Recruiting within investment banking remains both competitive and challenging to find the right technical experience however, many are drawn to the region given the higher compensation packages.
Scroll to read our article on hiring Investment Bankers in the Middle East.
The new hub of MENA Investment Banking, both Riyadh and Saudi Arabia have been a hiring priority for the biggest market names, whilst the London and New York recruiting efforts have slowed. Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan led the charge, closely followed by HSBC and elite boutiques such as Lazard, Moelis, and Rothschild, all of whom have appointed senior deal makers in recent months. These regional teams are now bolstering their deal teams from the junior to mid-level, to execute deals after a boost in market activity.
There are unique cultural and legal considerations when hiring in these areas. Understanding the cultural dynamics of the region are essential to attracting the right talent. Religion plays a huge role in business etiquette, and being aware of these key cultural differences, is of key importance. Companies in Saudi Arabia are also incentivised to hire Saudi nationals over international hires and thus obtaining a work visa for an international candidate can be difficult. That being said, income taxes are low for expat workers and employers are often quite generous in offering incentives such as, free transport, health insurance and accommodation, in order to attract top talent.
We have seen a big push to hire from the London market, particularly Saudi nationals and fluent Arabic speakers looking to move back to their home country. Recruiting within investment banking remains both competitive and challenging to find the right technical experience however, many are drawn to the region given the higher compensation packages, lower tax rates, and increased opportunities that come with higher deal activity. There tends to be a high demand for these types of roles, but there are a small percentage of candidates that possess the skills and transaction experience to fit the role requirements. The MENA recruitment market has become an increasing focus for our business, and we have invested time to understand the needs of the top investment banks in the region.
Having placed roles within large banks and independent institutions at levels ranging from Analyst to Director, we are well attune to market needs. Acting as both recruitment partners for clients wanting to hire within the region, and advisors to candidates wishing to explore the opportunities this region holds, please contact our team for more information
Salary packages in Riyadh start at roughly AED 385,000 (£85,000 approx) for Analyst 1 up to AED 800,000 (£175,000 approx) for Associate 3 plus bonus comparable to the London/NY markets on a percentage basis. Contact us to discuss the findings of our market analysis on the UK based salaries and bonuses.
To learn more about the market, connect with this articles author; Lewis Matheson.