Banking brains can strike a deal in private equity

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 March, 2007, 12:00am

Many banking and finance professionals from corporate finance, financial advisory, corporate banking and private banking are now looking to switch their careers into the rapidly growing private equity sector. Here are a few great opportunities for those ambitious candidates.

SuperSearch International is seeking two senior-management level experts in private equity. Applicants should ideally have 10 years of experience in private equity with a degree in business, finance, accounting or legal studies. A master's in business studies would be added value for the posts.

While the required employment background and technical skills are the same for both, one position is in a Japanese investment bank and the other in a well-known foreign private equity firm.

SuperSearch International director Linda Hla said the Japanese bank had been operating in Hong Kong for 30 years, had 200 staff here and needed a head of private equity.

'The bank provides both sell-side and buy-side investment banking, merger and acquisition, equity trading and institutional sales for both the primary and secondary market for global clients,' she said.

Her other client, who also wishes to remain anonymous, is looking for a senior vice-president of private equity to be director of the Hong Kong branch, which has been here for 10 years and has 10 staff in local operations.

'Appointees may enjoy a plan such as carried interest,' Ms Hla said, referring to the practice in both firms of granting equity to those who work on successful deals that can be exercised in the future for profit.

Both roles involve leading and overseeing the origination, sourcing, evaluation, analysis and execution of private equity deals in Asian markets, primarily in the mainland, Taiwan and South Korea.

'We will consider candidates with hands-on experience in buy-side, such as private equity, direct investment and venture capital. We will also give a chance to those with investment experience in sell-side, such as corporate finance, if they have a good market network for deal origination and execution skills,' Ms Hla said.

Those able to draw on solid market contacts to originate deals will be at an advantage. The ability to make decisions on buyouts and cross-border deals based on sound knowledge is also an asset. Familiarity with the rules and policies of relevant government authorities and regulatory bodies for deal follow-up is sure to impress.

'He or she must be outgoing, as the job needs lots of negotiation with clients and many business trips involve meeting international clients,' Ms Hla said, adding that applicants should also be diligent, independent and willing to travel frequently.

In future, these jobs could expand to regional roles, meaning greater earning power and increased influence on the market for direct investment.