Career changes are common enough in Singapore financial services – whether it’s leaving banking for the buy-side or starting up in fintech.
But most people who swap sectors or departments do so after clocking up several years’ experience in one function.
It’s still possible, however, to make a change earlier on in your finance career.
We looked through publicly available profiles to find Singapore finance professionals who’ve made interesting moves while still young.
Ramdhani Pratama Putra, Standard Chartered
In 2014 Putra was working in operations at DBS where his responsibilities included processing payments for structured products transactions, disseminating cash-flow discrepancies, and validating transactions for interest rate and credit derivatives, according to his public profile on LinkedIn. But he didn’t want to stay trapped in the back office. Last year Putra moved to Stan Chart where he now puts all that product knowledge to use as an investment advisor in the firm’s wealth management unit.
Naomi Yeo, UOB
As we noted earlier this year, a shortage of corporate banking relationship managers (RMs) in Singapore is leading some firms to look for potential RMs in other departments, with credit risk staff being the prime targets. Yeo has already made the transition – she was working purely as a credit analyst at UOB, but in 2014 the bank gave her client-facing responsibilities.
Vincent Lim, Goldman Sachs
Will Goldman Sachs hire you as an analyst even if you haven’t interned at Goldman Sachs and even if you haven’t interned in banking? Lim’s profile suggests so. He looked bound for a career at the Big Four after doing summer stints at PwC (2011) and Deloitte (2012) – but he got his first full-time job at Goldman where he works as an equity analyst, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Wei Xian Poon, Morgan Stanley
Your route into Singapore’s expanding but talent-short private banking sector need not be a direct one. Poon’s first permanent job, in 2012, was in coverage and corporate finance at Standard Chartered and he later shifted into the private equity division of the same firm, according to his public profile on LinkedIn. Six months ago, however, he managed to move into Morgan Stanley’s private wealth unit.
Hao Wen Lau, Citi
Between 2012 and 2015 Lau toiled away in corporate loans operations at OCBC, but ended up leading three teams supporting the front office, according to his public profile on LinkedIn. His “excellent performance ratings” at OCBC were enough to secure him a job in the front-office himself. Lau is now an associate banker in Citi’s ‘Citigold’ private client division, according his profile.
Julin Yeo, DBS
What to do when you work for a consultancy but want to break into banking? Become an internal consultant within a bank. Yeo spent more than two years at McKinsey & Co before moving to a strategy job at National Australia Bank. She joined DBS a year ago in a similar role.
Jin Sheng Koh, Nomura
Banks in Singapore are trying to encourage employees from other teams to move into risk management – a skill-short function in which poaching from rivals is costly. Koh entered the finance sector in 2010 as a business banking associate at UOB. Unusually, he made his move into risk by changing banks and he did it just 18 months into his career by joining Credit Suisse in 2012. He’s now a credit risk analyst in wealth management at Nomura.
Image credit: Balazs Kovacs, iStock, Thinkstock