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Alekk
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Posts: 97
Joined: September 14th, 2007, 4:39 pm

finance related job in emerging countries

August 24th, 2010, 3:29 pm

for personal reasons, my long term purpose is to go live in an emerging country like Thailand,Vietnam or Malaysia and work there in a finance-related area. With a science background (maths/stats PhD), what are the options available. I was thinking of working for a few years as a quant to broaden my finance knowledge and then move there to see what is offered to me (something like consulting). Is this completely absurd ? Any advice ?
 
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phil451
Posts: 83
Joined: December 7th, 2007, 8:21 am

finance related job in emerging countries

August 24th, 2010, 3:53 pm

I worked in the Risk and Finance area of a bank in Casablanca for a while. It sounded exotic and romantic. It wasn't and I lasted 6 months and have never been back and have absolutely no intention of returning.My brother worked in Chiang Mai for a year. Admittedly he's an electronics engineer. He would rather plunge red hot needles in his eyes rather than return.Still... don't let our experiences put you off.
 
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DominicConnor
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Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

finance related job in emerging countries

August 24th, 2010, 4:02 pm

My job as a quant headhunter is to help you get what you want, not to tell you what you should want, so it's fine if you want to work there.The obvious first idea is to teach quant finance and/or banking.There's a lot of smart people in those places, and the combination of them wanting to move to the West, and the growing sophistication of their markets, and maybe a bit of outsourcing by western banks will mean there's some demand. Aside from your experience, getting very good at the language will be essential, but also be aware that being able to teach business English has some value.There are MFE programs everywhere...Related to the offshoring is your employer may have an office in that country that you can work in. Once they realise that you're flexible on money, a deal can be made. You need to optimise for companies that are likely to have an office there, so more HSBC than GS for instance.Inferior employers like Accenture do outsourcing in low wage cost countries, the idea of getting a grown up to lead their horde of second raters will be very attractive to them, especially if the grown up is prepared to work for the peanuts that Accenture et al pay.Note the theme here is that you are unlikely to get big money in this, but I'm guessing you know that already.That region has a bunch of local exchanges, all of whom are very ambitious. Roles as an advisor might come up, based upon your experience in developed markets, also if you are good at sharing ideas, they may want you to help them persuade people to use them as a venue. There are also regulators, etc.Many types of trading don't really require you to be in a specific place, and regulation / tax could mean that they become very attractive for prop trading, and of course each has a nascent hedge fund industry. For instance, you might work in commodities in the west, then move to Indonesia which is a viable location for some.The high risk option is to start your own business there, advising local firms, and using the pile of cheap/good people there and your contacts.What you haven't shared is whether these places are your final destination ?This matters because it affects what jobs are best for you, ideally you want an employer that looks good in the West.That's not always easy to spot, firms get better or worse, and there are some unintuitive results.I mentioned Accenture, if you're from Vietnam, working in their local office, it's good to have it on your CV, because it means you beat a lot of other Vietnamese, since they pay better than most jobs there.But as a westerner, it means you're second rate, or at best that you showed extraordinarily poor judgement, because Accenture is not an employer of choice for highly skilled Western people.By 'western people' I mean people who've been educated in the West, your ethnic group is not the factor here.
 
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twofish
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Joined: February 18th, 2005, 6:51 pm

finance related job in emerging countries

August 24th, 2010, 11:35 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: Alekkfor personal reasons, my long term purpose is to go live in an emerging country like Thailand,Vietnam or Malaysia and work there in a finance-related area.Do you have a particularly country in mind? It makes a big difference if you do.QuoteWith a science background (maths/stats PhD), what are the options available. I was thinking of working for a few years as a quant to broaden my finance knowledge and then move there to see what is offered to me (something like consulting). One problem that you will have is that emerging market finance that is useful to Ph.D.'s in fact takes place in the major financial centers (i.e. NYC, London, Hong Kong, Singapore). There is a lot of "reverse outsourcing" that happens. Since everything happens in cyberspace anyway, the compute intensive parts get done by Ph.D.'s in the major financial centers. Now, that might change, and there is a decent chance that people will find it easier and simpler to do quant work in Elbonia. If you want to work in Elbonia, your task will be to see what you can do to speed up that trend. You'll kill the salaries and bonuses of everyone else in the forum, but that's not your problem.
Last edited by twofish on August 24th, 2010, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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darth
Posts: 34
Joined: March 26th, 2010, 7:13 pm

finance related job in emerging countries

August 25th, 2010, 8:11 am

If your list of emerging countries include India too.... you have many options.... But m puzzled y do u want to do this reverse movement.....
 
