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Asia CommentTaipan

When a midnight run pays off

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Asia's banking landscape is more competitive than ever, with firms fighting for the smallest of scraps from clients. Companies too are taking full advantage, unashamedly making bankers jump through hoops to do their bidding.

Most of my friends still in banking are deeply committed to their work, but one chap in particular really deserves a medal for the sheer tenacity with which he went after a deal.

As a China coverage banker with more than 10 years of experience, my friend’s work mostly involves liaising with debt clients from the mainland, who more often than not have a penchant for being especially difficult. 

But a recent encounter with a corporation’s chief executive took even him by surprise. 

The CEO my buddy was wining and dining in Hong Kong turned out to be a big fitness buff. But the poor chap only found this out in the most unexpected way, when, after a heavy meal with plenty of drinks, the CEO decided to pop up to his hotel room, change into his jogging gear, and go for a midnight run through the city.

He casually invited my friend to join and, with the deal yet to be closed, he felt he had little choice but to comply. So night owls in the city were treated to the sight of my friend jogging around Hong Kong Park, sweating it out in his stuffy suit and tie and work shoes, all while wearing the best fake smile he could muster while huffing and puffing. 

Luckily, his efforts were not in vain as he left his client that night with the mandate in the bag. Kudos to him!

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