IBD in Tokyo

Does anyone know what the exit opportunities are like from BB IBD in Tokyo?

I'm about to start my analyst stint with an M&A team at BB. My gut feeling is that opportunities would be somewhat confined in Asia since a lot of stuff they do seems to be very specific to Japan.

How would the experience in Tokyo viewed, say in NY or London? Would it be at all possible to find an opportunity outside of Asia a few years down the line?

Comments (29)

May 19, 2017

How'd you end up in Tokyo? Are you Japanese? Im currently a 1st-year at a BB in the states, but have always wondered about heading across the Pacific. I've passed the N2 JLPT exam, so I guess I can work there but no way I would consider myself fluent haha

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May 20, 2017

I was actually born in the western side of the world but ended up in tokyo as I'm second generation Japanese and happened to speak the language. You should come! IMHO this place can be too homogeneous.

Just out of interest, have you seen anyone lateraling from Tokyo to the States?

May 20, 2017

Def possible, I'm sure. I don't know anyone personally, though. If you can speak english fluently, which seems like you can, I don't think much is holding you back.

Let's just switch places haha

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May 20, 2017

Curious, how long it took you to be able to pass the N2 JLPT exam?

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May 20, 2017

I took Japanese all 4 years in college with half of the 4th year being strictly JLPT prep (test in december). It was a tough exam haha kanji......

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May 20, 2017

Not to hijack this thread, but id also be interested to see how easy it is go from MC in tokyo --> US (T2 firm, think ATK/LEK/S&O/OY/S&)

Good luck with your endeavours OP

May 21, 2017

dont speak any japanese but id love to swap to tokyo looks like a dope place to live

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

Best Response
May 23, 2017

I knew a native Japanese student who began their career in NYC, however outside of banking. Lost their job, and with it their Visa in the states, and returned to Japan. While in Japan they made the jump to BB IBD in Tokyo. Few years later they transferred back to NYC while staying with the same bank.

Might be the exception and not the rule but it seems doable.

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May 23, 2017

Doable. Especially higher chances if you're working with a Japanese Megabank, but the move is definitely possible.

As for the other guy asking about MC Tokyo to NYC, it's going to be an uphill battle for you.

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

Sep 6, 2017

Just got in a Canadian Bank IB division in Roppongi hills, let me know if you like to meet up.

Jan 13, 2019

WonderWomen - would love to hear an update on your experience working IB in Tokyo...

Do you mind sharing your typical weekly schedule and what you think of the experience thus far?

Also do you know typical comp for associates of foreign IB firms in Tokyo?


Sep 6, 2017

well i think u should be fine. i did a summer for the asia pacific div of an ibank, so i'm not the best resource, but i think u shoudl be ok given your background. from what little i've heard, japanese banking is very japanese... like it is dominated by a handful of japanese banks and foreign ones wiht mostly japanese personnel. i've heard of both universities. i noticed a lot of japanese executives coming from those two schools along with tokyo u.

might be tough coming from ucla though. there is no standard recruiting process for banks in japan.

Sep 6, 2017

Thanks for the quick reply.
From what I understand, UCLA is a quite prestigious brand name in Japan. I was wondering if general Japanese perceptions of American Unis matter. According to my uncle, its like Harvard-->Stanford=Princeton=Yale=Berkeley=UCLA-->Northwestern, Michigan, Carnegie Mellon, NYU.

Although I won't be attending school in Japan for 3 years, Ill be there during my junior year, and starting my sophomore year, it seems ill have two options open for internships at least. Also, ill be in Japan every single summer.

So, because its mostly japanese personnel, does speaking English not give me an advantage in anyways?

Sep 6, 2017


Sep 6, 2017

I think if you do a search, there was another guy who mentioned banking in Japan that had decent details.

From what I've heard from friends in training that were based in Japan, being fluent in Japanese is a must. Reading/writing... probably almost/just as important, likely moreso if you're in banking than S&T, where in sales and trading you're not really dealing with the written kanji so much.

Knowing english will probably give you some leg up. But really, the big thing you've got going for you is your dad's connections which are pretty stellar. So you should get him to just set up some interviews for you. Not saying you're gonna be able to waltz in there... but relatively speaking, compared to those with no connections... yeah, pretty much. Just make sure you prep well for the interviews and you should be pretty set.

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Sep 6, 2017

I did a search, I couldn't find such a thread. If you could direct me to it, it would be appreciated.

Do people working in IB in Japan get paid a similar amount to those working in NY or SF? How about work load?

Sep 6, 2017

You get paid the similar amount.

and you will work more than SF. Maybe a bit more than NY

Sep 6, 2017
  1. You have a great network
  2. You go to UCLA, it's a well known school in Asia
  3. You can speak Japanese fluently, and banks in Japan are struggling to find people who are bilingual
  4. You plan to study abroad in Japan

Put all those 4 together, you are almost guaranteed a spot in an IB in Japan if you are not a weirdo or have a GPA lower than 3.3

Sep 6, 2017

Nakayama, bummer your thread hasn't had a response yet. Sometimes bots are smarter than humans anyways:

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Or maybe the following WSO members have something to say: @SebRs" @Quaneaser" @Brian-Owusu"

I hope those threads give you a bit more insight.

Sep 6, 2017

If you are bilingually fluent in English/Japanese, employers will hire you regardless of you unqualified you are.

Mar 31, 2019

So this sounds pretty good if I can pull myself from intermediate to more genuinely bilingual then, especially for S&T?

Sep 6, 2017

So I have a few friends who live/work in Japan at various financial services firms, and I have lived and worked in Asia before as well.

If you want to go the SA/FT route, you should go to the Boston Career Forum (in October each year I believe) for English/Japanese bilinguals.

I think getting an FT offer in Japan is somewhat more difficult than getting an SA offer, but for S&T you will have a MUCH easier time than you will for banking. For IBD you REALLY need to be fluent at the level of a native to do it. For S&T you don't have to be quite that good.

If you've already worked there it may be easier to go back as well.

I have a few friends who did summer internships there... PM if you want to know anymore.

Sep 6, 2017

Japan's working hours are in general bad, I can only imagine how crazy it is to be in IBD (can't say much about S & T). A Japanese friend of mine once told me it's considered a mark of honor in Japan to fall really sick because of working too hard. Wow...just wow.

Sep 6, 2017
Apr 2, 2019