Too Many Americans & US Graduates in Hong Kong

It sucks to realize that most IBDs in HK highly prefer US college graduates (targets) over top HK college graduates. I'm talking analyst/associate levels.

Some analysts that I came to know of while networking told me some disturbing stories.

JP Morgan has 0 analyst who graduated from colleges outside of US or UK at the moment.
Goldman Sachs, nil. Morgan Stanley has only 1 who has graduated from HKU.
Even at smaller banks like Societe Generale, it's hard to find a single analyst in IBD who's not from a US target school.

I wonder if things are similar in other Asian countries like Singapore, Korea?
And yes, I'm Cantonese.

Comments (25)

Nov 1, 2010

I heard places like BNP and RBS hire more local students. You're right about JPM and MS tho.

The main reason for this IMO is Asians in US universities often have native level English and Mandarin while it's a lot less common among students from HK schools.

Nov 1, 2010

Globalization kiddo, it is what it is.

Best Response
Nov 1, 2010

all your base are belong to us.

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Nov 1, 2010

These companies hire from a global talent pool, relax. While it might not be as extreme, the London offices are at best a plurality in terms of local talent to international and for many there are more continental Europeans and US expats on Canary Wharf than Brits.

Nov 1, 2010

Plus, many of the top students in HK go to prep school and then college in the US but spent the first 12-16 years of their lives in APAC. It's not like the majority of kids going to HK are waspy, New England-raised prepsters who decide going to HK for a couple years to work 90 hours a week would be a fun time.

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Nov 1, 2010

Simple. There's way enough Chinese-Americans (fluent in both English and Mandarin) at US Ivy League universities to satisfy the demand. Also, given all these banks are US-based, they are familiar with the US system of education, so they tend to recruit people from here versus in HK or other unknown entities.

Nov 1, 2010

Beijing and Shanghai are 95 percent local Chinese though.

And I know an analyst at jpm hk who is from the mainland as well (tsinghua university I believe)

But yes... us universities dominate.

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Nov 1, 2010

Korea is fairly dominated by Korean nationals and Gyopos in their financial industry. Opportunities would be boundless if you spoke Korean and weren't - but those people are few and far between.

Nov 1, 2010

Thats true all BBs in mainland China tends to hire from local talent pool over U.S. graduates at junior level.

Nov 1, 2010

JPM this year had at least 1 from mainland TU. US dominates but essentially it is because the route education system most Asian country implements which failed to provide practical expertise to those students. There is an article about this.

Sad but true.

Nov 1, 2010

Is it just me or is it great to hear someone other than an American bitch about losing their jobs to foreigners. Good for the goose, good for the gander my friend.

Nov 1, 2010
Anthony .:

Is it just me or is it great to hear someone other than an American bitch about losing their jobs to foreigners. Good for the goose, good for the gander my friend.

I wouldn't consider those people "foreigners" in HK as many of them hold dual citizenship (from HK and USA, spend some years of their lives in the two countries), fluent in both cantonese and english, so working in HK is not an overseas experience for them. They certainly don't see themselves as foreigners stealing jobs from locals.

Nov 1, 2010

^^^ A big, fat LOL at this thread and especial THAT comment.

While India and China have the advantage in manufacturing and basic services, US still has the advantage in the form of educated workers, complex thinkers, idea generators, and entrepreneurs...and that is where the lucrative opportunities are.

US's Apple develops and creates the iPhone, but China's Foxconn makes it. Where is the real value in the value chain created? At Apple.

I was offered a job in India, but declined. The group I was suppose to work with was US educated, every single one of them.

man made the money, money never made the man

Nov 1, 2010

^^^ Yes, that was true in my case. All the guys I was suppose to work with were Indian nationals educated in the US.

man made the money, money never made the man

Nov 1, 2010

I'm from the U.S. but studied for a semester in HK, and the quality of the students' work was drastically inferior in HK. I would love to work there, but it seems like it's hard to land if you're not from a target, don't have permanent residency, and don't speak Mandarin or Cantonese. May try and transfer after my two years in NY are up.

Nov 1, 2010

The banks in HK are obsessed with targets. Their incoming analyst classes are much smaller so they usually pick from known entities (target schools). You don't really need permanent residency, but these days, Target + Relevant Internship Experience + Solid Technicals (especially during interviews) + Language (preferably mandarin) are a must.

Nov 1, 2010

But why UK is also there? The education in UK is kind like a joke: 3 years Bachelor, 9 months Master. Now, poor British take in low quality international students to make money and advertise their "prestigious schools" using Times Higher Education world university ranking, a British ingenuity. The admission rates to Oxford and Cambrdige undergraduate program are like 30%, no way to compare with the 10% pedigree at the Ivies in US.

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Nov 2, 2010

I know of grads from cn/in/hk/sg who got offers from MS/GS/ML.. so the OP's comments are quite untrue.. yes, the BBs tend to prefer US grads.. but making it from a 'non-target' is far from impossible..

Even then, the bulk of the analyst class (from what I have seen) are Asians who studied in the US/UK rather than westerners coming over. American universities may be much stronger in terms of their branding/teaching/research.. but the technical skills of american kids are in no way superior.. some would even argue they have been lagging behind for a while now..

The kids who got jobs with the top tier BBs were once your classmates.. they worked harder in high school and they made it to the better colleges.. prefering grads from top western colleges is a quick way to filter for the best and most motivated kids. so there is no point in bitching about it..

and mandarin in HK is a PLUS. not a must.

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Nov 2, 2010

^ fyi, all analysts we have here in GS IB HK at the moment have graduated from US. Please don't make shit up or least leave out the name GS.

Nov 2, 2010
darrenhiggins:

^ fyi, all analysts we have here in GS IB HK at the moment have graduated from US. Please don't make shit up or least leave out the name GS.

you created an account just to post that?

Nov 2, 2010

I've had HR at interviews in Singapore tell me they are specifically looking for US grads (which is me), so I guess the local grads are screwed. But I've met some who are also working in IB/ER/S&T in Singapore, so I guess it's not a hard and fast rule they follow.

I've worked with the local grads in Singapore and they're actually as capable and perhaps even more hardworking than most people from the US, so I'm not sure about the rational behind this recruiting policy, but it is what it is, and since it worked out to my advantage I'm not complaining.

Nov 2, 2010

i know for a fact that the FO in the top tier in Singapore are mostly from the ivys. not to say that there arent local grads but they are definitely a minority. not hating but its the truth that the rich just get richer. the kids who make their way into the ivies aren't necessarily smarter - their parents just had enough money to send them there.

Nov 1, 2010

^

I'm not sure what the general conception is... but I for one, including a lot of the people I know, are from very, very low-middle income class families at Ivies. There are definitely a plurality of Ivy League kids, and a significant minority DO NOT come from especially privileged backgrounds.

Nov 2, 2010
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