Director of financial services and HR
Michael Page Hong Kong
Relocating to Hong Kong
I have been pondering about relocation to Hong Kong for quite some time and sheer luck led me to this site. I've read some of the posts and found your responses to be quite insightful and informative. Hopefully you can help me too.
I am a graduate from a local university in Canada and just finished writing the CFA level III exam in June. I have 18 months experience in retail banking and 18 months in asset management as an analyst for a small wealth management company.
I understand the job market in Hong Kong is fierce and quite competitive, with many young-lings like myself wanting to venture into the Hong Kong Financial market. My main objective is to get into an analyst role in asset management or a junior corporate finance role.
My questions are:
1) Are those objectives reasonable given my credentials? If not, what are the steps to take?
2) Am I at a disadvantage to locals?
3) Do I have to step foot in Hong Kong to have a chance at interviews and offers? (I am in Canada at the moment)
Kirstin MacLaren - Career Doctor
Posted Friday 9th August 2013 03:20:00 PM
Hi Ken, Thanks very much for highlighting your background to us; it sounds like you have a strong educational history and have built up some solid experience within the financial services sector. To answer your first question, have you had any prior exposure to Asia, and Hong Kong in particular? Your objective to gain an asset management or junior corporate finance role seem reasonable given your credentials, but employers in Hong Kong continually seek professionals with previous exposure to the country or Asia region. This takes us to your second question; it will make it more challenging to secure one of your desired roles if you do not have the language skills or experience of working in Greater China, but that’s not to say there are not roles in the market for you. Your technical skills will really need to shine in order to make you stand out. Also, you are right that the market has become a lot more competitive in the last 18 months; however there are opportunities at all levels for bright and ambitious individuals. Competition is fiercer, mainly in response to the higher demands that employers have for staff with Chinese language skills, as they look to further expand their presence across the Asia region. In regard to your last question, hiring is a lot easier if you are in the country. If employers are hiring for a very specialist role then they are happy to set up V/C’s or Skype interviews in the first instance, but if they have a shortlist of people with some already based in Hong Kong, then they are likely to focus on the Hong Kong based candidates first. Also, although companies can arrange visas, they are not likely to pay for relocation unless it is for a very senior role. My advice would be to arrange a visit to Hong Kong but before you come over, look up job boards and apply for some roles in Hong Kong. Then while you’re in Hong Kong, you can hopefully attend some interviews but also continue your job search through applying for advertised roles and consulting recruitment firms. I hope this helps. Best of luck, Kirstin.