Interview with Peter Fuhrman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of China First Capital.
What sets China First Capital apart from other financial services employers?
We are an internationally-owned China-focused investment bank and advisory firm. Our belief is an investment bank can, and should, be a force for good. This is especially true in China. The purpose and goal of our work each day is to assist in the positive transformation of China. We do this by working selectively, and at the highest level of professionalism and integrity, with some of China’s most important and successful companies, both private sector and state-owned. We measure our success not by the fees we earn or the bonuses we pay, but by helping our clients achieve their business goals. We choose our clients and transactions carefully, working only on those that promise to deliver wider benefits to China, by increasing wealth, consumer choice, China’s international competitiveness, the efficiency and transparency of the country’s financial sector.
We are in business to make a positive, lasting difference.
We enjoy both a leading position and a strong reputation in China investment banking. Along with our investment banking and advisory work for clients, we are also a “thought leader” in the industry. Our research reports and commentaries, both in English and Chinese, circulate widely among business leaders, and are published in China’s leading newspapers and magazines. An example, our research into the developing crisis in China’s capital markets and private equity has had significant impacts on large capital flows as well as opening new and productive opportunities for M&A deals across the country.
What is the work culture like at China First Capital?
We are highly collaborative. But, in the end, the source of our strength and success is the strong commitment and very high standards of each individual at our firm. In other words, our company aims to be a place where high achievers with strong self-direction can flourish, their goals nurtured by the chairman and backed by the collective intelligence and experience of the entire team. We are straight-talkers, both with one another and with clients. Bureaucracy, BS and hierarchy are not tolerated.
We try to combine positive aspects of both East and West. We draw heavily on the Confucian traditions of humility, conscientiousness, simplicity and honesty. Equally, we strive to be path-breakers in the investment banking and advisory industry in China, by making available for China’s private sector entrepreneurs the best practices, deal structures, financial innovation and rigorous analysis of large Wall Street institutions.
Though based in the southern city of Shenzhen, where the private sector first took root in modern China, we have a business that as broad and diversified as China itself. We have clients from every region as well as most industries in China. (For a look at some of China First Capital’s recent clients and transactions, click here. )
We have more and better opportunities than most firms our size. So, we try continually to expand the range of our skills and the real-world value of our knowledge and experience. This is the fuel we use as an investment bank to help propel China’s long-term growth and prosperity.
What are you looking for in a new hire?
Above all, a person with a “higher calling”, a deep and unchangeable desire to devote one’s energy, talents, education and intellect towards a useful and positive purpose — not purely towards accumulating higher sums in one’s bank account.
We build relationships of deep trust with entrepreneurs and business leaders who are far more accomplished than we are. And yet, they seek to rely on our judgment, professionalism, honesty and strong morals. As a result, we look for people who, though often younger than the Chinese CEOs we work with, can inspire and earn such levels of trust and respect.
3 Reasons to work here:
Each day you will leave the office knowing that you are engaged in work that will help change China for the better. You will learn more about more than you could just about anywhere else. China is a country undergoing history’s most successful sustained economic transformation. You will both witness and participate constructively in that process of positive change. It’s our belief there is no better work, anywhere, than jobs that allow you do this.
Any advice for job seekers interested in China First Capital?
Take the time to read closely and evaluate the materials and introduction on our website, www.chinafirstcapital.com.
If we seem to be articulating goals and a world view that is in harmony with yours, then please send us your resume, along with an explanation (not a canned cover letter) about why you think our company, and the work we do, are the best place for you to learn, grow and flourish in a long-term career.
We are committed first to our clients’ success, not to our own glory, status or wealth. This is our greatest competitive advantage as a company and a reason so many of China’s best companies seek us out and seek our help to achieve their ambitious goals.
Interested in learning more about China First Capital? Visit their blog for information about key trends in China’s private equity industry, M&A and capital markets. You can also view China First Capital’s recent research reports here.