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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