As investment banks, pharmaceutical giants, and other multinationals pour millions into China, they are frantically scouring the region for executives. That's not easy: Top execs with Chinese backgrounds fetch high salaries and luxurious perks--and are hard to hold on to. The ideal candidate has experience in both Asia and the West. Executives from Hong Kong or Taiwan with U.S. university degrees and stints with a multinational in Asia are the hottest prospects.
Take Margaret Ren. In her mid-thirties, she has a master's in management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, went to Kidder Peabody, and now is in Bear Stearns's Hong Kong office, doing deals with Chinese companies.
Or Antony Leung who advises both the Chinese and Hong Kong governments for Citibank. Leung, 42, is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, and English. Headhunters are hot for him, yet Leung says he isn't leaving, at least for now: "As long as my job is fun, I'll stay."