I left New York at the end of 2012 in support of my wife who landed a fantastic career opportunity in Seoul, Korea. I parted ways with the U.S. investment bank I had called home for five years and was proud to be a trailing spouse, ready to start the next, international chapter of my life. My wife and I knew that we were taking a tremendous risk to my career, but I did it voluntarily. The upside to my wife’s path was well worth it. We also felt confident that my experience and background would enable me to find something comparable in Korea relatively quickly. How “easy” it would be – that was our fantasy; below was our reality:
Recently, a colleague of mine who I will call “John” successfully negotiated a highly favorable executive relocation and compensation increase from his Fortune 100 technology and communication company who wanted him and his family to move to Singapore. In a global economy that continues to send mixed signals into the market where heightened expense pressures, elongated recruiting processes, and tighter access to jobs within corporations are juxtaposed with seemingly improved consumer spending and confidence, John secured everything he wanted to maximize his personal reward. I asked him to explain his strategy and I am pleased to share his top four recommendations as best practices.
Managing a diverse, global team is unavoidable for executives in finance working for a large global investment bank. Teams responsible for implementing the finance function are generally led by a Managing or Executive Director, a Vice President, and two Associates and/or two Analysts, with the junior resources split between New York and Asia. In the middle, back and CFO offices at nearly every investment bank, this has been the trend and is here to stay. Managing successful teams poses distinct challenges to any executive in this situation, so here are five best practices to get the most out of a global team.
A friend recommended this article to me recently that talked about how office workers in China are literally working themselves to death. Working on Wall Street can certainly feel that way in many ways (the highest highs come with the lowest lows), and with the news that a 21-year old intern working for Bank of America (BofA) collapsed and died last year after he worked until 6 am for three straight days (he also suffered from epilepsy, according the CNBC article), banks put forth explicit guidelines limiting the number of hours interns, and now first-year investment banking analysts, can work.
I joined J.P. Morgan directly out of Columbia Business School into a leadership program designed to train the future leaders and functional heads within the firm’s finance, strategy, and planning function. The rotational component of the program offered its members a unique opportunity to obtain both a 35,000-foot and ground-level perspective into how complex investment banking, asset management, and internal treasury businesses are run, planned for, and organized for long-term success. After graduating from the program and accepting a full-time role, the last of which was to serve as the Global Financial Controller of the J.P.