Best Cities in the World to Meet Successful Professionals

While there is no substitute for hard work and expertise when you wish to climb the professional ladder, many a time it is also about being in the right place at the right time. Certain cities of the world are reputed to attract successful professionals on the basis of work opportunities, business climate and great living conditions. If you are keen to meet men and women who are doing well in their chosen professions, here are some of the cities you can check out.

New York City

The finance industry is virtually the number one economic activity of the entire New York City. Mid-Manhattan of NYC is the largest central business district in the country and in 2006, those in the Manhattan financial industry earned an average weekly pay of about $8,300, including bonuses1. Despite the tumble that it took in the last recession, the Wall Street in Lower Manhattan continues to symbolize the prowess of the finance sector that New York City is closely associated with. More than that, it is also the headquarters of practically all the important stock exchanges in the country including NASDAQ and NYSE. New York City’s economy is overwhelmingly concentrated on white-collar jobs with the corporate and advertising sectors making up some of the best-paid sectors. An overwhelming majority of Fortune 500 companies in the country have their headquarters in the Manhattan district of New York. In fact five of the top eight global advertising agencies are headquartered in this borough. This is the city where all the bankers, hedge fund managers and investment consultants of the country and indeed the world consider the Holy Grail of finance and business.  

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And yet if you are looking to meet successful professionals, they are not to be found in the business districts all the while. You may need to expand your search to the cultural hotspots of the city like the exclusive art galleries of Chelsea and Soho or check out the offerings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Frick Collection, the Whitney Museum of American Art. as well as the exclusive shows at Broadway or movie premiers at some of the priciest theater halls in the area like Ziegfeld Theater or the AMC Lowes. Finally NYC is justly famous for some of the swankiest nightclubs on the planet where the successful professionals may be found grooving - the Meatpacking District, East Village and the Lower East Side have some of the hottest dance scenes in the city.

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Frankfurt

Frankfurt am Main is how the residents of Germany’s fifth largest urban center call their city. For the English-speaking or international visitors however, this vibrant hub of finance, culture and tourism is simply Frankfurt and one of the top ten cities in the world offering the best quality of life. Little wonder then that Frankfurt figures high on the list of cities which attract successful professionals from across the world. Thanks to its history as a major trading and transportation city, Frankfurt is today the largest financial center in continental Europe. The pre-eminence of Frankfurt in the financial services industry of mainland Europe is evident in the fact that headquarters of several international banks such as the European Central Bank and the German Federal Bank and are located in this city along with those of six major German banks including the top three, Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, and DZ Bank. Apart from financial institutions, Frankfurt is also one of the most preferred destinations for multinational companies in Europe and in fact according to a 2007 study by Cushman & Wakefield it figured as one of the top three cities, along with London and Paris - for international companies in Europe. Finally the Frankfurt Stock Exchange is one of the oldest and busiest in the continent. All these factors indicate the presence of a large concentration of finance professionals in the city including bankers, investment consultants, hedge fund managers, CPAs and others. However in order to meet the affluent singles of this professional class, you need to frequent the places where they are likely to work and relax. This could range from waiting with a drink at the upscale bars of the Westend District or exploring the informal business places at the Bankenviertel – the premier financial district of the city which stretches across the western part of the Innenstadt, the southern part of the Westend and the eastern part of the Bahnhofsviertel. Another place where you can also take your chances is the Ostend District which used to be an industrial block earlier but has been recently renovated with many new trendy offices and entertainment venues.

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However when the successful professionals of Frankfurt are not earning their millions, they can often be found unwinding at upscale bars and clubs till late into the night. Jimmy’s Bar, O-Ton, The Lounge, Das 21 and Studio Bar are some of the hangouts that are popular with the jet-setting club of the rich and beautiful in Frankfurt. Guests with a bent for the classical in music usually head for the Oper Frankfurt which hosts performances by world-renowned operas and ballets while those with a weakness for fine dining can be found to flock at addresses like The Sansibar and The Orion.

Tokyo

Japan is among the richest countries of the world and one of the leading technological powers. Despite being subjected to crippling bombings which ended the Second World War, Japan is today the third largest economy by nominal GDP as well as purchasing power and most of this economic power is concentrated in the national capital Tokyo. The city is recognized as one of the leading global financial centers and its Stock Exchange is the largest in the continent and third largest in the world. The service sector especially is important in Tokyo and accounts for around three quarters of the total economic output of Japan. So the most successful professionals in the city are likely to be from this sector including financial services, banking, insurance, real estate, retailing, transportation and telecommunications. So if you are keen to meet bankers and financiers who take back million-dollar paychecks, the financial lanes of Tokyo would be the ideal place to explore. Or else browse through the expensive shops and bars at Ginza where the richest of the white-collar professionals are often found to unwind.

