Andrew Sullivan remembers the days when a young Brit could hustle his way into a job in Hong Kong finance.
He ought to know: He did it.
Bloomberg News reports that it was 1996, the twilight of British Hong Kong, when Sullivan arrived with a resume that couldn’t get him into a bank in the City of London. The former fighter pilot and chartered surveyor was soon hired as a stock analyst.
“You didn’t need a CV that was perfect,” said Sullivan, now 55. What you needed, he said, was gumption -- and the will to chase business.
But like the Union Jack and other trappings of empire, those days are long gone. Two decades after Britain returned its last major colony, the balance of power in this city, and its financial industry, has tilted decidedly toward all things China.
More and more, even experienced bankers are struggling to find and keep jobs if they don’t speak Mandarin, the lingua franca of the mainland. The same goes for those without a mastery of China’s business culture, or, more, connections across the border.
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