Investment Banking in Singapore

Investment banking in Singapore is well-known here, but the types of deals and the size of the market are different. Here are a few things you should remember about the market:

It’s not easy to get into the Singaporean market, especially if you’re from another country and have never been there before. But it could happen. The market is not emerging in Singapore, but you will find them in many South Asian countries when you start to work.

Investment banking in Singapore is well-known here, but the types of deals and the size of the market are different. Here are a few things you should remember about the market:

  • Most of the deals that Bulge Bracket Banks make are big ones. Some of these banks are Standard Chartered, HSBC, DBS, Citibank, etc., which bid a lot.
  • Most of the time, Singapore’s investment banking firms work on smaller deals because they are smaller. Rarely do they work on deals worth more than $1 billion. But if a mega-deal is made, everyone (all the big names) would be a part of it.
  • The problem with the Singaporean market is that most large and medium-sized businesses are owned by families or the government. And we all know that when it comes to family businesses, people don’t want to sell them. As a result, there aren’t as many M&A deals. So, most bulge-bracket banks in this area try to own deals at a lower level. Because of this, there aren’t many places where top banks can compete for middle-market deals. But it is a fact in Singapore.
  • Shipping and natural resources are the main things that are traded on the Singaporean market. The Singaporean market is also the center of international business. This may be because the government keeps the economy safe.

Investment banking in Singapore – services

Even though the investment banking market in Singapore is different from those in the UK and the US, the services are almost the same. Let’s look at what services the best and most local investment banks in Singapore offer:


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IPOs:

Most of Singapore’s investment banks help companies with IPOs and list their shares on Singapore Exchange (SGX-ST). Investment banks help their clients understand the rules and regulations of the Singapore Stock Exchange so that there is no room for error and everything goes smoothly. They also tell the companies how to set up their capital structures, marketing themes, invitation structures, and prices, and when to send out invitations.

One of the most important things that Singaporean investment banks do is offer equity and equity-linked offerings. They give advice to companies on a range of products and services related to equity. These investment banks also help their clients finance projects and improve their strategic plans. They also give advice to companies about the size, structure, pricing, and timing of any equity-related products or offerings, such as block trades, rights issues, capital raising, and convertible securities offerings.

Debt Capital Markets:

Investment banks in Singapore mostly work in Asian markets, and they all have a dedicated global sales and trading team and a great credit research platform. Most investment banks in Singapore have this kind of team and support, so they can give great advice, give amazing market insights, and give the best gift execution. These banks work with agencies, corporations, supranational organizations, funding solutions, sovereigns, and a lot more.

Private Placements: 

When it comes to private equity, Singaporean investment banks offer a wide range of services to both public and private companies. These banks offer pre-IPO convertible securities, growth capital, mezzanine debt, equity, and more.

Mergers and Acquisitions:

Most M&A deals in Singapore are “below par,” as was already said. But that doesn’t mean that middle-market deals don’t require knowledge. Investment banks in this country give advice to businesses, and they have a strong team that handles the technical details of every deal. But of course, the relationship between the bank and the client is the most important part, since the whole deal is based on that. These investment banks help their clients with both international and domestic deals by giving them insights into the industry, a global view, solid experience, and smooth execution. These banks make deals in Singapore, but they also give advice to companies in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.

List of Singapore’s top investment banks

If we look at how the private equity market is doing, we can see that investment banking is the best in Singapore. Many of the best investment banks in Singapore have great services and treat their clients well.

Here is a list of the best and most well-known investment banks in Singapore: 

  • BAML \sNomura
  • Goldman Sachs
  • J.P. Morgan
  • Barclays
  • Citi Deutsche Bank
  • Morgan Stanley
  • HSBC
  • Standard Chartered is a bank.
  • DBS \sOCBC

How to Get a Job in Investment Banking in Singapore

Because the market for investment banking in Singapore is small, the way people get hired is different. So it would be very hard to get in an old-fashioned way.

So, if you are not from Singapore and you have a choice, try the London market instead of the Singapore market if you are in the investment banking business.

But if you decide to get into investment banking in Singapore, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Networking is Key:

In a small market, jobs aren’t always posted, and most of the time, people get hired by word of mouth. So, you won’t have many chances if you don’t network. To network, you have to make cold calls and send emails to large groups of people in top positions. Here, networking means trying to sell them something in person. Yes, it is hard to keep reaching out and getting turned down. Most of the time, top professionals don’t have time to listen to a young person’s pitch. In Singapore, you need to network by making cold calls, sending emails, and constantly pitching in person.