A unique feature of the Japanese service industry is the ‘keiretsu’. This is a type of business grouping marked by a set of companies with interlocking business relationships and shareholdings. In Japan the six biggest keiretsus are the Mitsubishi, Sumitomo, Fuyo, Mitsui, Dai-Ichi Kangyo and Sanwa Groups, all of which have their corporate headquaters in Tokyo. So when exploring socializing opportunities in Japan, keep a look out for successful professionals from this thriving economic sector as well.

London

London is one of the major financial power centers of the world besides attracting successful people in the arts, academics and various cultural pursuits. In fact the city often vies with New York City as the most important location for international finance. This implies a high percentage of the population employed in financial services in London. London has several hundreds of overseas banks, more than any other city in the world. around 40% of London’s total employment is in business, financial and other services1. London particular strength as a global financial centre is underlined by figures provided by the Corporation of London according to which London accounted for 54% of ‘city-type’ activity in the European Union in 2003. a majority of the UK's top 100 listed companies and over 100 of Europe's 500 largest companies have their headquarters in central London. Along with professional services, media companies are concentrated in London and the media distribution industry is London's second most competitive sector. Apart from finance and media, other sectors like tourism, retail and hospitality are the ones which employ most of the city’s professionals. In London thus you can come upon its successful professionals in its five major business districts: the City, Westminster, Canary Wharf, Camden & Islington and Lambeth & Southwark. Apart from this favorite cafes, shopping destinations like Selfridges and Harrods as well as upscale pubs and bars like Berkeley Square in Mayfair and the Dover Street wine bars while the Red Lion in Crown Passage are ideal to mingle with the young professionals who have the resources for leisure and recreation. in recent times, London has acquired the reputation of being the culinary capital of the world and rising professionals are some of the first to sample innovative menu which is why fine dining destinations like Quo Vadis , Gordon Ramsay’s, Murano and Nobu are excellent meeting places.

Toronto

Considered the economic capital of the Canada, Toronto is also one of the most thriving places for successful professionals in this part of the country. The major sources of wealth in Toronto are finance, business services and real estate. The significance of the city in the financial industry of the country can be gauged from the fact that the Toronto Stock Exchange is the third largest in the American continents by market capitalization and eighth in the world. In fact all the major five banks of Canada are headquartered in Toronto as are most of the country’s multinational corporations. So if you are interested in meeting the really successful professionals in finance, the place to frequent would be the Bay Street in the Financial District of Downtown Toronto. While corporate buildings, banking headquarters and financial centers may not offer much opportunity for socializing, keep an eye out for the cafes and restaurants at these places since it is here that the bankers, hedge fund managers and wealth consultants are likely to head to grab a coffee or a sandwich during lunch.

Another way to meet the successful professionals of the city would be to frequent the bars, pubs and nightclubs where they usually head for a night out. Most of the nightclubs are located in the Downtown Theater District and include ones like the Big Easy, Tower of London, The Living Room, the Casino Lounge, Schmooze and the Courthouse Chamber Lounge. On the fringes of the Entertainment District there are yet more hot nightspots like the Bamboo Club, the Guvernment, Money and the Phoenix. Many among these cater primarily to dance lovers while others combine several aspects of a lounge where one can either hit the dance floor or relax with a drink among friends.

Singapore

Singapore is a highly urbanized city state and among the most economically developed countries in Asia. Globally, Singapore ranks as the fourth largest financial center besides being considered as the wworld’s fourth largest foreign-exchange trading centre after London, New York and Tokyo. Banking and financial services make up one of the most significant segments of the nation’s economy. This implies a substantial number of bankers, financiers, wealth managers, investment consultants and insurers in the state who not only manage the assets of millionaire businessmen and industrialists but also take home six-figure pay packets themselves. so if you are keen to meet these professionals head for the financial district of Singapore which is home to most of the thriving banks and financial institutions as well as to some of the swankiest hotels, restaurants and cafes. It includes avenues like Shenton Way, Raffles Place, Robinson Road and Cecil Street and is famous for striking buildings like the UOB Plaza and OUB Centre, along Boat Quay. The service sector is yet another important component of Singapore’s economy. Apart from banking and financial services, this includes healthcare, education, retail, franchise, consulting, media, hospitality, public utilities, biotechnology, telecommunication and government services. In Singapore, the highly qualified professionals and technological experts of the service sector are among the best paid in the country. Besides this segment of the population is also composed of many expats from Western and other Asian countries. This is because Singapore's largely corruption-free government, skilled workforce and advanced infrastructure serve to attract investments from more than 3,000 multinational corporations from the United States, Japan, and Europe.

Reference:

  1. The New York Times - Income Soars on Wall St., Widening Gap
     
  2. London Skills and Employment Board - The London Story