Where to move to as a finance expat - Singapore? Dubai? Canada?

Hey guys,

Long-time lurker, looking for career/immigration advice as I'm not happy with the current job situation because: a) what I currently do does not move me any closer to my dream job; b) the lifestyle is very dissatisfying due to the job location

Background:
- Originally from Eastern Europe (Non-EU passport)
- US-educated (studied finance at a non-target school)
- CFA Charterholder
- 2 years analyst stint at a lower middle market Investment Bank in the US
- Had to leave US because I did not get selected in H1B lottery
- Spent the last 1.5 years working as an investment associate for a Luxembourg-based family office/PE fund with the investment focus on natural resources in frontier markets
- Currently based in Central Asia

**Current Situation: **While I have enjoyed the time at my firm, I don't think staying there much longer is in my best interests for a few reasons. First of all, the nature of work has recently changed drastically. Basically, while in the past I used to travel the world looking at different investment projects (which I really enjoyed), now we are focused solely on one major project and I spend 90% of my time working in an industrial city in Central Asia. And it's bad. By bad I mean it's really bad - not a single chick in a 100-mile radius on Tinder, close to zero social life and air pollution is off the charts. I do get compensated pretty well and probably make more money than someone with a background like mine would make anywhere else in the world but it's just not worth it considering my long-term goals.

Where I want to be:
- Haven't fully decided what exactly I wanna do but I see two possible career routes: 1) Asset management or a hedge fund role, preferably dealing with emerging markets 2) Something more entrepreneurial such as working for a VC fund and/or eventually launching my own startup
- Not too picky about geography but my main interests outside of work are sports (mostly triathlon and tennis) , outdoor activities and travel - pretty much none of it is really possible where I am right now
- Work-life balance is pretty important to me, meaning I would easily sacrifice a higher salary for being able to spend 3-4 hours a day playing sports and having all weekends to myself

Given the above, I'm very interested in making a move to a different geography. I realize it would most likely have to be an English-speaking country. Let's look at the options:
- United States would be ideal but is most likely out of question at the moment given immigration difficulties.
- Canada - immigration seems easier than in the US but from what I heard there is talent oversupply
- Australia - Immigration seems challenging and also don't like the fact of being so far away from everywhere
- UK - really not sure how the job market is with the whole Brexit situation?
- Singapore - probably ideal place outside of the US
- UAE - seems relatively expat-friendly and it's probably the only place I could try to visit on a weekend trip
- Hong Kong - Not sure if realistic without speaking Cantonese?
- Johannesburg - Not sure if there is much hiring going on given the state of the economy

To sum up, my questions are the following:
- What countries are the easiest to get a work visa for someone with my background?
- What's the best way to go about job search - headhunters? linkedin networking? 3-day networking trip?
- Anything else worth to consider?

Btw, if someone finds my background interesting, I'll be more than happy to answer questions about what I do and how I got to where I am today.

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 (5)

Mar 10, 2019 - 5:50pm

Others will probably have better answers than me, but I know a few English only speakers from my MBA program who took roles in Korea with big chaebols (Samsung, LG, Hyundai). They got paid really well and are on some interesting projects. Culture can be a change, and probably not the best unless you're a white or Korean male, but worth a look in your situation.

Mar 30, 2019 - 11:28pm
Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

July 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $911
  • Vice President (36) $363
  • Associates (209) $232
  • 2nd Year Analyst (119) $152
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (28) $146
  • Intern/Summer Associate (100) $145
  • 1st Year Analyst (439) $132
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (355) $82