Deciding between BB offers in Hong Kong

I currently have multiple offers from BBs in Hong Kong (to preserve anonymity, I won't say which ones, but a few are considered here "top BBs"). I know the US reputations of the BBs, but are things the same/different in Asia (for example, is GS TMT still considered the best, followed by MS M&A)?

None of the offers is group-specific, and my only considerations are reputation and exit opps to PE megafunds in Asia (KKR, Carlyle, Bain Cap, etc.). With that in mind, how would you rank the BBs in Asia?

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (23)

Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
Feb 4, 2016 - 11:21am

I went thru the banking recruiting in HK last year, and had superday with 5 BBs. Here's some of my thoughts:

First of all, IB in HK is a whole different animal compared to Wall Street. You will mainly deal with clients from East Asia (80% Chinese). Some inputs I received from the process regarding each bank (in order of ranking, IMO):

MS: arguably the best in APAC because of their strong relationship with Chinese government, and partnership with a local Chinese IB. Good deal flow mixed with M&A and IPO
GS: brand name is still strong in APAC, but somehow lack of tight connections with the government.
Citi: good culture but most IPO works
CS: reputation has grown fast since Alibaba. strong connection with many Tech companies. However, the IBD is smaller than other BBs
JPM/BAML: teams are smaller and not as competitive as the top three. too much pitch work and deal flow is not as strong
Barclays: can't be even counted as BB in Asia. however, people are nice and culture is good.

(DB/UBS: didn't get attraction from them, so can't speak of it)

Feb 4, 2016 - 8:19pm
DanZ:

I went thru the banking recruiting in HK last year, and had superday with 5 BBs. Here's some of my thoughts:

First of all, IB in HK is a whole different animal compared to Wall Street. You will mainly deal with clients from East Asia (80% Chinese). Some inputs I received from the process regarding each bank (in order of ranking, IMO):

MS: arguably the best in APAC because of their strong relationship with Chinese government, and partnership with a local Chinese IB. Good deal flow mixed with M&A and IPO
GS: brand name is still strong in APAC, but somehow lack of tight connections with the government.
Citi: good culture but most IPO works
CS: reputation has grown fast since Alibaba. strong connection with many Tech companies. However, the IBD is smaller than other BBs
JPM/BAML: teams are smaller and not as competitive as the top three. too much pitch work and deal flow is not as strong
Barclays: can't be even counted as BB in Asia. however, people are nice and culture is good.

(DB/UBS: didn't get attraction from them, so can't speak of it)

Re: Barclays, they are pulling out of Asia so would double down on diligence before joining

Mar 3, 2016 - 1:00pm

Note: I can only speak accurately with regards to the M&A side of things.

As someone working at one of the "top" banks in product coverage (M&A) and currently moving into an industry group, here are a few corrections:

MS - you are right, they definitely do have a best-in-class franchise but it certainly isn't because of its relationship with the Chinese. GSGH and UBS both are comparable in this regard. In fact, MS HK M&A deal flow has a significant minority of ex-China deals, which is what makes it particularly attractive for some. Would chalk deal flow up to top-tier talent and seniors just generally doing shit right.

GS - I would put their overall franchise above MS if you consider a blended view of both M&A/ECM. Ever try to cook a league table when you're not at GS? It's not easy to top GS in the tables without pulling some BS with dealogic

Citi - I have no idea what you are saying; Citi HK is known ten times over for it's M&A team, not ECM...

CS - Spot on, best TMT team on the street. But in general right now US banks >> European banks by a long shot. Would go to most other banks otherwise.

On JPM and BAML, this is where you are very misguided...JPM and BAML both have top franchises in HK.

BAML - topped the tables for M&A in 2014. Extremely good franchise, definitely traveling in the front of the pack regardless of what product. But for M&A they seem to be big lenders and tend to do fewer (but much larger) deals, so I actually don't really know the quality of their advisory abilities. But from how everyone speaks of them...they are the complete opposite of "deal flow is not as strong"

JPM - top player regardless of product. Regularly competes with GS/MS/BAML for deals and beats them out regularly. I know people at JPM getting buried with deals...and I know for a fact they are hiring the most this cycle. One of the best.

