You’re a graduate in Singapore eyeing up a career in private equity (PE), or you’re a junior investment banker wanting a buy-side move now that you’ve got your bonus.
Either way, you want to know how to get your first job in private equity, a notoriously difficult sector to break into.
We’ve searched through publicly avaiable LinkedIn profiles of young private equity professsioanls in Singapore to find out what type of people PE firms in the city state like to hire.
Eugene Zhuang, Baring Private Equity Asia
Zhuang joined Baring, an Asian focused fund with 120 employees, in 2013 after spending almost three years as an analyst in Deutsche Bank’s Southeast Asia corporate finance department. He’s now covering the same region for Baring, according to his public profile on LinkedIn. Zhuang is proof that you don’t need to attend an elite overseas university to break into private equity in Singapore – but you do need strong grades. Zhuang, a class of 2010 valedictorian, has an accountancy degree from Nanyang Technological University with a GPA of 4.9 / 5.0.
Charmaine Goh Cai Yun, Partners Group
Getting a graduate role at an investment bank isn’t the only way to break into private equity in Singapore. Yun started her career at a traditional asset manager, Aberdeen, in 2012 and managed to join Partners Group, a global PE firm with 800 staff and $50bn in in assets under management, just 16 months later.
Sara Lim, L Capital Asia
Lim has an appealing mix of global and regional-bank experience: she began her career as an analyst at Morgan Stanley in 2011 and secured an associate-level fixed-income job at Malaysian bank RHB in 2013. Now she’s evaluating potential investments for L Capital Asia, a $1.6bn fund sponsored by the LVMH Group that focuses on “Asian lifestyle brands” in the fashion, food and retail sectors. According to her public profile, Lim is armed with a BA and a BSc from University of California, Berkeley.
Teo Huan Song, TAP Private Equity
Do you need a financial service background to get your first job in private equity in Singapore? Not always. Very occasionally PE firms hire people straight from industry. Song join TAP, a small Southeast Asian fund, in 2013 after spending the first two years of his career doing short stints in a range of sectors. He was a sales consultant for shoe shop Charles & Keith, an operations administrator for the Ministry of Health, a brand ambassador for drinks company Pernod Ricard, and a real estate executive for property firm Frasers Centrepoint.
Elvina Jouw, Formation 8
Once you’re in the private equity sector, you don’t necessarily need to stay a long time with your first firm – it’s possible to move between employers as a young PE professional. Jouw, for example, joined Aries Capital Partners in Singapore in 2010 after having worked as an analyst at Citi and Barclays. Under two years later she moved to AIF Capital, a $2bn Asian fund, and in September last year she was hired by Formation 8, a fund which invests in the consumer and technology sectors.
Nicholas Yong, KV Asia
A few people go into private equity in Singapore straight after graduating, but it pays to have done an internship first. Singapore Management University graduate Young did his internships at Altius Associates and Abacus Capital, according to his public profile on LinkedIn. On the back of these he secured a full-time role at KV Asia, a fund that invests in mid-sized companies in Southeast Asia, in 2014.
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