Banking & financial services half year market update

There has been strong positivity in H1 across the GCC from our financial services & banking clients, this has been prevalent in local and international firms with a number of departments expanding their teams. In particular, we have seen growth in risk, compliance, treasury and private banking with Kuwait City, Riyadh and Dubai being the busiest cities for the team so far in 2018.

Download the full Robert Walters Middle East Job Index and Half Year Market Update report.

In 2017, hiring processes were slow and at times stalled whilst in H1 2018 headcount approvals have been granted far quicker and we have seen a lot less cancellations.

Overall it has been noticeable that hiring managers are more engaged with a sense of urgency with recruitment processes again.

Clients are confident that this will continue into H2 as markets like KSA continue to open up. In fact we have had four Heads of Treasury roles in the region in H1 which is unprecedented.

In Abu Dhabi we are seeing organisations opening new branches in ADGM while maintaining existing offices in the region and the banks, fund managers and sovereign’s continue to gradually add to their number.

Nationalization will remain a key aspect to hiring within all the GCC countries in H2 in Kuwait, UAE (especially Abu Dhabi) and Saudi. The quota increases have been most noticeable in Kuwait and Saudi. This has led to an increase in junior national hiring across the region this year.

Transformation and change has also been active in H1 especially in retail banking where new heads of retail have been ringing in the changes and this will continue into H2 at pace.

Salaries have continued to remain broadly flat, but there have been increases in salaries for individuals that move from the international banks into more local organisations.

So far the team has successful closed numerous junior to mid-level roles across the region. Senior mandates closed in 2018 include Head of Compliance, Head of Corporate Banking, Chief Data Officer, Head of Compliance (KSA National), Deputy CFO, Head of Risk and two Head’s of Treasury.

Download the full Robert Walters Middle East Job Index and Half Year Market Update report.

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