High Level finance/consulting careers in Taipei

Hi All,

I am wondering if there is a significant presence in Taipei for high level jobs such as Investment Banking, Management Consulting, Hedge Funds, or Private Equity. (Yes I know they have all that in HK, but I’m talking about Taiwan only)

I know that McKinsey has an office is Taipei, but how big is the operation? Also, are there any other top management/strategy consulting firms in Taipei at all? (Accenture doesn’t count! LOL)

As far as investment banking, I know Citigroup has operations in Taipei. Any other firm that’s got an ibanking division in Taipei? Maybe Goldman? Lehman? Is ibanking a viable career in Taipei or do people HAVE to eventually move to HK?

Lastly, what about Hedge Funds and Private Equity? Are there any major players that have offices in Taipei? I know there are foreign firms that make investments in Taipei, but do any of them have offices here?


There are opportunities. But competition is high in those jobs in Taiwan. Might as well go to HK or Shanghai for greater opportunities for similar level of competition.

They are there.

The competition is the same - most are staffed regionally anyway. Many of the strategy shops and PE serve TWN out of HKG.

The overall market is small so career growth usually forced you to make a move after 3-5 years.

Expect many of your projects to be overseas from day 1.

I think it is easier to get hired by a North American office and ask for a transfer to Asia, then trying to get hired by the Asia branch offices. Unless your academic pedigree is stellar, how are you suppose to compete with people coming out of NTU or coming out of N. American universities, but may have better Chinese language skills than you. The firm makes more money off you if they outsource you from an North American office than an Asia office.

Also be ready to go outside of Taiwan, if you’re based out of Taiwan. There are so few projects for partners to sell in Taiwan, they usually have to go to Singapore, HK, or PRC to sell work.

That wasn’t my experience.

Peter Kurz has done pretty well here.

Meester Taiwan has done well, although it has been an at times very rocky road. His boy is currently doing nicely for himself also. Not in Taiwan, though.

To the OP, there are plenty of investment banking gigs in Taiwan for foreigners. However, most of the foreign companies, better paying jobs, are centred in HK but do have offices in Taiwan. Obviously the mnumber of these jobs fluctuate with the markets.

You could always send your CV to the usual big names, but far better to hook up with a head hunter.

Is there any particular reason for your Taiwan focus?


no particular reason, I’m Taiwanese (educated in the US and worked there before) and would like to live in Taiwan, but am tired of the local industry pay here. I would like to switch to consulting/banking from industry.

Well, yes, that’s a good reason. :laughing:

Understand also that you may have to eat some local crow for awhile before leaping aboard with the big earners. It’s like a rite of passage. Before Kurtz got to head Merril, he supped from local brokerages on a pittance relative to even English teachers. That is very common, in my experience.

Sometimes you have to opt for less with an eye to a lot more down the track. I did several years with local Taiwanese houses (shudder!) before getting hunted for a HK gig with an international brokerage.


The pay difference between Taiwan based consultants and US based consultants was quite large. Between Teir 1 cities like Taipei vs. NYC the pay difference is almost 2x. Financial Services is a huge industry, you should have a pretty clear idea of where you are going in an up-or-out corporate culture.

Just get hired at one of the larger firms in a fast track career ladder and ask for a transfer to an overseas office in 1-2 years. They will be more than happy to ship you overseas and bill you at local rates to whatever client site you get stuck on.

Unless you have a visa issue it shouldn’t be a problem. Shipped out to Shanghai, France, Germany, Japan, Spain and other destinations unknown. Even though I met co-workers from the Taipei office many of them were shipped off as well. But markets change and there could be more financial services consulting work in Taiwan these days…

Hi Elegua, can you elaborate? Thanks.

Sorry for being ignorant, but who is this?

Thanks for the advice! Unfortunately I’m already pushing 30, and have been in the “local pay” grind for 7 years, and it’s in tech, so not much relation to finance or consulting.

I did go to a top undergrad in the states, but looks like a hard up-hill battle to switch to a top finance/consulting gig huh? I suppose they don’t hire non-finance related folks, like they do for undergrads? (I know for undergrad they would hire completely unrelated majors like History majors).

Thanks for the detailed reply. I was however under the impression that the pay would be same globally for top firms? Like the McKinsey’s, Investment banks, etc. The few people I know in Taiwan in those fields are definitely getting paid US level.

McKinsey has about 60 consultants in Taipei. Compare this to 300 in their Shanghai offices. A lot of the work of the Taiwan office is in “North Asia” - so includes HK, China, Korea.