Barclays - yep they barely exist here anymore.

UBS - probably the best bet if you go european. Strong M&A and China teams

DB - Well regarded M&A but otherwise I would go to most other banks.

Mar 3, 2016 - 2:46pm

I've also heard that JPM is hiring a lot of SAs...Is that a good thing though? Does that mean the franchise is actively trying to expand, or just that it will have higher attrition rates/FT conversion rates for its intern class? And if it's the former, why so? Based on the league tables over the past couple of years, it doesn't seem like JPM has grown very much relative to its peers in Asia.

I've also heard that JPM is cutting some people at the mid-level, any truth to that?

Best Response
Mar 10, 2016 - 9:26am

I interned at Laz/Moelis/Roths/EVR in HK before, and interviewed with them all. All in all, exposure is very good. Here's a hint with boutiques. If you look at their teams, Laz and Moelis are where people go after they did their stint at BBs and didn't like it/wanted a small team/wanted a promotion. Whereas people at HL and Roths have routinely transferred TO BBs.

Lazard: China focused, and working language is Chinese. Lots of ex-BB. Bad culture, high turnover. But probably not as bad as Laz NY. Small shop.

Moelis: Very broad exposure: good amount of SEA deals with some China deals. Good amount of RX deals, and they are quite generalist at the junior level. Great culture, decent work life balance. Almost all ex-BB at the associate/VP/ED level. Very laowai/ABC/CBC friendly. Small shop. Well kept secret.

Rothschild: Established player in HK (size wise - pretty big). Dealflow per head is probably not as good as Laz/Moelis. They have famously bad pay. Decent brand though, as people manage to exit to some interesting places. Some try to move to BBs as it is seen as a step up.

Evercore: I thought they were really nice guys. Good hours. Almost all foreigners/western Chinese. Working language English. Big focus on power/utilities. Trouble with the HK office is that they have a bulk of their business in SEA. EVR recently opened up in SG...so this can't mean good things for the HK office guys.

Houlihan: Only player I know in HK with a technicals/modeling (sort of) test. Be warned as interview guides won't get you through that one. I failed it, but it was ages ago when I didn't know finance. Lots go to BBs from HL.

Aug 4, 2017 - 4:44pm

Sed voluptatem quo fugit beatae dolores aut labore. Eligendi consequatur ad aut nemo adipisci. Et omnis nam amet vel qui voluptatem.

Fugiat repellendus eos sit explicabo rerum et voluptatum. Est ratione est corrupti vel. Quisquam aut quia ut consequatur molestiae consequuntur facilis sunt.

Recusandae quos quis sint dolor. Excepturi est et nesciunt expedita asperiores. Dolorum ab illum aut velit. Non eligendi inventore ipsa et sunt aut.

Animi repellendus itaque reiciendis veritatis. Architecto blanditiis tempore quod soluta qui aut aut.

Nov 15, 2016 - 6:35am

Et blanditiis molestiae necessitatibus suscipit ut minus minus eveniet. Quos quo iusto praesentium quis. Veniam ea vel eos atque qui. Quo sequi in odio autem.

Eum nulla quam rerum aspernatur architecto quae. Accusamus et sunt atque sint sit molestiae quaerat. Repellendus consequatur et ad ratione eaque.

Cupiditate praesentium minima facere beatae eaque consequatur. Et omnis minus adipisci magnam. Iusto neque numquam nobis voluptate laudantium unde quibusdam. Occaecati doloribus at in et in.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

September 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (10) $853
  • Vice President (38) $367
  • Associates (218) $232
  • 2nd Year Analyst (130) $153
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (30) $147
  • Intern/Summer Associate (102) $144
  • 1st Year Analyst (483) $135
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (375) $82