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Global stage, fulfilling career: two associates share why they joined AIIB

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by Impactpool

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is looking for talented and promising professionals who are interested in working on infrastructure development. As a multilateral development bank (MDB) focused on developing Asia, but with members from all over the world, AIIB’s investments in infrastructure and other productive sectors seek to foster sustainable economic development, create wealth and improve infrastructure connectivity.

Scott Fitzgerald, head of talent acquisition, gives his view on the perks and opportunities you get by joining as an Associate.

Find successful stories from two associates currently working at AIIB. How they discovered the Bank and why they joined. How their work-life balance their values and what excites them in their career. Read Geoffrey Leonard and Peiyi He, to get insights into your future career!

Don't miss the AIIB Virtual Recruitment Event for Associates on the 9th of March, where you can learn more about work at Bank, engage in live sessions with group Q&As and apply for jobs. Click below:


Geoffrey Leonard was in his third year of M&A Advisory at a management consulting firm when he decided to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). He had heard of the Bank a few years prior at a recruitment session, and its mission had stayed with him as he worked his corporate job.

“My work across Asia highlighted to me that multilateral development banks such as AIIB play a pivotal role in closing the infrastructure gap, and I wanted to be part of the process,” says the 30-year-old, who has an MBA from a Singapore university.

The Canadian was covering global infrastructure advisory across Southeast Asia and the Middle East for KPMG Singapore, a role that provided insight into the infrastructure transaction processes across private and public sectors.

Impressed by the organisation’s growth – AIIB was established in 2016 – and keen to help shape its future, Geoffrey uprooted himself to China and is now an investment associate, working on sovereign and non-sovereign-backed financing across the energy, renewables, and transportation sectors at the Bank’s Beijing headquarters. “Despite AIIB being only a few years old, its mission and objectives resonated with me,” he says.

AIIB’s vision is a prosperous Asia based on sustainable economic development and regional cooperation. Its mission is Financing Infrastructure for Tomorrow by investing in sustainable infrastructure. It was established to help foster sustainable economic development, create wealth and improve infrastructure connectivity in Asia by investing in infrastructure and other productive sectors.

Similarly, meaningful work and a regional remit were factors that attracted He Pei Yi, a Chinese national working as a credit analyst in Germany, to move to Beijing and join the Bank. “After over 4 years in the corporate banking sector, I was looking for an opportunity to expand into other risk areas,” says the former Deutsche Bank staff, who has a Master's degree from a German university.

“As a development institution, AIIB provides people like me from the private sector an opportunity to utilize my skills to contribute to social and sustainable development in Asia, which I find meaningful and fulfilling,” she adds. “I am grateful that AIIB brought me back to my home country and provided me the opportunity to combine my personal interests with a compelling mission.”

Geoffrey Leonard


Portfolio-boosting work in high-growth Asia

Scott Fitzgerald, head of talent acquisition at AIIB, says the Bank is actively seeking to attract and retain young talent, who can enjoy the opportunity to shape the organisation’s development and contribute to its unique corporate mandate.

For early career joiners, a key perk of working at AIIB is the opportunity to expand their portfolio through unparalleled exposure to a wide variety of projects.  This is thanks to the Bank’s Corporate Strategy targets of 50% share of climate finance in actual financing approvals by 2025, 50% private sector financing in actual financing approvals by 2030, and 25-30% financing approvals for cross-border connectivity by 2030.

In her new role as a risk associate, Pei Yi manages market and counterparty credit risks of the Bank’s treasury liquidity portfolio. She is working to improve AIIB’s credit assessment framework to fit increasingly diverse counterparts, which include banks, government agencies, and asset managers.

“AIIB’s liquidity portfolio is expected to further expand over the next few years, so managing the risks of a portfolio of this size and complexity challenges me to develop a diverse technical skill set,” she says. “This provides an opportunity to learn new insights and opens up many more career options.”

As for Geoffrey, he’s working on a sovereign-backed transport transaction in Southeast Asia, while supporting two nonsovereign transactions in the renewables sector in South Asia. “It’s clear the Bank has an important role to play in sustainable infrastructure development in Asia and beyond,” he says.

As a young bank, AIIB is one of the most diverse institutions in Beijing, with under 500 full-time staff hailing from over 62 economies, says the head of recruitment Scott. “I’m constantly amazed by the energy and passion they exhibit.”

Risk associate Pei Yi adds that she likes being in an organisation with a global outlook: “Working internationally and interacting with people from diverse backgrounds is very exciting.” As for investment associate Geoffrey, AIIB’s international workforce was the push factor he needed to make the jump.

“Throughout the interview process, the diversity and wide-ranging experience of colleagues stood out strongly, and reinforced my decision to apply and eventually join the Bank,” he says. Adds Fitzgerald, “Asia, and China specifically, is where the future has great potential. If you want to be at the centre of the action, AIIB is the place to be.”

Peiyi He


Soft skills are the key to success
So how can one optimize their chances of landing a role at a multilateral development bank like AIIB?

Scott’s tip is to optimize resumes to emphasize qualifications and interests that match the requirements of the stream candidates are applying for. “The skill set and experience requirements for different streams will have a great influence on your career path in the Bank,” he adds.

For Geoffrey, apart from basic skills such as financial modelling and analysis, good communication and an open mind are critical. “As the Bank works with 106 members, it is important to recognise the unique hurdles and opportunities within each country,” he explains. “Each department plays an important role in the success of a transaction. Therefore, it’s important to communicate clearly and listen to feedback to help the deal move forward.”

Pei Yi, too, identifies financial expertise and interpersonal skills as a winning combination. “While hard skills are important and necessary, a flexible mindset, proactive attitude and adaptability go much further,” she says.

For those concerned about the quality of life, both associates say pollution in Beijing has improved greatly, public transportation is ultra-convenient, and the city is full of life. “I have been pleasantly surprised by the diverse restaurants, bars, and events that the city offers. Additionally, the location near the mountains is great if you are into winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding,” says Geoffrey.

Adds Pei Yi,“I was surprised by the changes in Beijing compared with 6 years ago, and am impressed by the good museums, art scene, historical sights, vivid nightlife and ultra-modern business district. It’s a place where there’s something for everyone.”

Opportunities for early career professionals at AIIB Young talent have a lot to contribute to AIIB; at the same time, they can learn a lot from AIIB.
AIIB is a fast-growing institution and expanding in various markets and will need people who can grow with the Bank. AIIB values the fresh perspective and energy that young talents can bring to the table. To attract young talents, AIIB is building its talent pipeline through hiring Associates across different operational functions of the Bank.

For more information, visit the AIIB Career siteApplications are now ongoing, deadline on 27 March 2023.

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