Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past seven years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that Robert Kinney is in New York today and tomorrow and available for meetings. Please reach out at Robert@kinneyrecruiting.com or email@example.com if you would like to meet with him to discuss the Asia or Texas markets.
Later this month, from August 20 to 31 Robert and Evan Jowers will be working from Kinney’s Hong Kong offices and available for meetings.
The Asia lateral hiring markets remain in fairly good condition. Things usually slow down dramatically in July and August, due to it being the traditional two week vacation time of year, but things are busier than usual. Hiring and interviewing continues to take place, but typically some hirings get put on hold until September at this time of year.
There are M&A openings, especially, at top US firms in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai – such a good selection of spots that you should speak to our Evan Jowers about each firm, particular office and particular hiring partner, before deciding which to target. Those top tier firms with M&A openings in HK / China are being very selective, but those qualified can also be selective in which firms to target – as each opening, while similar on the surface, is completely different with respect to the personality of the particular team, the type of M&A work, the client list, deal sheet, career advancement expectations within that firm, level of responsibility planned for new hire, the precedent for past associates in group to land great in-house or partner track positions in region or lateral back to US, and how established that practice and that hiring partner are in China or in Asia in general.
Targeting these openings without being very well informed about them , without an hour or more discussion with your recruiter / agent about each opportunity – the pluses and minuses of joining each team, working for each hiring partner – is a disservice to yourself and your career. It’s flying blind sort of speak, and intentionally doing so.
There may be more cap markets openings by October, if the market comes back strong in September, as we expect, after vacation season. Earlier this year, the IPO market was very hot in Hong Kong but only a handful of top tier US firms were hiring US cap markets associates, and others were not. That market is spotty now for all but the very top tier US cap markets practices in HK / China – things have been red hot for those groups since late ’13, both with New York and Hong Kong listings, as well as other cap markets work. Outside of that very top tier, there are very solid US cap markets practices in HK / China that are struggling to stay consistently very busy and also getting work without substantial discounts.
Southeast Asia cap markets work outside of Hong Kong (which was pretty hot in ’12 and ’13) has been slower this year but is picking up after a very slow early part of ’14. Philippines continues to be hot, for example. Another example is India showing signs of perhaps picking up after being down for some years. Openings for this type of work can be in Hong Kong or Singapore.
Things continue to be red hot in FCPA / White Collar but there are only so many of these groups already established on the ground in Hong Kong / China. Finance hiring for US associates at top tier US firms in Asia is not a frequent occurrence, but it happens here and there, similar to arbitration / disputes (in Singpaore especially) hiring of US associates. Hiring for antitrust US associates has been picking up recently in China, but is still small in number.