of this perceived lack of leadership many hit the "bamboo ceiling." It is mainly a culturally driven phenomenon...I think you'll start to see this change with time as this new generation of Asian-Americans begin to move into the workforce. They will have grown up with more American values and social skills that will allow them to move up the ranks in finance. I think if we fast forward 10 years you'll come to see Asians representing a more meaningful portion of management.

  • JobHopeful's picture

    Honestly, I think that asians are too concentrated on becoming the smartest and most knowledgeable, believing that those skill-sets will bring the greatest success.

    Obviously, if you bring in the huge money consistently for your firm, you'll move up. But, how many people can actually do that? Now, look at the people in management roles, I don't necessarily believe that they were all rockstars younger. They knew how to network, how to be friendly with the right people, and how to play some politics.

    In the end, finance is a relationship business. Having the skills help, but at the top levels, all the people are smart and have the skills. The tiebreaker is how you get along with people.

  • bulge_bracket's picture

    It's just cultural. Many Asians are introverted and frankly don't like to associate with those outside of their ethnic group. Perfect example: at my college, the Korean club kids literally only hang out with other Koreans, they make no attempt to branch out whatsoever with anyone else at the university. They don't integrate. Many Asians just put a premium on family and on academia but this clashes with the "jock" atmosphere of some fields like trading. It's tough for these people to reach high levels because they're not as good with developing relationships with strangers. They'd rather be working alone than working in a group atmoshpere (which I would too in most cases) and as a result flourish in that type of career situation than in one that requires more social skills than knowledge at high levels (i.e. Managing Directors, etc).

  • AlsatianCousin's picture

    I hate to say it, but bulge_bracket raises a good point that I'm sure many of you notice: a lot of Asians stick together, especially my Korean friends.

    I'm 2nd generation as well, but those who make excuses (especially regarding their ethnicity) really need to re-evaluate what they're doing wrong.

  • hopesanddreams's picture

    If you look around on LinkedIn I see many Indians get through to Associate, VP etc level. I also know many Caucasian people who get through. Its true to say however I don't see many other Asians get through.

    BUT

    I think if you work hard enough, and are pleasant to be around, no one will 'stop' you from progressing other then yourself. You are your own challenge IMO.

  • In reply to AlsatianCousin
    UFOinsider's picture

    AlsatianCousin wrote:
    I hate to say it, but bulge_bracket raises a good point that I'm sure many of you notice: a lot of Asians stick together, especially my Korean friends.

    I'm 2nd generation as well, but those who make excuses (especially regarding their ethnicity) really need to re-evaluate what they're doing wrong.


    I didn't want to say it (and I knew someone else would) but this is true. I had asian roommates in college for a year and they didn't even acknowledge my presence, or my guests, or anyone else on the floor for that matter. The few asians that do network tend to do just fine, and on the rare occaison I meet an asian at a networking thing, they tend to be a fucking boss.

    Get busy living

  • tchekm845's picture

    I agree with most of the points brought up - East asian culture vs Indian culture, etc.

    One of the biggest reasons I believe is that Indians speak english as a 2nd language (despite the slight accent). Older East Asian-Americans have to overcome a language barrier (broken english) first.

    Hopefully the trend is changing as the younger Asian-American demographic breaks away from the older conformist culture and adopt a more "american" attitude.

    Nonetheless, you should become a baller and prove others wrong.

  • Ovechkin08's picture

    Robert Kiyosaki anyone...... ;-)

  • In reply to TheMasao
    Quarterlife's picture

    TheMasao wrote:
    Your core issue is that you're focusing on the wrong market. Come back to Asia. Don't think you'll find many successful PE firms run by us white folk.

    In other words, stop bitching about what you don't have and take advantage of your opportunities.

    He's Asian-AMERICAN, what do you mean "come back to Asia"?

    My formula for success is rise early, work late and strike oil - JP Getty

  • gamenumbers's picture

    Anecdotal, but Asians were placed in very high levels at both banks I've worked at. The #2 person in my dept at both banks were Asians.

    Also lots of Indians esp in the younger ranks.

    Assuming you can speak fluent English and wear a proper suit, I don't see anything holding anyone back.

    You don't want to throw a 'straight-off-the-boat' vibe - I have seen a few younger guys wearing obviously cheap, pastel-hued shirts and tons of man-jewelry mood-rings into the office...I do believe stuff like this might make people think you are not sophisticated. Wearing traditional dress is fine, but it must be done within the context of working in an American investment bank, not a sweatshop in Mumbai.

    My guess is the younger-levels of these bank employees merely reflect the relatively new trend of Indians and Asians pursuing Investment Banking careers in the US.

  • jesus of nazareth's picture

    Let's face it. Asians are still minority. 99% of white folks don't make it to the top anyway. Say, Asians were 3% of the whole finance population, the Asians who actually make to the top would be 3% x 1% =0.03% That's why you don't see a lot of high-level Asian Americans in the field. But there are a lot of extraordinary Asians in the business world: Jerry Yang, Andrea Jung, Li Lu, to name a few.

