The Cooper Fitch Salary Guide for Investment Management represents the predicted market-rate salary ranges for new recruits across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for 2020.
Like many sectors in Saudi Arabia, Vision 2030 has dramatically impacted investment management (IM), as public and private sector firms and sovereign wealth funds review their operations in line with the national growth agenda and invest accordingly.
IM roles in the kingdom have seen an increase in market-rate salary ranges by average salary increases of 5% over the past year, and 2020 is expected to bring a continued high level of recruitment activity, assuming 5% rise in marketrate salary ranges, given that a considerable number of the main government projects are still in the initial stages. While state investment vehicles are accounting for a large proportion of IM recruits at present, private sector hiring should gather momentum as projects require new funding at different stages of their life cycle.
Certain challenges firms faced in 2019 are likely to continue in the next year, including an outflow of talent to the public sector, which typically offers enticing remuneration packages and exposure to large-scale projects. Certain asset classes, such as real estate and infrastructure, are experiencing particularly intense competition for local talent, and it is becoming increasingly challenging to retain Saudi national and expatriate talent, especially in the private sector, because of the attractive public sector packages on offer.
There is demand at present for IM professionals working in private equity, M&A, real estate development and investment, as well as board members and staff in finance and investment operations. Demand will continue as investments grow, as there is significant demand for best practices in board rooms, and Saudi-based companies are increasingly looking outside the kingdom to bring international perspectives to the table. Real estate, meanwhile, is an extremely active asset class in the kingdom and likely to remain stable in the coming years. To attract and retain talent, recruitment strategies need to be aligned with the company’s growth objectives to ensure strong commitment and employee retention. Companies should openly communicate their vision, mission and goals to external stakeholders to generate a positive image of the company as this is becoming increasingly important.
The recruitment industry notes a shortage of Saudi nationals in the market with the preferred IM industry-accredited qualification from the CFA Institute. This, together with a rise in investment activity across Saudi Arabia, has increased the need to recruit candidates from overseas, especially from financial capitals such as New York or London. Companies must ensure their salary packages are competitive globally while taking into account the requirement to meet Saudisation standards.
Given all the transformation, the Vision 2030 has brought, investment banking in Saudi Arabia has been relatively active in 2019. The country is the leader among the GCC countries in equity capital markets with the real estate being one of the main sectors. This is not counting the Saudi Aramco IPO at the time of writing. Saudi Arabia has also been in a strong position when it comes to M&A and debt capital markets with potentially more activity happening next year. These factors actively contribute to higher demands when it comes to recruitment in the investment banking space in KSA across all the major service lines.
The most active locations for IM recruitment vary according to industry, our experts say. Riyadh is the hub when it comes to primary investment vehicles and financial services, while the Eastern Province is more active in the industrial sectors. The Western regions including Jeddah, have increased activity in real estate, hospitality and tourism investment.
Download the full Investment Management Salary Guide 2020 here
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