Other large management consultants, like BCG and BAH have small presences, or operate out of Shanghai/HK to cover Taiwan. … cd=1&gl=tw

He’s one of Taiwan’s most well recognized foreigners. Just mention his Chinese name, 谷月涵, to any local person with any connection with or interest in Taiwan’s financial sector, and they’re more than likely to know who he is.


Larger consulting firms with many offices, will divide their offices into Teirs. Even within the USA someone from the Detroit office will not be making as much as someone from the NYC office. The factors will of course be local pay levels and cost of living.

But the biggest factor is how much work can the partners sell in the region. For the company to pay their employee $50 USD an hours, it has to bill that individual out at $500 USD an hour. You man a project with 30 people plus a partner…how many ROC base companies can afford to fund a project like that. Most partners need to bring in 2 Million USD their first year, and each additional year they need to bring in an additional 1 Million USD. So that means on a multi-year project either the client has keep paying more or the partner needs to sell more work to other clients.

As for pay level, you’re going to have to ask for details. Because even when I was in the firm, I knew it was the Germans that had the highest pay scale and the Spainish had the most vacations in my career track. Not all career tracks within the firm pay the same either.

Given your age, you would probably come into a consulting group as a specialist. People younger than you who have been in the firm longer would already be managers or associate partners.

It is not a comfortable position for these people, I’ve worked with them, they’re on a slower career track. It’s usually the toughest obstacle for these people, seeing younger people on faster career tracks. A lot of people quit just over that issue alone.

Are you looking for the pre-MBA or post MBA positions? Big difference. Also, what exactly do you want to do? Consulting companies and banks, while they recruit from the same pool of people, are very different animals in term of how they place and manage people.

If you’ve got the right skill sets and can do the case-based interviews you can get the pre-MBA position. I know of at least 2 who got into BCG that way, one into Monitor. However, everyone I knew at McK got hired out of school be it college or MBA.

Post MBA, well, you have to have a good MBA and do the case interview well (you can basically practice for that). Failing that you need some specialized skilled.

@Lingchen is right about most top tier consulting firms serve Taiwan out of HK/Shanghai. All staff projects regionally. Most of the upper end shops (like McK) have the same starting pay and bonus regardless of where you start. Post-MBA everyone in the same cohort has the same basic package. They assume that if they’ve hired you, you’re worth it. After that it’s all merit. Pre-MBA positions are a bit different, and more impacted by local pay scales, but are usually not too far off the mark.

These days, not everyone wants to work in Taiwan - so while the jobs are fewer, they are there. Just be ready to need to move on in about 3-5 years.

All the foreign houses (US, Swiss, Dutch, even Aussies) have securities branches in Taiwan.
I believe the number of hedge funds with Taiwan offices (that do more than just rep work) are less than 10).

I think you have to ask yourself what you want to do in the financial industry, because once you even get an interview, you will have to defend your targeted job and why. You can’t just say “I’m smart and I want to start in the financial services industry”, because there are dead carcusses of candidates before you (I know, because I’ve interviewed those people)

So, in a securities job, do you want to be a research analyst (or assistant), research sales, salestrader, dealer, corporate finance, or private banking? (lots of choices, right!)
In a hedge fund, do you want to do research or actually be the fund manager (highly unlikely as you need a track record, or at least come from research).

Consulting is totally unrelated to this sector in most regards. McKinsey does not do “deals” like IPOs, or ADRs, etc. McKinsey generally helps out businesses find the right “solution”.

So, again, I think you need to find out exactly what you want to do and start sending resumes to all HR heads and keep calling them.

If you have background in tech, you can easily become a research assistant (to research analyst) if you know half of what electronics parts make up the up/mid/downstream of the tech sector.

Thanks folks, good info here.

I’m just looking into this, so sorry for being ignorant. I would say it would be super wonderful if I can get a gig in a research position for a hedge fund or private equity fund but I assume that would be pretty damn hard, especially in taiwan where there are so few firms. I tried headhunters before (for other non finance/consulting gigs), but the ones in taiwan really suck hard, quite unprofessional. One headhunter even call me up to ask ME to help THEM find people, wtf?? I thought they’re supposed to look for jobs for me, not me looking for candidates for them.

For banking, just the traditional “investment banking” division. I thought those positions are pretty starndard non? Analyst->Associate->Manager->VP->MD->Partner? (or was it Partner then MD?)

For consulting, I mean anything would be great, I would imagine an Analyst or associate consultant gig.

As far as MBA, I am lookin into it, however my chances of gettin into a top notch school are slim, plus as I’ve mentioned, with my low ass TW salary, no way I can pay for 150K+opportunity cost So it would be great if I can break in without an MBA.