    That being said, I do think there have been a couple of cutural factors playing into this. I have a friend who's 4th generation Asian American. Her parents, who were also born and raised in the US, are extremely successful. And she's essentially nothing different from a white girl. However, most 2nd generations I have seen grew up with very strict parents who place more emphasis on "going to Harvard" than letting their kids explore what they really want to do in life.

  • lil_barac's picture

    follow what you really wanna do = OWS.
    now, how u like that

  • Nobama88's picture

    It has nothing to do with race, or the white man looking out for his own kind. It has everything to do with the culture that many of these Asians grow up in as foreign born or 1st / 2nd generation.

    This will come off as a bit mean and stereotypical (stereotypes are around for a reason though), but Asians tend to be great with the hard skills but they really lack the soft skills. This can be seen all across Asia right now, and is no different for those here in the states. China specifically is having a hard time finding 'entrepreneurial' minded folks who are WILLING and ABLE to take a leadership role.

    Just because your friend at GS can ace any problem in algebraic geometry, doesnt mean he is well polished and able to handle himself with a big time client. And the skill of being able to smooze is much more important then being able to do algebraic geometry. So, your buddy not accepting his offer at GS was fucking stupid... its skills he has to work on, not GS.

  • Nobama88's picture
  • In reply to Nobama88
    melvvvar's picture

    Nobama88 wrote:
    It has nothing to do with race, or the white man looking out for his own kind. It has everything to do with the culture that many of these Asians grow up in as foreign born or 1st / 2nd generation.

    This will come off as a bit mean and stereotypical (stereotypes are around for a reason though), but Asians tend to be great with the hard skills but they really lack the soft skills. This can be seen all across Asia right now, and is no different for those here in the states. China specifically is having a hard time finding 'entrepreneurial' minded folks who are WILLING and ABLE to take a leadership role.

    Just because your friend at GS can ace any problem in algebraic geometry, doesnt mean he is well polished and able to handle himself with a big time client. And the skill of being able to smooze is much more important then being able to do algebraic geometry. So, your buddy not accepting his offer at GS was fucking stupid... its skills he has to work on, not GS.

    if that's his friend's mentality, he is better off escaping into grad school.

  • YMCM-IB's picture
  • YMCM-IB's picture

    As more first generation Asian-Americans enter into finance, we should see a big change in this.

    Also from my experience, Indians tend to be a lot more social and laid back than other Asians (Chinese, Japanese, Koreans) They seem to be a mix of the jock and nerd.

    Top executive positions are less about analytics (what asians are good at) and more relationship based (what asians are not really good at)

  • SC911's picture
  • IRSPB's picture

    Dunno about others but Indians have had a very businessy culture since time immemorial. Some of the largest Indian companies were also started by individuals (Reliance, Tatas, Birlas, Mahindra, Infy, Wipro and so on). Indians are also an entrepreneurial lot, evidenced by the thriving small businesses that dot the country. Plus Hindus have a goddess of wealth. And where is more wealth, on average, than in high finance? No wonder Indians tend to flock there.

  • Macro Arbitrage's picture

    ^ Please don't bring fairy tales into this debate.

  • In reply to Macro Arbitrage
    IRSPB's picture

    Macro Arbitrage wrote:
    ^ Please don't bring fairy tales into this debate.

    Understanding why people from certain culture might lean towards certain professions, and succeed in greater numbers than people from other ethnic minorities in the said profession, is fascinating. Trying to understand other cultures is not a bad idea. Globalization...remember?

  • Human's picture

    Macro Arbitrage wrote:
    ^ Please don't bring fairy tales into this debate.

    ^^^ I agree. Hope this doesn't turn into pro-Indian propaganda on WSO. And let's focus on working on our career rather than 1) complaining about the generation gaps 2) blaming the Asian education system and 3) highlighting differences among various Asian groups. You know what they all have in common? They are all in the past and there is not much we can do about it. Let us focus on what brings all of us together, which is we are all just "Monkeys" trying to make it big in the Finance/Consulting industry.

    "I am the hero of the story. I don't need to be saved."

  • In reply to IRSPB
    Gate_Crasher's picture

    IRSPB wrote:
    Dunno about others but Indians have had a very businessy culture since time immemorial. Some of the largest Indian companies were also started by individuals (Reliance, Tatas, Birlas, Mahindra, Infy, Wipro and so on). Indians are also an entrepreneurial lot, evidenced by the thriving small businesses that dot the country. Plus Hindus have a goddess of wealth. And where is more wealth, on average, than in high finance? No wonder Indians tend to flock there.

    That is why they were colonized by an Island nation for several centuries and 90% of the population lives in poverty.

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