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Alekk
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Posts: 97
Joined: September 14th, 2007, 4:39 pm

finance related job in emerging countries

August 26th, 2010, 1:38 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: twofishQuoteOriginally posted by: Alekkfor personal reasons, my long term purpose is to go live in an emerging country like Thailand,Vietnam or Malaysia and work there in a finance-related area.Do you have a particularly country in mind? It makes a big difference if you do.Yes - I would like to go live in Vietnam, in maybe 5 or 10 years.QuoteQuoteWith a science background (maths/stats PhD), what are the options available. I was thinking of working for a few years as a quant to broaden my finance knowledge and then move there to see what is offered to me (something like consulting). One problem that you will have is that emerging market finance that is useful to Ph.D.'s in fact takes place in the major financial centers (i.e. NYC, London, Hong Kong, Singapore). There is a lot of "reverse outsourcing" that happens. Since everything happens in cyberspace anyway, the compute intensive parts get done by Ph.D.'s in the major financial centers. Now, that might change, and there is a decent chance that people will find it easier and simpler to do quant work in Elbonia. If you want to work in Elbonia, your task will be to see what you can do to speed up that trend. You'll kill the salaries and bonuses of everyone else in the forum, but that's not your problem.Discussing with some people over there in Vietnam, not working in the financial sector but not far from it, I have been told that persons with good analytical skills and a western education were in need over there - with reasonable salaries, far from peanuts. Indeed, this would not be typical quant jobs but more on the consulting side. Having said that, I am not sure how true these statements are.
 
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photoguy
Posts: 36
Joined: June 25th, 2010, 2:06 pm

finance related job in emerging countries

August 26th, 2010, 1:59 am

The money you make there will be far less than what you could make in the west, but it will put you far higher up in the local socioeconomic structure than if you were living/working in the west. (The problem, of course, is that when you get sick of it and decide to leave, you won't be taking much with you.)I hope you have at least visited. Even for the relatively affluent, the quality of life is quite low in my view. FWIW, I do speak from a relatively informed opinion on this topic. My fiance comes from a fairly important business and political family there. BTW, the financial markets out there are really the wild west from what I'm told. Insider trading and pump and dump appear to be the norm.
 
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Alekk
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Posts: 97
Joined: September 14th, 2007, 4:39 pm

finance related job in emerging countries

August 26th, 2010, 3:26 am

Thanks Photoguy - this is exactly the picture I have in mind of the current financial system in Vietnam. My wife is Vietnamese, I am also half-vietnamese (grew up in France, though), and I have spent quite a long time in Vietnam (but have never worked there): this is why I have been quite sceptical about comments that I have heard,in Vietnam and by knowledgeable Vietnamese people, about the relative easiness for skilled foreigners to come work in the Vietnamese financial sector.
 
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photoguy
Posts: 36
Joined: June 25th, 2010, 2:06 pm

finance related job in emerging countries

August 26th, 2010, 12:20 pm

There are indeed a handful of fortunes that have been made there. My understanding is that most of those have been made by government officials and derive from some form of corruption. It isn't clear to me that there is a need for consultants in that area. One place where real money can be (and is) made is in exploiting cheap local labor to produce products to sell to the rich elsewhere. However, expatriation laws make it difficult for foreigners to do this. If you want to get a sense of what Vietnamese professional firms pay, last I heard (about a year ago) Viet Capital (PE firm) was paying MBAs around $2500 to $3000/month - granted, this is a fortune in a country with a typical wage of $500 to $1000/year. I've met a couple guys at Viet Cap, and they were very smart, impressive people - easily could have been at McKinsey or what have you. Again, the real money is in starting your own shop, but that requires having a track record and navigating the local legal system. They really aren't into the idea of foreigners coming in, making a bunch of money off them, and taking it back home. Edit to add: recently, another area where a lot of money has been made is in stock market manipulation. Enough people have made enough money at this to push home values north of $1 million US in some areas of Hanoi - a lot even for a Viet Cap associate!
Last edited by photoguy on August 25th, 2010, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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