Professional drawbacks of working in Hong Kong

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Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Professional drawbacks of working in Hong Kong

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:08 am

The upside is clear:
Move to the HK office as early as a second year associate and make:
$260000-$310000 all in pre-tax as a second year ($170000 base + $10000 bonus + $80000-$130000 relocation depending on the firm)
$221000-$263500 after-tax (15%) (which is significantly higher than what second years at Boies, Wachtell, etc. would take home)

Professional drawbacks:
Work essentially limited to capital markets (with limited M&A)
Limited partnership prospects for 6/7th year associates compared to a 6/7th year associates in NYC? I heard that 6/7th year associates in NYC (especially at the cross-border deal powerhouses S&C/Cravath) have fairly good chances of making partners in HK (maybe not at the same firms).

What are some other professional drawbacks of working in HK?

Anonymous User
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Re: Professional drawbacks of working in Hong Kong

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:42 am

Are you sure about the relocation boost? COLA is usually 45-60k. Highest I've heard is 90.

If you're a US citizen, you'll have to pay taxes on anything above the foreign earned income exclusion. (anything above 97,600 according to IRS.)

Cravath doesn't have a HK office. Partnership prospects will depend on how the firm views its HK office, i.e. if they're serious about growing it or are just trying to keep up with all the other firms in HK.

Professional drawbacks: The market in HK has been struggling for the past ~2 years, and the future is uncertain. Many firms are cutting back or just maintaining as the Chinese economy slows. If you ever want to come back to the US can be hard as you'll only have experience in Rule 144A/Reg S offerings.

Anonymous User
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Re: Professional drawbacks of working in Hong Kong

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:50 pm

I don't know where you get your numbers from, but market COLA in HK is 60,000 to 70,000 (DPW), highest I've heard is 90,000 but that was only one firm.

If you are U.S. citizen, your tax should end up being around ~25% (15% is for HK gov, but remember, you still gotta pay Uncle Sam). Still quite good compare to NYC.

Hours are much longer in HK, and exit options are unclear. Also, one way ticket - very hard to get back to the U.S. If Chinese economy still shows no sign of recovering in the next year or so, and the firm starts firing people, think about what your options might be at that point.

Do you speak fluent Mandarin? For people heading over there now as junior associate, it seems like a prerequisite for advancement (i.e. partners).

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Professional drawbacks of working in Hong Kong

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 02, 2013 4:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I don't know where you get your numbers from, but market COLA in HK is 60,000 to 70,000 (DPW), highest I've heard is 90,000 but that was only one firm.

If you are U.S. citizen, your tax should end up being around ~25% (15% is for HK gov, but remember, you still gotta pay Uncle Sam). Still quite good compare to NYC.

Hours are much longer in HK, and exit options are unclear. Also, one way ticket - very hard to get back to the U.S. If Chinese economy still shows no sign of recovering in the next year or so, and the firm starts firing people, think about what your options might be at that point.

Do you speak fluent Mandarin? For people heading over there now as junior associate, it seems like a prerequisite for advancement (i.e. partners).


Anonymous User wrote:Are you sure about the relocation boost? COLA is usually 45-60k. Highest I've heard is 90.

If you're a US citizen, you'll have to pay taxes on anything above the foreign earned income exclusion. (anything above 97,600 according to IRS.)

Cravath doesn't have a HK office. Partnership prospects will depend on how the firm views its HK office, i.e. if they're serious about growing it or are just trying to keep up with all the other firms in HK.

Professional drawbacks: The market in HK has been struggling for the past ~2 years, and the future is uncertain. Many firms are cutting back or just maintaining as the Chinese economy slows. If you ever want to come back to the US can be hard as you'll only have experience in Rule 144A/Reg S offerings.


Mind sharing who the 90k firm is?

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Professional drawbacks of working in Hong Kong

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I don't know where you get your numbers from, but market COLA in HK is 60,000 to 70,000 (DPW), highest I've heard is 90,000 but that was only one firm.

If you are U.S. citizen, your tax should end up being around ~25% (15% is for HK gov, but remember, you still gotta pay Uncle Sam). Still quite good compare to NYC.

Hours are much longer in HK, and exit options are unclear. Also, one way ticket - very hard to get back to the U.S. If Chinese economy still shows no sign of recovering in the next year or so, and the firm starts firing people, think about what your options might be at that point.

Do you speak fluent Mandarin? For people heading over there now as junior associate, it seems like a prerequisite for advancement (i.e. partners).


Anonymous User wrote:Are you sure about the relocation boost? COLA is usually 45-60k. Highest I've heard is 90.

If you're a US citizen, you'll have to pay taxes on anything above the foreign earned income exclusion. (anything above 97,600 according to IRS.)

Cravath doesn't have a HK office. Partnership prospects will depend on how the firm views its HK office, i.e. if they're serious about growing it or are just trying to keep up with all the other firms in HK.

