middle east & africa Articles

The Kingdom Reforms (Part II)

Saudi Arabia has announced a spate of cuts around compensation within the government and the public sector. While there may not be immediate ramifications of these curbs for the private sector, firms irrespective of their ownership structure, should be wary of these changing times. In this second part of the series, we explore what organizations in the Kingdom could do to effectively adapt to these circumstances.

Implications of New FLSA Minimum Salaries and DOL Fiduciary Ruling

It's certainly not a stretch to call 2016 a very challenging year for HR / Compensation professionals in the financial services industry as they respond to two sweeping regulatory changes: the Department of Labor's new fiduciary standard for Financial Advisors and new FLSA minimum salary rate for exempt employees.

Regulatory Update: Solvency II – Remuneration Requirements

Our consultants have summarized the Supervisory Statement (SS) on Solvency II remuneration requirements, released today by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), and what it means for insurance firms in the UK.

What Next for The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Capital Markets?

Recently The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced a grand economic vision to take the economy to 2030, diversifying the area’s reliance on oil. This comes at just the right time. Depressed oil prices and a tumultuous 24 months in the region, where state coffers have been tested and economic growth has lagged, has now been met with a new sense of optimism and a way forward. This has been further spurred on by the recent increase in oil prices that are back at approximately $50 USD a barrel.

Allowances and Benefits in the Financial Industry: Current Strategies and Changing Landscape in the Middle East

The structures for allowances and benefits in the regional financial industry are often complex and in many cases, independent of the business and HR strategies. Given the regional employee demographics, with a mainly expatriate workforce, and the tax-free environment, international banks often struggle to maintain parity with their foreign operations in regard to reward structures. Local financial firms also face issues such as, legacy compensation structures with excessive numbers of allowances, and complex employee demographics.

Remuneration Governance in the Gulf

It is a generally accepted belief that remuneration and corporate governance issues may have contributed to the recent financial crisis. Therefore, many countries’ regulatory bodies have encouraged stronger remuneration governance especially in financial institutions. The latest remuneration governance principles set out by authorities in Bahrain, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have specifically addressed the issue of Remuneration Governance.

The Shrinking Pools

Burdened by low oil prices and macroeconomic instability, the regional banking sector is suffering from squeezed earnings as liquidity tightens and credit growth remains tepid. Given these conditions, many banks across the GCC will not meet profit targets, subsequently reducing bonus pool funding. How should banks in the region respond to the new economic climate and can they somehow convert this into an opportunity to derive competitive advantage?

Risk versus Reward in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The 2030 reform agenda is now in full swing within the Kingdom and the IPO of Saudi Aramco is finally taking shape. The landscape in the Kingdom will look very different if the 2030 plan goes according to plan however as well as requiring a strong hand from the government to push it through it will also require capital, and lots of it.

Aon Names Ray Everett Global President of McLagan

Aon plc (NYSE: AON), a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, today announced it has named Raymond Everett as global president of McLagan. In this role, Everett is responsible for leading a team of experts who provide compensation, performance and talent intelligence to companies in the financial services and insurance industries. He leads the McLagan executive committee and is a member of Aon’s Talent, Rewards & Performance executive committee.

Managing Compensation in a Downturn

It seems like we are in for a rocky ride in 2016. While underlying economies of many countries and the financial performance of many companies still appear solid, numerous firms are preparing for a tough year ahead.

The Future of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Capital Markets: How can authorized firms change to win future opportunities?

Investment banks are hiring in Riyadh in anticipation of a boom in fees, as the government emphasises efforts to wean the economy of oil. 

One Year After the Retail Banking Scandal: Are Banks in the GCC Region at Risk, Too?

The retail banking scandal has exposed the perilous link between the actions of the sales workforce and corporate culture, as well as the laissez-faire attitude towards mis-selling that led to those actions. Are banks across the GCC region at risk, too? 

Maternity Matters: What the Amended Maternity Benefit Act Means for Companies in India

Despite marginal improvements over the past few years, the gender ratio at the workplace in India remains heavily skewed towards men. The proportion of women directors in National Stock Exchange (NSE) listed companies is about 13.7%. According to a survey report by the Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) Indian Women's Network (IWN), 37% of women opt out of their jobs mid-career due to maternity or childcare issues. The pressure of balancing responsibilities at home with a professional career has resulted in such slightly discouraging statistics.

Market Rationalization in the Middle East

The banking sector in the Middle East has enjoyed a steady recovery and will post solid results in 2018. The Governor of the Central Bank, Mubarak Rashed Al Mansoori, emphasized that the industry is liquid and strong, with credit growth for the private sector increasing 6.5% during the first 9 months.