A conversation with Wei Yao
I was born and raised in Shanghai, the coastal economic capital of China.
I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics from Fudan University in Shanghai and later on moved to Boston in the USA, where I graduated from Tufts University with a Master of Arts in Economics.
Following my overseas studies, I started my career as a Research Associate for Kuwait-China Investment Company (now Asiya Investment) based in the Middle East. After that, I joined Societe Generale in Hong Kong in 2010.
In my current position at Societe Generale, I am working as Chief China Economist in the Global Economics team in Paris.
I am providing in-depth economic research on China for both internal departments interested in getting a better understanding of China, as well as for our global clients.
On a day to day basis, I am closely collaborating with other economists on formulating coherent analysis and views of the global economy. With internal strategists, we are deciphering China’s economical impact and its implications for global financial markets. I am also liaising with our sales team to meet the rising demand for in-depth knowledge and forecasts on China’s economy among our clients. This is due to the rapid increase of China’s influence in global financial markets.
''With internal strategists, we are deciphering China’s economical impact
and its implications for global financial markets.''
When I joined Societe Generale, I started as a research associate, where I was assisting the Chief Asia Economist on research topics related to China.
Four months later, I was asked to cover the Chinese economy. Covering the second biggest economy in the world is certainly a challenge, but with the help of my managers, I have been able to take up this mission.
My managers have been very supportive all along and given me quite some independence to formulate my views. I have received a lot of support and good advices from both my managers and my team members.
Moving to Paris is one case in point. My managers supported this move, not only because the demand for China research among our biggest clients has grown quickly in the past years and my move can service this in a much better way, but also in consideration of my long-term career development at Societe Generale.
''Covering the second biggest economy in the world is certainly a challenge, but with the help of my managers, I have been able to take up this mission.''
After spending four years in the regional office in Hong Kong, I have been offered the possibility to move to our headquarters in Paris
The process has been quite smooth, from our initial discussions to my relocation to Paris. I have received a lot of helpful support from both the human resources teams in Hong Kong and Paris, as well as from my management, who have been supportive since day one.
Moving to Paris has been an important decision in my professional life. Working in Paris allows me to be closer to clients who are interested in the Chinese economy. I have also been able to develop strong relationships with other teams in Societe Generale.
My move offered me a unique opportunity to experience a different culture and to enrich my career at the same time. This is definitively a great plus for my future and as I am the only Chinese economist based in Paris, I am providing great added value to our clients and to Societe Generale.
I enjoy working with the Global Economics team tremendously.
We get along very well and I get the support from senior colleagues when needed. Since I joined Societe Generale, I have greatly improved my professional competencies in an environment which fosters cooperation and team work. I would also like to emphasize the fact that we are given a high degree of autonomy in our work.
Societe Generale is a welcoming place where you get the opportunity to meet numerous experts on a wide variety of topics.
The learning opportunities here are great and you will always have a chance to discover and learn from your peers. You need to come here with an open mind. Furthermore, you always need to be proactive and agile enough to recognize and grasp opportunities.