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Asia CommentTaipan

The night is always young in Hong Kong

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One senior investment banker I know is taking networking and relationship building to a whole new level

A lot of investment banking is about building, keeping and growing relationships with both issuers and investors.

That has obviously been hard to do over the past two years, particularly for those in Hong Kong, who have long treated the city as a base for travelling but have been loathe to put themselves through three weeks of quarantine hell in order to see their international clients.

But as local restrictions on socialising ease, people are making do with what’s available — while still going above and beyond the norm.

Take this fellow I know, a senior investment banker and relationship manager at a European bank.

His banking life once involved hopping across the Hong Kong-China border every other week for client meetings. But with travel off the cards, he has resorted to novel ways of keeping up with his client commitments in the city.

His strategy? To wine and dine as many clients as possible every evening.

You see, he occasionally splits his meetings by dinner courses.

His usual route takes him first to a rooftop spot in central Hong Kong for an aperitif and a starter, while entertaining an investor as the sun sets on Victoria Harbour. Then onto Admiralty or SoHo for a main course, some wine and quality conversation with a local tycoon.

For dessert, he heads towards party area Lan Kwai Fong for cocktails and some late-night chinwags.

Where this chap gets his energy from, I don’t know, but after two years of video conferences, I can’t blame him for networking in person.

Occasionally, when he hasn’t quite exhausted himself, the old boy comes over to Captain’s Bar for a whisky and regales me with his plans to spend a year travelling around the world, hitting as many spots in Europe and the US that he can. Of course, that would be after doing the rounds on the Mainland, drinking his worth of baijiu with clients. What a plan!

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