Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Evan Jowers, Robert Kinney and Alexis Lamb of Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates and partners in Asia than any other firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the past few years it has become increasingly difficult to lateral to Hong Kong from the US without Mandarin or Korean language skills. However, it has not been impossible by any means, especially in Pan Asia focused corporate practices. In the Investment Management realm, up until a few years ago, English only was just fine for lateral associate candidates in Hong Kong, especially considering most of the documentation is in English in this area anyways. Three plus years ago there were not nearly as many funds groups or funds openings at US firms in Asia as there have been in the past two years. Nowadays, this is a rapidly growing area, although still a small part of the landscape of US biglaw in HK / China. In the past couple of years, we have placed many US associates in fund formation practices in HK / China, but there has usually been a requirement of Mandarin fluency.
We like to point out “English only ok” opportunities in HK / China because they are not the norm and worth mentioning to our readers in this column from time to time.
Currently, we have a brand new “English only is ok” private funds senior associate opening at a top US firm in Hong Kong. The new hire will have 5 to 7 years of experience on the private equity, real estate and / or infrastructure side. This firm is not going to consider candidates who have focused in hedge funds in their career, as that is simply not a fit for their practice in China. Mandarin is not required. Some ties to (or strong career / personal reasons to move to) Asia is of course a requirement, especially considering the high level of responsibility this new hire will have and the fact that they will have a track to career advancement available to them at this firm. The new hire will need to demonstrate that they can and want to be committed to Asia for 3+ years.
This firm is just starting to interview candidates, with the plan being to make this important senior hire before end year.
Evan Jowers is running this search for us and he is coordinating directly with the hiring partner involved, including meeting with him while Evan is next in HK in early September. Evan will be working from our HK offices for most of September and coordinating the applications and interviews for this senior associate funds spot. A number of folks from our Asia team is recruiting for this spot, including Robert Kinney (who will also be in Hong Kong in September), Alexis Lamb (based in Hong Kong), Yuliya Vinokurova (splits time between Russia, US and China), and Danielle Cyr (based in NYC, but also with Asia focus). We have placed a number of US associates at this firm in HK in recent years, including in their funds group, and have worked with and known this funds hiring partner for 7 years, meeting with him several times a year on average. It is easy for us to recommend this office and this practice group as a landing spot in HK for any rising star senior funds associate considering a HK lateral move and we are happy to discuss the reasons why if you are interested.
As always, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com if you would like more information on this or any of our openings, and / or to discuss the Asia markets in general.