Saturday, April 26, 2008

French Resume?

ESCAE Amiens, France

I come across this from a resume yesterday. What kind of education/ qualification is this? One of my colleagues speaks French, but couldn't help. Can French readers please help?

Resume Writing Skills - Write Things That Make Sense To The Reader
Actually this is not the first time I come across information that doesn't make sense on a resume, at least not making sense to readers who are not familiar with a certain language or geography. Someone wrote "place of birth: Kriv". Where is Kriv? Try not to make the hiring manager guess, write clear and precise information.

In Asia, some universities do not carry an official English name. While you cannot expect every employer read your language, please do your best to translate a name that will make sense to the reader.

Before I recruit investment bankers, I used to do NED searches for listed companies. In one of the searches, client specifically required a Chinese ethinic candidate. One of my top candidates came from this college: 山西矿业学院机械工程系. This college does has a website, however in Chinese only. What I have to do is to write something like this in order to present to the client: Shanxi Mining Technology College, Mechanical Engineering Department.

Jargons on Resume
This is the only exception when you can write things that other people don't undetstand, where "other people" means people who does not involve in the hiring process. You might not know what NED is, but people in my business know. So when you are writing your investment banking resume, feel free to write banking jargons or abbreviations. This is a way to tell the hiring manager that you know the business and the terms. I believe my blog readers should all be able to write these in full: AUM / M&A / ECM / DCM / TMT / FIG / ABS / OTC

In my business, everybody should know: LTIP, RSU, COLA

More resume writing tips from Jimmy Sweeney's Amazing Resume Creator

Resume Writing

Monday, April 21, 2008

Investment Banks Shuffle Senior Rainmakers To Asia

I have mentioned several times in my blog that if you are dedicated to investment banking, you should be prepared to relocate. New York, London, Tokyo and Hong Kong are the four major cities you must be acquainted to. Today I am adding Singapore to the list.

Recently, I read an article from Dow Jones with a headline of Investment Banks Shuffle Senior Rainmakers To Asia. This is a norm, in my experience, Asia is a booming region, a heaven for those who are hungry for money and want to make the best out of their IB skills. I can’t give you the actual link to read the article as it is for paid subscribers only. However I have extracted some facts for your reference.

Investment Banks Shuffle Senior Rainmakers To Asia
11 April 2008 - Dow Jones International News

Investment banks are shipping some of their best talent to Asia, following the money as deals are drying up elsewhere, to bulk up their business in a booming region…

In recent months, global financial institutions from Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase to Deutsche Bank have transplanted heavyweight rainmakers to Asia….

Asia, excluding Japan, already accounts for more than 15% of revenues for many investment banks…

"Colleagues from overseas are increasingly interested in transferring to the region," said Robert Morse, Asia Pacific chief executive officer for Citi’s Institutional Clients Group…

Goldman Sachs will soon move a number of senior staff in to key regional roles in Hong Kong and Singapore, according to people familiar with the situation.

Last week, Morgan Stanley transferred star M&A banker Scott Matlock to Hong Kong from London to fill a newly-created role as chairman of Asian M&A. The bank also recently tapped its global asset management head Owen Thomas to become its Asia chief executive...

JP Morgan transplanted 22-year New York veteran banker Winthrop Watson to Hong Kong a few months ago, also in a newly created role as head of Asia-Pacific High Grade DCM; and Credit Suisse appointed European structured derivatives sales head Osama Abbasi to head the newly created position of global securities for non-Japan Asia from Hong Kong…

"With the downturn in the West, we have the opportunity to bring out good people to build up our Asian business, and often, we create new titles for them," said one person at a U.S. investment house. "Increasingly, many bankers in the U.S. and Europe feel that Asian experience would be good for their career path."

Moving Global Heads to the Region

In some cases, banks have even started basing their global heads in the region. Last year, Barclays Capital moved Ivan Ritossa, its global head of foreign exchange, from the U.K. to Singapore, while Citigroup recently relocated Ted Kuh to Hong Kong from London to head the Asian consumer and healthcare group while keeping his title as co-head of global retail. Also retaining his global title, Deutsche Bank's global equity trading head Noreddine Sebti has moved to Hong Kong from New York to head Asian equities...

"Relocating a global head to Asia ensures our center of risk management is aligned accordingly, while recognizing the changing polarity of global equity markets and the growing importance of the region," Deutsche Bank's Global Head of Equities Yassine Bouhara explained...

The defection to the region comes as bankers with Asian experience take on greater prominence within their firms. Last year, Credit Suisse's Asia-Pacific head, Paul Calello, was put at the helm of the bank's overall investment banking unit. Similarly, Goldman Sachs Asia Chairman Michael Evans was recently made global vice chairman…

Savills PLC, a real estate brokerage which works with major banks to relocate employees, noted that some corporate clients had as many as 100 to 130 moves to Hong Kong last year alone, about 30% more from 2006.

