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Advice on private equity & venture capital in Tokyo/Asia?

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
Hi gents, First time poster here on style forum, long time poster on Superfuture as djrajio. Seems like a number of individuals on this board are more in line w/ my career aspirations and in general could provide me some advice seeing that there are a number of post-MBA bankers and finance guys. Currently I'm finishing my second year at a bulge bracket IB in Tokyo after graduating w/ a B.S. in computer science from a ivy-university. I've recently been promoted to associate level and currently work on the fixed-income research department as an analytics/strategy analyst working w/ the quants and economic strategists to develop/code pricing models too complex to do via VBA excel, etc. So far the experience has been extremely valuable given I had no prior IB experience before I started but I don't see myself working in this capacity for another couple years and am looking to switch. Recently I've gotten extremely interested in switching to venture capital and/or private equity but I realize most of these firms want guys w/ investment banking divison experience particularly on the company valuation end / deal making end. I taken the time to self study the main concepts, such as the McKinsey bible: Valuation: Measuring And Managing The Value Of Companies but I lack real world experience in the field. Also, I'd like to continue working in Tokyo seeing the explosion of foreign investment coming into Asia in the last number of years and know that future growth will be driven by Asia but to what capacity and from which players I'm not entirely certain. Would anyone have any advice or leads for someone like me? I guess my main issues are weather I should try looking to switch back in America such as the silicon valley or nyc where the main players are located (Carlyle, Blackstone, Silverlake, etc)? One sticking point I've had is that Tokyo is seen as a secondary market and most career advancement opportunities come from those that work in NYC. Do you think for a long term perspective, it would be better for me to move to NYC or London where the markets are more mature and I'm closer to top management? I've also been studying Japanese for some time, to the point where I'm business level proficient and I'm worried returning back to the states provide me less opportunities to improve. Furthermore, how should I market myself? I know it will be much more difficult for me considering that I'm not from an IBD department. Should I try looking into MBA now instead of doing 2-3 more years? I've also passed CFA level 1 and planning on taking level 2 in June but from the advice of my collegues, CFA really isnt that useful nowadays given the competitiveness of the industry and the growing sophistication of field. Should I continue w/ the CFA program? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
post #2 of 58
With your experience and background why not reach out to your alumni network? This avenue seems to be the least taken by young professionals. Get in touch with alumni in the fields you are interested in (further up the IB chain as well as PE/VC) and pose the same questions to them.

Now, I'm not in the business mind you. But common sense says go that route.
post #3 of 58
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply Jodum5. Yes, I've taken some initial steps to find and contact Alumni here in Tokyo and actually have a meeting with an alum working in a VC firm next week. However, he's an MBA and I'm finding that many of guys didn't do their undergraduate at my university so the commonalities tend to be superficial. If I were post-MBA I think the alumni connections would be more beneficial, just look at Harvard Business School and how 15-20% of PE partners are alums and only recruit from that program. I guess I'm more interested in people who have worked abroad and how that either benefited or somewhat hindered their career path. Should I be in Tokyo? Should I get myself as close as possible to Sand Hill road!? Should I think about MBA now?
post #4 of 58
I would say it will be difficult to transition from a programming/strategy role in FI to anything meaningful in PE. Have you ever worked on a deal, put together comps, DCF, etc...? PE/VC aren't going to want to teach you that stuff. They're going to want people with a lot of live deal experience. I would suggest going to b-school. With your experience and background, you would probably be a strong applicant for a top 5 or top 10 program. From there, your chances in PE will be much greater, or at the very least you can try to get work as an associate in IBD and then move to PE.
post #5 of 58
djrajio, i cannot wait to torment you on here.
post #6 of 58
post #7 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by thekunk07 View Post
djrajio, i cannot wait to torment you on here.

post #8 of 58
Thread Starter 
this is easy.

thekunk07 -> ignore list.
post #9 of 58
Did ya'll just see what happened there?

post #10 of 58
It is going to be tough to make the jump lacking a good connection... Those guys seem to pull from IBD analyst classes and freshly minted MBAs pretty exclusively. With your pedigree I wouldn't bother with the CFA and instead focus on getting a top-5 MBA. Your Japan experience will play well with the admission boards, IMO...
post #11 of 58
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reponse. I had this vague/wild notion back in June 2007 that "YOU ABSOLUTELY" had to be in venture capital / private equity to make become rich and successful. Well after a year of losing my job at Lehman, 8 months of unemployment, and a drastically different global reality, I've realized how foolish and near-sighted chasing the low hanging fruit was and continues to be. I actually have a very low opinion of investment banking and the venture/private equity space nowadays. I now work for a high-frequency trading brokerage/prop shop and love it. I still plan on pursuing an MBA in the future but have no intention of pursuing a career in venture capital/pe. In my opinion the entire business model of vc/pe is broken and the last thing this world needs is more (ex-)investment bankers (and lawyers)...
post #12 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by djrajio View Post
Well after a year of losing my job at Lehman, 8 months of unemployment, and a drastically different global reality, I've realized how foolish and near-sighted chasing the low hanging fruit was and continues to be.

I actually have a very low opinion of investment banking and the venture/private equity space nowadays.

I now work for a high-frequency trading brokerage/prop shop and love it.

I still plan on pursuing an MBA in the future but have no intention of pursuing a career in venture capital/pe.

In my opinion the entire business model of vc/pe is broken and the last thing this world needs is more (ex-)investment bankers (and lawyers)...

Would love to hear you elaborate further on this if possible.
post #13 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by djrajio View Post
Thanks for the reponse.

I had this vague/wild notion back in June 2007 that "YOU ABSOLUTELY" had to be in venture capital / private equity to make become rich and successful.

Well after a year of losing my job at Lehman, 8 months of unemployment, and a drastically different global reality, I've realized how foolish and near-sighted chasing the low hanging fruit was and continues to be.

I actually have a very low opinion of investment banking and the venture/private equity space nowadays.

I now work for a high-frequency trading brokerage/prop shop and love it.

I still plan on pursuing an MBA in the future but have no intention of pursuing a career in venture capital/pe.

In my opinion the entire business model of vc/pe is broken and the last thing this world needs is more (ex-)investment bankers (and lawyers)...

Ah yes, but trading on the other hand. That is what the world needs more of.
post #14 of 58
It's pretty hard to get into PE post-MBA if you don't have pre-MBA experience. No one wants to teach you how to model or read a term sheet.
post #15 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by djrajio View Post
Thanks for the reponse.

I had this vague/wild notion back in June 2007 that "YOU ABSOLUTELY" had to be in venture capital / private equity to make become rich and successful.

Well after a year of losing my job at Lehman, 8 months of unemployment, and a drastically different global reality, I've realized how foolish and near-sighted chasing the low hanging fruit was and continues to be.

I actually have a very low opinion of investment banking and the venture/private equity space nowadays.

I now work for a high-frequency trading brokerage/prop shop and love it.

I still plan on pursuing an MBA in the future but have no intention of pursuing a career in venture capital/pe.

In my opinion the entire business model of vc/pe is broken and the last thing this world needs is more (ex-)investment bankers (and lawyers)...

I was surprised to find out my hedge fund and IB friends (all now jobless) made so LITTLE. I thought they were ballin'. But no, not really.
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