Chinese banks don’t dominate investment banking in Southeast Asia in the same way as they now do in North Asia – but they are hiring in Singapore, say recruiters.
And new players are entering the market. Shanghai Pudong Development Bank opened an office in Singapore in April, becoming the eighth Chinese bank to have a branch in the Republic.
What kind of people are mainland banks employing in their Singaporean front-offices? We looked through online public profiles to find a few examples.
Stephen Ng,CEO, CICC Singapore
China International Capital Corporation has been in Singapore since 1995 and Ng has been at the helm for the past seven years. After graduating from NUS in 1991 with an engineering degree, Ng spent the first four years of his career as a systems engineer at Hewlett-Packard according to his online profile. He then completed an MBA at the University of Michigan, followed by a 12-year stint at Goldman Sachs, where he worked in Singapore, Taipei and Hong Kong and rose to executive director level. Ng spent about a year as an ED at ICAP in Hong Kong before returning to Singapore with CICC.
Jolene Tan, assistant general manager, China CITIC Bank International
Tan joined CITIC in June 2016 after 16 years in the Singapore banking sector. She began her career at Citi and moved to Bank of America in 2004, where she became head of the global-treasury, interest-rates derivatives and bonds-trading desk. Tan also spend almost seven years at RBS, latterly as a senior director and head of treasury and money markets, according to her public profile. In her free time, Tan is team lead for volunteering functions and national competitions at Singapore Gymnastics.
Raj Chawla, managing director - CFO / COO Asia, ICBC Standard Bank
Like Tan, Chawla came on board last June. He was previously COO for Asia at Mercuria Energy Trading. Chawla spent 16 years at J.P. Morgan – he joined in New York in 1999, became COO for North America commodities, and then moved to Singapore and Shanghai as commodities COO for Asia Pacific and China respectively. Chawla started his career as a copper options trader at the New York Mercantile Exchange before moving to BNP Paribas and Mizuho in NYC.
Clarence Chong, head of investment banking, Bank of China
Chong has been with Bank of China in Singapore since 2015 and leads its business across capital markets and corporate finance advisory. He has several years’ experience in Southeast Asian investment banking, most recently at Maybank, where he focused on “origination and structuring of debt and equity transactions across banking products and asset classes”. From 2011 to 2013 Chong was an ECM specialist at Religare Capital Markets, according to his online public profile. He holds a Masters in Corporate Finance from EDHEC Business School.
Lionel Lee, AVP, investment banking, China Construction Bank
While most of their senior front-office staff joined Chinese banks in Singapore after long stints at Western firms, mainland institutions could also provide a platform to fast track the careers of younger professionals. Lee is a case in point. He has risen to AVP level a mere three years after graduating with a BSc in Management Sciences from LSE. Lee’s first job was in bond origination at OCBC, according to his public profile.
Image credit: MasterLu, Getty