SERVING THE QUANTITATIVE FINANCE COMMUNITY

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

### finance related job in emerging countries

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 ?

phil451
Posts: 83
Joined: December 7th, 2007, 8:21 am

### finance related job in emerging countries

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.

DominicConnor
Posts: 11684
Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

### finance related job in emerging countries

twofish
Posts: 4944
Joined: February 18th, 2005, 6:51 pm

### finance related job in emerging countries

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.

darth
Posts: 34
Joined: March 26th, 2010, 7:13 pm

### finance related job in emerging countries

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.....

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

### finance related job in emerging countries

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.

photoguy
Posts: 36
Joined: June 25th, 2010, 2:06 pm

### finance related job in emerging countries

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.

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

### finance related job in emerging countries

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.

photoguy
Posts: 36
Joined: June 25th, 2010, 2:06 pm

### finance related job in emerging countries

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.