Internships:

When the market demand is low, investment banks will only choose people with good backgrounds (as smaller teams and fewer people are recruited). So, you need to work hard to get two or three summer jobs. If you want to work in investment banking, you should look for internships at bulge-bracket banks. If you can’t get an internship or two at bulge-bracket banks, try middle-bracket banks. The goal is to get real-world experience in investment banking and get noticed by a top-notch investment bank. If in the future, you are able to get an interview with a bank because of your networking skills and references, these internships will have been very helpful to you. Check out how to get an internship in investment banking.


Interview for Fit:

Most of the time, the first interview is a fit interview. Interviews are usually done by people hired by the company. Here, you’d be checked to see if you have the right experience for the job. Banks that use agencies to find a few people for entry-level jobs need to let corporate recruiters take care of the rest. So, if you want to get through, you need to make sure you know how to impress the corporate recruiter.

Next Interview Rounds:

Most of the time, the next rounds of interviews go the same way. First, analysts will be there to take your interview. Then, if you pass, you have to sit with someone else. Lastly, if you pass the round, you have to sit down with the MD/Partner and the HR representative(s). You will be asked to give a case presentation during these sessions. But keep in mind that sales are more important than technicalities. So it would help if you did the same things to get ready.

Language and college:

The culture is diverse, and you don’t have to know Chinese to go to college. But it would help if you knew Chinese. Also, if you have a degree from a Singapore university, that would be a plus. Every investment bank likes to hire people from the area and people who live there. Because of this, you would stand out from the crowd if you knew the language and went to school in Singapore.

The Culture of Investment Banking in Singapore

The market for investment banking in Singapore is a lot smaller. So, the offices are very different from the top banks in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The first thing is that bankers here don’t do as many big deals as they do in London or the United States. This means that there is less pressure from the outside world. But that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t have to work more hours. On the other hand, as an investment banker, you will work long hours (not 100+ per week, but close), not because of pressure from outside, but because the teams in investment banking firms are small and you need to get your work done.


The second important thing about the investment culture in Singapore is that most people work in small, close-knit groups. Even MDs can be reached by employees just starting out. So, if you want to ask MD a question, you can go into his room and talk to him. And no one yells at anyone, even when new employees make mistakes, which is normal because they are still getting used to their new surroundings.


The focus is more on sales than on technicalities. This is the third most important thing to know about the culture of investment banking in Singapore. Because of this, modeling and valuation aren’t done very often. Instead, sales and pitch books get more attention.
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Investment Banking in Singapore – Salaries

The pay in Singapore is pretty good, especially if you start out with a bulge bracket bank. So, getting in is worth it, even if you have to go through a lot to get in. You will get a big bonus on top of a good base salary.

Let’s look at how much people who work in investment banks in Singapore make on average. The survey data from different recruitment agencies are used to come up with these numbers:

efinancialcareers.com is the source.

From the numbers above, we can see that if you start out as an analyst in a Singaporean investment bank, you will earn an average of S$118k, plus a bonus of between 17% and 43%.

As you move up in your career and become an associate, you will make an average of S$171k, plus bonuses of up to 58%. Being a Vice President, you can make an average of about S$263k, and as a Director, you can make an average of about S$381k.

As the Managing Director of an investment bank, you might make an average of S$506k per year.

So, you can see that if you stay in investment banking for a while, you will make a good amount of money over time.

Check out the Investment Banking Associate Salary as well.


Investment banking in Singapore: Opportunities for Getting Out

People don’t quit their jobs in investment banking because it turns out to be a great job. It’s not like you could work in investment banking for two or three years and then switch to something else. No. There are exceptions, though, and most people don’t change jobs every time they need to (or want to explore different opportunities).

Most of the time, there are two ways to leave Singapore:

  • People stop working in investment banking to work in private equity funds. Because of this, private equity has begun to make a name for itself in the Singaporean market.
  • After a few years in investment banking, people move on to hedge funds.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this read. As you begin your journey into investment banking in Singapore, I wish you success!

Recommended: Investment Bankers Salary in USA and UK

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