The life of an emerging markets banker
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The life of an emerging markets banker

What makes being a banker in emerging markets different from working in the developed world? Nothing yet everything. The skills, the emphasis on relationships and increasingly the products on offer are all similar. Yet only someone who has vast experience of emerging markets would understand their quirks and idiosyncrasies, which make doing business in them very different from the US and western Europe. Newcomers, especially from the west, can find these countries bewildering, operating under unfamiliar rules and regulations. That doesn’t mean that these markets are inferior or laxer – often it’s the very opposite – just that they are different.

One big difference is that relationships often develop at a personal rather than corporate level. "The distinction between private and corporate wealth is often more blurred in emerging markets, which can require a different way of accessing clients and transactions," says Colin Fan, global head of credit trading and emerging markets at Deutsche Bank.

Then there are the cultural differences. A pre-IPO private equity financing in the west, for example, could be conceived as an attempt by the investor to take a more activist role over the company in question. In Asia, it is more likely to be seen as a bridge loan.

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