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The Asia Chronicles: A+ PE / M&A Opportunity in Hong Kong at Top 10 US Firm – 2nd to 4th Year US Associate (Mandarin Fluency and Top Firm M&A Experience Required)

Ed. note: This post is authored by Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney of Kinney Recruiting, sponsor of the Asia Chronicles. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates and partners in Asia than any other firm in the past five years. You can reach them by email:

We are working on a number of openings at present in HK / China, Tokyo and Singapore, but one in particular is impressive and urgent enough that we thought we should mention here (something that we rarely do in this column). The position is a Private Equity / M&A focused spot at a top US firm in HK. The ideal candidate will be coming from a top 15 US firm in NYC, other major US markets, or already in HK / China. This top 10 US firm is very selective regarding current firm and JD academics. Mandarin fluency is needed for this role. This is by any measure a top 5 Private Equity practice in Asia and the firm globally is considered on of the best PE practices among all major international law firms. The firm also has offices in mainland China. We have placed a number of lateral US associates at this firm in HK / China over the years and these associates (one of them now a partner) have had very positive experiences there. Further, we have been close for years with a number of partners at this firm in Asia and they are amongst our most favorite hiring partner clients, due mainly to our own high opinions of them and their reputation in the market, including feedback from our many associates placed on their teams over the years.

A couple of senior partners at this firm, Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney meet with on a regular basis when they are in HK and have done so for years. Although the firm is quite large in Asia, by US firm standards, and has been established in the Asia markets for years, there is an exciting entrepreneurial spirit at this firm’s HK offices that makes it an outstanding and unique environment to work in. Personality fit is a bigger factor here than at most firms when it comes to hiring decisions. The partners here are going to look for someone who not only has great M&A experience, technical skill set for their class year, and academics / pedigree, but also who has an outgoing personality, entrepreneurial drive, can handle a lot of responsibility, and has a lot of confidence while being humble enough to realize they have a lot to learn. This is one of the most difficult firms to land in the HK / China market, from a selectivity perspective. It is a firm where a mid-level who is high performing will be given opportunities for a practical and realistic track to career advancement (partnership). Further, you will be able to have an M&A focus for years to come at this position, with no threat of being given substantial amounts of cap markets work during IPO booms, something that is not easy to obtain in HK / China at the very top US firms in the market (due to the realities of cap markets deal flow overwhelming top US firms during IPO boom cycles in HK / China). We find that a number of M&A focused associates moving from NYC to HK / China desire M&A focus and in some cases are promised such a focus, but within a year or so are forced to transition to more of a cap markets practice, due to IPO up cycles and the heavy demand for staffing those deals in HK / China. This firm is very established already in Asia, but is continuing to grow and expand and it is an exciting place to work for the associate who has the right experience / background and who wants a lot of responsibility and client contact. The hours are typically high at this firm and the M&A partners are usually busy even during down cycles in the market. You would have the opportunity to work both with mega PE fund clients and mid-market PE fund clients.

It is one of our favorite firms to work with in Asia. This is in our opinion an A+ opportunity by any measure and the type of special opportunity in PE / M&A in HK / China that does not come available very often.

Please feel free to reach out to us at if you would like to get much more details on this opening. Evan jowers is heading up this search and he will be happy to give you answer any of your questions, as well as explain in detail why we are so high on this position.