AMA: Ratings Advisor (HY/IG Markets) in Asia

AMA

Hello! Am open to most questions so please feel free to fire away

Brief background

  • Engineering and MBA from India (completed in 2011)
  • Joined Standard Chartered Bank in 2011 and spent time in corporate banking
  • 4 years+ as a Ratings Advisor, helping clients in the high yield & IG markets (more of the former) in ASEAN, South Asia, Australia
  • Experience in executing DCM transactions in the region as part of the role

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Comments (6)

Sep 10, 2019

Do you see yourself staying in this role / field for the long-term? Any desire to move to a credit investing role on the buy-side?

Do you do any work directly with financial sponsors (or just management teams)?

Favorite and least favorite parts of your job?

Thanks!

Most Helpful
Sep 11, 2019

Hello!

  • I do see myself continuing in this role for the short to medium term, but perhaps not in the long term. My exit options could be four fold - 1) DCM/HYPG teams 2) Lev-Fin Groups in banks 3) Buy-side (credit investing) - as you've mentioned 4) Rating agencies. I'm probably more inclined to options 1) and 2) - but of course, it would depend on finding the right fit as exit options in the region are not always that straightforward. I've thought a lot about buy side credit investing, but I am not 100% sure it would suit my aptitude. Never ruled it out, though.
  • I've been quite fortune to be working on a lot of sponsor deals in the region, and when you do so, you end up working much more with the sponsor teams (especially their cap markets divisions) rather than management of companies. In such deals, a lot of discussions are driven by the sponsors. Ultimately, you end up building a relationship with the sponsor, rather than management teams of such companies.
    However, in Asia, sponsor deals are still in relatively nascent stages as compared to the US where, of course, majority of the HY deals are sponsor driven.
  • Favourite: An opportunity to make a very meaningful impact & do work for management/issuers which is very valued.
    Non favourite: Being a "non-revenue generating" job changes your positioning in the firm - even though we do end up spending a lot of time with senior management of clients
    • 4
  • 2nd Year Associate in Corporate Development
Sep 11, 2019

Thanks OP, very informative - would you mind elaborating on 2 and 3? Which are the key lev fin and buyside credit investors in Asia, their recruitment criteria and if there are noticeable trends?

Sep 11, 2019
2nd Year Associate in Corporate Development :

Thanks OP, very informative - would you mind elaborating on 2 and 3? Which are the key lev fin and buyside credit investors in Asia, their recruitment criteria and if there are noticeable trends?

Buy side investors have been evolving over a period of time, with more and more Chinese investors becoming active in the region. Amongst the largest funds, and thought leaders in the region in the debt (IG & HY) space are Blackrock, GSAM, Value Partners, Arkkan, Alliance Bernstein, Eastspring, PIMCO, Schroders etc. Of course, I am not naming any of the Chinese funds. One of the trends has been Hong Kong becoming more and more important as compared to Singapore due to the number of issuances from China. Knowledge of Mandarin or Cantonese is a big plus (but not necessary) when you try and land a job in HK.

The largest Lev Fin houses are names like HSBC, Standard Chartered and Citi. Others who're relatively active are BNPP, Credit Suisse, Deutsche, Nomura etc. Another trend is the Japanese banks becoming more and more active when it comes to balance sheet in this region, thus giving them a seat on the table for more number of deals.

    • 2
Sep 11, 2019
2nd Year Associate in Corporate Development :

Thanks OP, very informative - would you mind elaborating on 2 and 3? Which are the key lev fin and buyside credit investors in Asia, their recruitment criteria and if there are noticeable trends?

In terms of recruitment criteria, the buy side chaps value the CFA a lot. A lot of people working in the region are Chinese/Indian/Indonesia nationals - who may not have a US/UK MBA degree. For example, a lot of the Indians have an MBA degree from the Indian Institute of Managements and might have been recruited from campus. Of course, MBAs from the top international B-schools / some sort of experience is quite valuable.

    • 2
  • 2nd Year Associate in Corporate Development
Sep 11, 2019
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