Asia's financial markets are being transformed. Once-dominant banks are losing their grip on the top spots to new entrants. New laws and regulations are seeing the introduction of new financial products and technologies. New markets - notably China - are opening up. The one certainty in this milieu of change is that the need for talent has never been greater. Yet at the same time it has never been harder to attract and retain the franchise-defining personnel that are so crucial in a market in flux.

Banks and financial services companies have long understood the benefit of retaining an executive search firm to help them address this need. One firm in particular, is known throughout Asia for its capabilities in finding solutions to the human resource problems faced by the region's financial services industry.

Eban is a unique executive search firm. It was founded seven years ago through a partnership of seasoned search professionals. It now has offices in Hong Kong, Tokyo and London with joint ventures in New York and Australia. It is a young and entrepreneurial company that retains the hallmarks of top tier search firms - confidentiality, integrity and the excellent track record of the partners.

These partners - Emma Weir and Ann Semple in London, Stephen McAlinden and Simon Waterson in Hong Kong and Allan Walker and Bruce Baker in Tokyo - have, together with their fellow consultants, placed literally hundreds of high level executives with the leading financial services firms in the world. The firm concentrates on most areas of financial services including: senior management, debt and equity securities, derivatives, investment banking, asset management, private banking and operations.

What really sets the firm apart from its peers is the level of understanding that the partners have of the underlying forces that are defining the future of financial services in Asia. By understanding the pressures their clients face, Eban offers them the best solutions. "These are very exciting times to be involved in Asian financial services," says McAlinden, who runs the firm's Hong Kong office. "However, the battle for franchise-defining talent has never been greater."

McAlinden believes that success for financial services firms lies in their approach to talent. And in that regard, executive search firms are a crucial aspect of that success. "When conducting a search, it is no longer enough to just think of the first few obvious candidates," he says. "You need to thoroughly map out the market. Until you have explored all possible solutions, you cannot say you have found the right person."

Of particular note, is the way that in recent years the Asian financial markets are attracting a higher quality of executives, some of whom are returning to the region after a spell in other global markets. " Relevant professionals from Europe and North America are coming back to Asia and we are very well placed to source them," says McAlinden. "Clients are now demanding a higher caliber of candidate who has both Asian and international experience and language skills."

Eban stresses the ambassadorial role it can play for its clients. Attracting, hiring and retaining talent is a business-enhancing process. As such it needs to be done professionally, confidentially and frankly. "We are most candidates' first contact with their potential employer, and so they need to be presented with the best possible impression. Explaining the client's strategy to the candidate in the right way is incredibly important."

One central facet to the Eban business in Asia is the way the Tokyo and Hong Kong offices interact. There are increasingly strong links between the financial markets in Japan and the rest of Asia and many of the advanced financial techniques that have evolved in Japan during its decade of troubles are now being rolled out in other markets across Asia. Eban's experience of sourcing the right professionals for these product areas is proving invaluable to clients in non-Japan Asia. "Opening our Tokyo office is the best thing we ever did," says McAlinden.

Allan Walker who runs Eban's Tokyo operations notes that Japanese financiers are extremely interested by what is going on in the rest of Asia, especially China. "Japan is fascinated by China and is keen to offer its financial technology to the developing financial markets of China and Asia," he says. "We can help clients in Japan and in Asia ex-Japan because we are the same team servicing them and they get the same level of service from us wherever we are."

Given this understanding of the market and the forces that are driving financial services firms in the region, it is no wonder that Eban is seen within the headhunting community as an ideal place to work "We attract the best quality staff because of our long term focus and our dedication to building the best relationships with our clients," says Walker. Veterans of the Asian executive search world such as Bruce Baker and Simon Waterson, have all dedicated their careers to the firm, bringing with them the wealth of experience and contacts that define success in this industry. Eban continues to attract new, talented consultants to its business including Fiona Somerville who joined from the asset management industry.

To find out what Eban can do for your firm, please contact any of the offices below or see our website - www.eban.com:

London - Eban Limited

The Garden House
6 Eccleston Place
London SW1W 9NF
United Kingdom

Tel: (44-20) 7730 5800
Fax: (44-20) 7730 5831
E-mail: [email protected]

Hong Kong - Eban International Limited

1001 Ruttonjee House, Ruttonjee Centre
11 Duddell Street,
Central, Hong Kong

Tel: (852) 2521 9933
Fax: (852) 2869 8576
E-mail: [email protected]

Tokyo - Eban Japan Limited

210 Toranomon Garden
3-10-4 Toranomon
Minato-ku
Tokyo 105-0001, Japan

Tel: (81-3) 3434 4770
Fax: (81-3) 3434 4771
E-mail: [email protected]

New York - Brookes Gregory & Associates

330 Madison Avenue
9th Floor
New York
NY 10017

Tel: (1-646) 495 5220
Fax: (1-646) 495 5225
E-mail: [email protected]
[email protected]

Sydney - Hamilton Partners

Level 3 Barrack House
16-20 Barrack Street
Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia

Tel: 61 2 8295 5200
Fax: 61 2 8295 5299
E-mail: [email protected]

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