The post-bonus hiring season has kicked off in Singapore and Hong Kong. But if
you’re looking to get ahead in Asian banking in 2018, there is another option to
searching the job market: set yourself up for an internal promotion.
Here’s what to do if you want to move up the ranks over the next 12 months.
“In an Asian cultural context, some people find that pushing personal agendas
goes against the grain, so they miss out on promotions,” says Jeremy Stunt, a
former COO of cash equities at Standard Chartered, now a Hong Kong executive
coach. “Some people are just not sufficiently visible. In a fast-paced bank, you
can’t expect colleagues two levels up to notice you automatically. If senior
management don’t know how good you are, you won’t be front of mind at
By creating your ‘brand’
“It’s very easy to get lost in a big bank, so devote time towards building your
personal brand,” says Ovidiu Olea, a former HSBC associate director, now CEO
of Hong Kong start-up Valoot Technologies. “Small things like buying the team
coffee every Tuesday morning or wearing funky socks can actually help you stand
out and get known. In a bank, your brand tells your colleagues a story about you.
So once you’ve built it, use it to extend your network.”
consultant and former head of selection at Standard Chartered. “Sometimes that
means being selfish and searching out assignments that show off your
management skills. I frequently interview managers across Asia and consistently
find that successful ones spend 20% to 30% of their time managing and
developing people. If you’re not in that ballpark, think about putting in more