Singapore Expats

Here's my Story......

Discuss about getting a well paid job or career advancement. Ask about salaries, expat packages, CPF & taxes for expatriate.
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Joined: Sun, 28 Jan 2007 7:22 am

Here's my Story......

Post by amahtani77 » Sun, 28 Jan 2007 7:26 am

All -

Here is my situation. I am a US citizen in New York in my late 20's who has spent the last nearly 7 years at a top 4 US investment bank working in the areas of IT (previously, for nearly 5 years), and Quantitative Equity Strategy/Research (currently, for 2 years thus far). I believe I have a strong combination of Finance and Programming/DB skills that are desired for quant related Finance roles. My educational background consists of a Bachelor's degree from a top tier public US university with majors in Finance, International Business, and Computer Science. Additionally, I am presently a Level 2 candidate in the CFA program.

My exposure to Asia includes some 3 dozen trips out to Singapore and Indonesia in my lifetime. I also have a strong friends and family network in Asia, particularly Southeast Asia, including family connections with the Indonesian government. My exposure and educational experiences have provided me with advanced knowledge of Bahasa/Malay, and a strong desire to work in Asia.

My firm has a small presence in Singapore, limited to Fixed Income Sales and Operations/IT activity. We are not expected to expand into other areas such as Equities in Singapore for at least another 2 years. As I am eager to get started with a career in Asia, I would like to know your story as to how you made the leap to Singapore (for those of you in a similar position to me). With that, I also have the following questions:

1. How should I go about searching for a suitable position, and what sort of package can I expect (Local, etc)?

2. How would you best describe the quality of life, both personal and professional, vis-a-vis your home country?

3. What experiences have you encountered while living/working in Singapore which you would not have otherwise encountered in your home country?

4. How long did it take you to make the move, and what sparked your interests into moving to Singapore?

Many thanks for taking the time to respond to my post.

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Post by Plavt » Sun, 28 Jan 2007 8:45 am

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Post by mho » Sun, 28 Jan 2007 10:24 pm

I do not think that there is a dearth of opportunities for those with your experience.

I cant answer you 4 qns in particular , but seeing that you are keen, you can start off by googling 'head hunter singapore' and sending out your resume. Cant hurt.

You may also try to come here through your co in an IT/ops role and then look for a fitting job once here.

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Post by Makan24-7 » Mon, 29 Jan 2007 1:31 am

I believe you have posted the same questions as before and my response remains the same:

You're best served networking on the Street for positions in Asia/SG. Better than doing it over here. Recruiting norms do differ A LOT. But if you must, do it through the top exec search firms and preferably through the NY offices. For the search firm rankings, visit this URL

I take it you're currently a 2nd/3rd yr analyst or perhaps 1st yr associate? Study the tax situation carefully. You are exempt from US Federal taxes up to US$80k and you have to pay tax on amounts exceeding that. Singapore and the US have no tax treaties so you will also be subject to local taxes which are much, much lower than US taxes but double taxation is always a burden so that must be worked in yr package.

MAJOR DIFFERENCE-Asian management styles still differ a lot from the States. That will take a lot of getting used to. That said, all analysts and associates get treated like dirt anyway in traditional i-banking.

BOTTOMLINE: Come as a international assignee or expat. Try to avoid becoming a local hire. Local hires get paid much less than their foreign counterparts on assignment to SG. The Front Office people might command the same salaries if they were recruited directly through on-grounds/campus recruiting from the top tier schools or the top publics like UC Berkeley, UVA, UCLA, UMichigan Ann Arbor, UNC Chapel Hill or UT Austin.

All-in-all, life in SG is much more convenient and fun than most cities I've been to and lived in. Just take into consideration the points I've raised above.

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