Lionel Lee

BSc Management, 2013
Assistant Vice President - Investment Banking, China Construction Bank

Why did you choose LSE, and why did you choose your programme of study?

Best school on earth. I once said, "When Bill Gates comes to speak in London, he doesn't go to Imperial or UCL, he goes to LSE." You can say the same for Ben Bernanke and Angelina Jolie. You can't infer that kind of unrivalled reputation from university rankings, which by the way we happen to excel in too.

Overall, how do you look back on your LSE experience?

Best years of my life, although I believe I studied too much to take advantage of everything else the school could offer.

How did you arrive to your current role?

I couldn't find a job in London after graduation so I went back to Singapore to work as an investment banker in a local/regional bank. After two and a half years there, I decided I needed more international experience and took up an offer at China Construction Bank, where my eyes are opened to the unstoppable force that is the Chinese market. I do hope I will return back to the UK for work.

Why did you choose your current job?

Finance is one of the best careers as a first job, as it educates you in the financial markets and also you get to learn about many other industry sectors. Many industry people get pleasantly surprised when I can speak intelligently about their industry. Unfortunately, regulators and compliance are running the banks to the ground, so that will be a huge disincentive for a young entrepreneurial motivated person. My job has a heavy Chinese theme, and that is why I chose it.

What skills are important in your current role?

I work in Singapore. I need negotiation skills and a lack of shame. I’m current working on both!

What advice do you have for LSE students who are looking to enter a similar profession to you?

Banking is past its golden age.