Professional drawbacks: The market in HK has been struggling for the past ~2 years, and the future is uncertain. Many firms are cutting back or just maintaining as the Chinese economy slows. If you ever want to come back to the US can be hard as you'll only have experience in Rule 144A/Reg S offerings.


Mind sharing who the 90k firm is?


Don't know which firm is 90k. Of the ones I asked, it's usually 80k with one 130k.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Professional drawbacks of working in Hong Kong

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I don't know where you get your numbers from, but market COLA in HK is 60,000 to 70,000 (DPW), highest I've heard is 90,000 but that was only one firm.

If you are U.S. citizen, your tax should end up being around ~25% (15% is for HK gov, but remember, you still gotta pay Uncle Sam). Still quite good compare to NYC.

Hours are much longer in HK, and exit options are unclear. Also, one way ticket - very hard to get back to the U.S. If Chinese economy still shows no sign of recovering in the next year or so, and the firm starts firing people, think about what your options might be at that point.

Do you speak fluent Mandarin? For people heading over there now as junior associate, it seems like a prerequisite for advancement (i.e. partners).


Anonymous User wrote:Are you sure about the relocation boost? COLA is usually 45-60k. Highest I've heard is 90.

If you're a US citizen, you'll have to pay taxes on anything above the foreign earned income exclusion. (anything above 97,600 according to IRS.)

Cravath doesn't have a HK office. Partnership prospects will depend on how the firm views its HK office, i.e. if they're serious about growing it or are just trying to keep up with all the other firms in HK.

Professional drawbacks: The market in HK has been struggling for the past ~2 years, and the future is uncertain. Many firms are cutting back or just maintaining as the Chinese economy slows. If you ever want to come back to the US can be hard as you'll only have experience in Rule 144A/Reg S offerings.


Mind sharing who the 90k firm is?


Don't know which firm is 90k. Of the ones I asked, it's usually 80k with one 130k.


Every firm I have spoken to has said 70k. That includes V10 and Magic Circle. This compares with 55k for London, but that was a much smaller sample.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273601
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Professional drawbacks of working in Hong Kong

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I don't know where you get your numbers from, but market COLA in HK is 60,000 to 70,000 (DPW), highest I've heard is 90,000 but that was only one firm.

If you are U.S. citizen, your tax should end up being around ~25% (15% is for HK gov, but remember, you still gotta pay Uncle Sam). Still quite good compare to NYC.

Hours are much longer in HK, and exit options are unclear. Also, one way ticket - very hard to get back to the U.S. If Chinese economy still shows no sign of recovering in the next year or so, and the firm starts firing people, think about what your options might be at that point.

Do you speak fluent Mandarin? For people heading over there now as junior associate, it seems like a prerequisite for advancement (i.e. partners).


Anonymous User wrote:Are you sure about the relocation boost? COLA is usually 45-60k. Highest I've heard is 90.

If you're a US citizen, you'll have to pay taxes on anything above the foreign earned income exclusion. (anything above 97,600 according to IRS.)

Cravath doesn't have a HK office. Partnership prospects will depend on how the firm views its HK office, i.e. if they're serious about growing it or are just trying to keep up with all the other firms in HK.

Professional drawbacks: The market in HK has been struggling for the past ~2 years, and the future is uncertain. Many firms are cutting back or just maintaining as the Chinese economy slows. If you ever want to come back to the US can be hard as you'll only have experience in Rule 144A/Reg S offerings.


Mind sharing who the 90k firm is?


Don't know which firm is 90k. Of the ones I asked, it's usually 80k with one 130k.


Which firm was 130k?

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lonerider
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:14 pm

Re: Professional drawbacks of working in Hong Kong

Postby lonerider » Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:06 pm

.
Last edited by lonerider on Sat May 10, 2014 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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thesealocust
Posts: 8448
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: Professional drawbacks of working in Hong Kong

Postby thesealocust » Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:15 pm

They're called COLA and not FAT STACKS OF CASH for a reason; money shouldn't be the major reason you go abroad.

SHANbangs
Posts: 206
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 8:36 am

Re: Professional drawbacks of working in Hong Kong

Postby SHANbangs » Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:22 pm

I personally see none.

I would take the 240k gross income + all you can eat dim sum + bathing in hot asian girls and just run, run, run... and never look back stateside. God I envy any of you who have one of these opportunities.

But objectively, if you ever want to go back to U.S, that will be a hard move. It will also be a somewhat hard adjustment to make if you are not sure you like the Asian lifestyle (though admittedly HK is very westernized). To be politically incorrect for a minute, I think expat men tend to like it more than expat women.

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bwv812
Posts: 548
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Re: Professional drawbacks of working in Hong Kong

Postby bwv812 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:23 am

.




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