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Singapore’s top female banker found private equity dull

A lot of people want to leave banking for private equity. Sometimes, however, people want to leave private equity for banking.

So it goes if you’re Ee-Ching Tay, at least. Tay started her career as an analyst with Standard Chartered in Singapore, moved to Warburg Pincus… And then moved back to banking via UBS. A few years (well, 18) later and she’s at Barclays, in charge of Southeast Asia investment banking.

What brought her back? “High pressure and the variety of work” made investment banking “never boring”, she told us back in 2018, back when she was JPMorgan’s head of Southeast Asia M&A. She admits it was “unusual”.

Tay takes her role in Singaporean gender relations seriously. Speaking to Bloomberg the other day, she described her role as a role as being “very powerful to aspiring female candidates” both in the city and around the world.

“Women bankers generally need to be more proactive about building strong internal networks outside their own teams,” she told us back in 2018, although she also admitted that “men have perhaps traditionally been better at this.”

Tay is optimistic about the region’s future, in spite of an ongoing decline in investment banking revenue. She pointed to the SEA’s favourable demographic trajectory, as well as the potential of infrastructure spending. “There have been very encouraging signs of the impact of these moves in the form of strong share price performances,” she told Bloomberg, calling it “exciting.”

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AUTHORZeno Toulon

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