Asset Management in the MENA region: 2011

May 25, 2011  |   Posted by : Uzair Bawany  |   Asset Management / Private Wealth,News   |   Comments Off on Asset Management in the MENA region: 2011»

International experience can be regarded with as much importance as a professional qualification by some employers. The BRIC’s are constantly spoken of, but despite Dubai’s debt crisis, the MENA region also holds some lucrative opportunities in asset management.

Recent research by Mercer reveals the financial services sector in the UAE is expected to witness salary rises between 6-7.5% this year compared to last. Abu Dhabi is expected to have higher rises than Dubai. This is welcome news for executive level expatriates. In 2009 their pay took a sharp dip as companies with tight budgets looked for local, less expensive talent where possible. Further research has shown recruitment is on the increase across the Middle East with 72% of companies recently surveyed expecting to bring new employees on board in 2011.

Key Hotspots

So what are the hiring hotspots for asset management in the MENA region?

  • Secondary private equity is on the rise, particularly in Abu Dhabi. This is when assets which are viewed as too risky by their current owners are sold on to second parties for a discounted price, despite maintaining their original value.


  • Increased investments in energy and petrochemicals in Qatar, UAE and Kuwait have led to a request for top tier talent.


  •  Dubai has seen a recent surge in fixed income investment as political unrest in regional states has damaged investors’ confidence. Portfolio managers with expertise are highly sought after.


  • There is rising demand for Shari’a compliant asset management. Ernst & Young recently reported this sector is worth US$52 billion. A new firm focusing entirely on Islamic investment products opened in Qatar in September last year with high expectations.


Containing the fastest growing economy in the world, Qatar, the MENA region has substantial opportunities for the right talent.

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