The landscape is evolving for Investment Bankers working in the South-East Asian region, with investment stretching beyond the traditional hub of Singapore into growing markets such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia, with a massive focus on sectors such as Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT).
Developing markets including Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar also are seeing increased investment in sectors such as infrastructure, health, consumers, energy and technology, according to Tardis’ Investment Banking and Corporate Finance Senior Consultant Daragh Lindsay.
For bankers based in Singapore, this means that more transactions are taking place in these countries, and this will continue for years to come. ‘There is a massive investment in these locations in sectors such as infrastructure, health and technology, and this something which is only going to continually increase,’ Daragh said.
For Investment Banks in Singapore, Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) is a sector with immense focus and investment across the South East Asia region. Some of the main drivers of M&A and investment activity in the South East Asia TMT sector in 2019/2020 will include Consolidation amongst fibre operators, demand for datacentre capacity, capital expenditure for 5G rollout, and the continuous development of digital innovation strategies.
‘The bigger banks will be increasing headcount and focus in their TMT divisions, whilst some boutique banks and venture capital firms are now specialising purely in TMT, rather than being generalist. Also, with the developing markets a key area for growth, several banks will have headquarters in Singapore, but will actually have a lot of interests and investments in locations such as Indonesia and Vietnam for example.
‘This has increased the demands for additional language skills such as Bahasa Indonesia, Vietnamese and Thai, for example.’
‘So, whilst when working in Singapore and communicating in English will generally suffice, there is a real opportunity for those who can offer other regional languages too.’
Dublin-born Daragh is a specialist investment banking and corporate finance recruiter for Tardis Group, with his assignments spanning markets on both sides of Australia and throughout Southeast Asia.
Daragh trained and worked as an Accountant in Ireland, specialising in restructuring and insolvency, before his first recruitment post with Robert Walters in 2014. Daragh originally established the professional services, accounting practice & investment banking desk in Perth, and subsequently he found his passion within the senior end of investment banking and corporate finance, merger & acquisitions (M&A), business development and strategy. This is now Daragh’s speciality for Tardis Group, senior Investment banking and corporate finance.
‘At Tardis, in Australia that means finding the right people for corporate business development and internal M&A roles in the mining and natural resources sector, where I often find suitable candidates are from investment banking backgrounds, so there is a strong synergy between banking candidates and corporate roles,’ he said.
‘Candidates from banks working within Natural Resources M&A divisions already have experience working with mining and natural resources clients – so they already understand the operations, the industry, investment processes etc, thus they the skills and experience to offer in a corporate M&A role.
‘When the mining and natural resources sectors are performing well, companies are looking for investment opportunities and therefore require the suitable skills to undertake such projects. Other mining businesses or investment banking firms are the hunting ground for this talent.
‘In Singapore, it is about finding our experienced investment bankers suitable opportunities within banking, private equity and venture capital. For example, if a candidate in Singapore is motivated by personal Title, they may strategically move from the ‘bulge bracket’ or bigger banks, to a second tier or boutique bank in order to progress up the ranks. Also, candidates may wish to work for well known or international brand, so they may seek to leave their roles in a second tier or boutique bank, to join a bigger bank. There is also an ever-increasing demand from candidates to move from a traditional banking role into a buy-side, private equity, venture capital or a corporate role. Accordingly, this is a strategic focus of mine, to increase our client portfolio within buy-side, private equity and venture capital.
Daragh is working with clients, employers and candidates across the Australian and Southeast Asian investment banking landscape from bulge bracket banks, large international banks, local banks, to the mid-size and boutique banks.
For those considering a career move, he advises that potential candidates ensure their LinkedIn profiles are up-to-date, with their current position being clear and accurate outlining their core responsibilities and achievements listed under their current and recent roles. ‘This is important because head-hunters use LinkedIn to search for talent as part of their process and potential employers also review candidates LinkedIn profiles during the process, so it is pivotal your skills, experience and personal brand is accurate.’ he said.
If you are looking for a new challenge and would be open to a confidential discussion about your career progression, please do not hesitate to contact Daragh Lindsay directly on firstname.lastname@example.org / Mob: +61 420 988 670