Growing Prominence

Many investment banks posted record revenues out of Asia last year even as their U.S. operations suffered...

"The rise of Asian global champions in recent years has underpinned record levels for M&A and capital markets activity in Asia Pacific - in 2007 the world's largest announced M&A transaction and two of the five largest IPOs globally were from the Asia Pacific region," said Citigroup's Morse….

Even star investors and not just bankers are feeling the need to relocate. Despite the recent market volatility in Asia, hedge fund guru Jim Rogers, cofounder of George Soros' famed Quantum Fund, is joining the rush, leaving New York for Singapore.

Investment Banking Career

Recommended career tool: Amazing Resume Creator

Monday, April 14, 2008

Investment Banking Salary and Bonus

Last year, two among the top three earners of Hong Kong University graduates worked for investment banks. They both made close to HK$1.2 million (c.US$150,000). Not bad for a first year job, however the number is not exciting enough. Asset management is the rising star of investment banking. Let me give you some exciting figures on one of my recent successful fund management candidates.

Candidate Profile
Position hired: CEO, Fund Management, Asia
Age: 46
IB experience: 21 years (London, Europe, New York, Hong Kong)
Qualifications: BA, CFA
Length of resume: two pages

Summary of Compensation Package
Base salary: US$475,000
Housing: US$240,000
Target bonus: US$1,900,000
Defer bonus: US$475,000
LTIP: US$140,000
Sign on RSU: US$1,000,000
Guaranteed first year bonus: US$790,000

Other Benefits
Retirement plan
Life insurance (self and family)
Medical (self and family)
Annual leave
Club (membership + debenture)
Children education
Car (parking, driver & fuel)

Thoughts on Money
Actually these are numbers on paper. The take-home money could have no ceiling. In terms of money making, you don’t need to target yourself to be John Mack or Hank Paulson. A low profile hedge fund manager can make more money than Wall Street CEOs. In the field of investment banking, salary only contribute a small portion of your total income, bonus is the real money. One of my hedge fund manager candidates reported to have made US$29 million in 2006 when he was only 29. (Note: The other side of the story is: if your fund isn’t making money for the bank and your clients, you’ll loss your job.)

Summary on Candidate Resume
This candidate has 21 years of IB experience, however his resume is only two pages. If you are doing well, you don’t have to write long. Your movements, i.e. your career history speak for yourself. The candidate worked for a total of three employers across three continents in the past 21 years. Started as an option trader and became a head of international equity mutual funds in 10 years time. Each of his movements was upward movements.

More resume writing tips from Jimmy Sweeney's Amazing Resume Creator

Investment Banking Salary

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Psychometric Tests

Some employers believe in psychometric tests. Even for senior hires, finalist candidates are sometimes required to go through such tests. Some investment banks use psychometric tests to assess graduate candidates. HSBC is one of them. Therefore they have designed two sets of questions to help you get acquainted to it. There are six questions for each numerical reasoning and verbal reasoning. You would need approximately 20 minutes to complete.

It is interesting. Give it a try.

Why is a UK bank being named Hongkong and Shanghai Bank?
Because it was established simultaneously in Hong Kong and Shanghai in 1865 to finance the growing trade between China and Europe.

Why are there more HSBC branches in Hong Kong than in Shanghai?
Unfortunately I don't have an answer. The fact is Shanghai has only nine branches, while Hong Kong has over 100. Hence, a lot of people simply call it Hong Kong Bank.

Investment Banking Interview

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

HSBC - World’s Biggest Bank

HSBC or The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation beat Citi and become the world's largest corporation and the world's largest bank, in terms of sales, profits, assets and market value, according to a report recently published by Forbes on April 2, 2008.

In the same report, four among the top 10 (total 2,000 entries) are investment banks, namely HSBC (1), BoA (3), JPM Chase (4) and RBS (10).

Let's take a look at their selection criteria and the full ranking list.

HSBC Opportunities for Graduates
HSBC is a very diversified financial institution with its services ranging from retail banking, private banking to investment banking. Certainly there are lots of opportunities to suit your interests and capabilities. Let’s take a look at their career site. Select the region where you are and start surfing.

HSBC - First year internship

Interesting Questions about HSBC
HSBC (Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp.) is a UK bank, with its headquarters in Canary Wharf, London.

Why is a UK bank being named Hongkong and Shanghai Bank?

Why are there more HSBC branches in Hong Kong than in Shanghai?

Recommended Career Tools
These career tools are seriously short-listed by Anna Maria D'Souza for those who serious want to start an investment banking career.
Amazing Cover Letters
Amazing Resume Creator
Secret Career Document

Investment Banking Career