Forget Wall Street. As New York City’s finance sector comes to terms with a shrunken work force, more people are seeking jobs in China, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates.

Wall Street has lost 50,000 jobs; the U.S. financial sector has cut 500,000.

Nik Lopez, 25, works in risk management for BNP Paribas bank in New York, but is learning Chinese in hopes of landing a spot in Shanghai or Beijing.


“Anything over there is more vibrant than the U.S. market right now,” he said. “There’s more activity.”

Columbia Business School has seen an increase in Chinese companies seeking to hire their newly minted MBAs, said Tom Monaco at the school’s Career Management Center “New York and London have already felt the challenge of their role as financial centers,” said H. Michael Jalili, a business reporter in Abu Dhabi.

Jeremy Kerbel, 26, took an offer to go to Hong Kong.

“I'm now responsible for 12 regions across Asia and Australia,” said Kerbel. “Six months before, I was just another junior staffer in the New York office.”