The hedge fund industry is arguably doing better in Europe than in the USA, and better still in Asia. In an article entitled “Hedge-fund Mania Hits Asia”, BusinessWeek reports: “From Tokyo to Singapore, hedge funds are as hot as Thai chili peppers.” Jim Rogers, co-founder of the Quantum Fund, says: “I am told a new hedge fund is being set up in Asia every other day.” So after last week’s report of strong hiring at European and American hedge funds, it is appropriate to consider the hiring picture in Asia.
Matthew Hoyle International (MHI) is a financial recruiting firm with offices in the UK, the Netherlands and Hong Kong. It’s a boutique-style firm, with a small-feel, personal touch and strong flow of mid- to senior-level positions in Europe and Asia. Hedge Fund Search Digest publishes a steady run of its prop trading jobs, portfolio manager jobs, and quant jobs in Singapore, Hong Kong, Seoul and elsewhere. Earlier this year we asked for Matthew’s views on the Asian hedge fund industry, especially from the point of view of candidates in Europe and the USA. In a nutshell: the Asian industry is very robust, but mobility at a global level is not easy even for very talented candidates.
On industry growth:
“More hedge funds are moving into Asia, particularly from Europe. We see special situations, distressed funds and funds involved heavily in private deals as being especially aggressive in 2008. We also expect the Asian convertible space to remain particularly attractive.”
On whether working in a hedge fund in Asia is different than elsewhere:
“It really depends on what area you are in. A quant developer or programmer has many skills easily transferable to Asia, but a trader does not. Asian markets behave very differently from those in the US or Europe. If you don’t have prior Asia experience and are looking for a front office role, at least follow the local markets in your spare time.”
On getting a job in Asia:
“We receive at least 50 resumes a day from the US. Everyone wants to move here. Asia has essentially the become the last profit centre in the world.
“Advice to candidates: those with Asia experience or prior exposure in some way will benefit. It is more likely you will be granted an interview if you are already here.
“Don’t expect lavish expat packages including relocation, housing, &c. Most of our clients are in such demand among job seekers from abroad that they have stopped offering these benefits. Their view is: if you want to work in Asia, pay for your own move.”