A decade ago, Watson Lim thought he was on a glide path to a career in finance. Just a few years out of college, he was brokering equities at Singapore’s second-largest bank, poring over earnings statements and prospectuses to pitch trades and investments to clients. It was the sort of generational advancement his father had envisioned, a big step up from the grueling hours he’d spent cooking prawn noodles at one of the city-state’s storied hawker stalls.
After stints at Citigroup Inc. and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp., Lim had earned enough money to take a yearlong break and travel the world. Then in 2017, as he was preparing to return to his career in finance, he got devastating news: His father had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.