Micheal Page guide offers insight into Middle East strategy salaries

25 January 2019 Consultancy-me.com

Specialist recruitment consultancy Michael Page has released its 2019 salary survey for professional services employees in the Middle East, with top level strategy gurus pulling in as much as US$60 thousand per month before bonuses.

Recently, former Dubai-based management consultant Taimur Khan Jhagra departed the Middle East to pursue a political career in Pakistan, leaving behind a reported $600,000 per year job as a partner with McKinsey. But what of a strategy and management cadet, or the managing partner of a small-to-medium boutique, or an indispensable but possibly unappreciated personal assistant at a consultancy for that matter, and all of their pay-packet expectations?

The recently released 2019 salary survey for the Middle East compiled by international specialist recruitment and human resources consultancy Michael Page can serve as a reliable starting point, with its data drawn from the firm’s own placements – totaling some 2,250-plus which the agency worked on in the region last year from its primary Dubai and Abu Dhabi offices and across its locally operating brands Page Executive, Michael Page, and Page Personnel.

But before we get to the big dollars, the consulting firm in this year’s report notes the continuing shift in the human resources and recruitment domain, with candidates now wanting a clearer picture of career development pathways and cultural aspects such as flexible working approaches before signing on board – with previous incentives such as higher or tax free salaries now taking a back-seat, no longer enough to attract and retain the best people.2019 salary guide for strategy consulting jobs in the Middle EastNow, the burning question for eager and experienced consultants eyeing perhaps a sea-change (desert-change?) or potential career opportunities in the Middle East – how much can one expect to earn in Dubai, or Manama, or maybe even Muscat? While the report doesn’t give a break-down by country, it does differentiate between positions at small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and multinational corporations – and if you’re the managing director of the latter at a leading strategy firm you could possibly earn up to 220,000 dirhams per months.

That’s roughly $60,000 US dollars per month, or a $720,000 per year – before bonuses. On the flip-side, if you’re just starting out and still earning your stripes as an associate at a small SME, you could be on as little as 10,000 dirham, or closer to US$2,500 per month. Dubai meanwhile was recently assessed as the second-most expensive city on the planet for a pair of blue jeans, while a standard two-bedroom expat apartment will on average set renters back $2,995.

These examples are of course two polar extremes, whereas a manager, say, at an internationally recognised management consultancy, might earn somewhere in the range of ~ $80,000 and ~ $200,000 – with those on the same level at a SME averaging around $100,000. An in-house business planning or performance manager can expect a little more, while the chief strategy officer at multinational corporate on average sits below the partner pay-scale at an external strategy firm.

Elsewhere, the big earners at the top of the tree (all with potential earnings upwards of $400,000 per year) include CEOs of retail operations, private legal practice partners, chief information officers at multinationals, group or regional chief financial officers, and a number of head roles in the private equity and investment, wholesale and consumer banking sectors – a leading executive vice president of the latter maxing out the charts at around $650,000 base per year, or, a lot of blue jeans. That personal assistant at a management consultancy? About $60,000 p/a.

Baghdad lands in at last on latest Mercer quality of living index

15 March 2019 Consultancy-me.com

Iraqi capital Baghdad has landed dead-last on Mercer’s latest quality of living cities index, listed below both Damascus and Sana'a in Yemen.

Among a survey of nearly 500 major cities worldwide by human capital consultancy Mercer, Iraq’s war-ravaged capital Baghdad has been deemed as having the lowest quality of living – behind even those still in the immediate grip of conflict, such as Damascus and Sana'a in Yemen. The 21st edition of the annual survey was again dominated this year by cities in the DACH region, with Vienna claiming the top spot for the tenth year running.

Taking into account a large range of inputs in categories such as the political and social situation, economic landscape, public services, housing, healthcare, education and the natural environment of cities around the world, Baghdad ranked last overall – immediately below Bangui of the Central African Republic and Damascus in Syria – despite the two being determined as the least safest cities on the planet for personal safety. In fact, the report noted Baghdad’s significant improvements in this regard.

The ten cities assessed as having the lowest quality of living globally were concentrated in the Middle East and Central Africa (with the exception of Haitian capital Port au Prince and Conakry in Guinea on the West African coast); Baghdad, in addition to Damascus and Sana'a, further joined at the bottom of the list by Khartoum (Sudan), N’Djamena (Chad) Brazzaville (Congo) and Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo).Baghdad lands in at last on latest Mercer quality of living survey“The security of the individual is informed by a wide range of factors and is constantly in flux, as the circumstances and conditions in cities and countries change year over year,” commented Mercer Prinicpal Slagin Parakatil. “These factors are crucial for multinationals to consider when sending employees abroad because they consider any concerns around the expat’s own safety and can have a significant impact on the cost of international compensation programmes.”

On the other end of the scale, the top ten cities for quality of living remain largely unchanged, with seven of those located in Austria, Germany or Switzerland (collectively known as the DACH region), while Dubai continues to lead the rankings for the Middle East, in 71st spot overall – despite remaining one of the most expensive cities worldwide on Mercer’s other noted cost of living index.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, Abu Dhabi, where Mercer itself recently launched a new office, follows closely behind Dubai in 78th, while Riyadh has climbed one spot to 164th, thanks in part to newly available options for entertainment, such as its landmark re-opening of cinemas across the Kingdom. Muscat (105), Doha (110), Amman (120), Kuwait City (126), and Manama (136) all fell in the middle, while Jeddah was just behind Riyadh and Beirut languishes in 184th, struggling to overcome Lebanon’s long-term economic woes and issues such as a failing waste management system.

“Strong, on-the-ground capabilities are integral to the global operations of most international businesses and are in large part driven by the personal and professional well-being of the individuals that companies place in those locations,” said Mercer’s Career business president and senior partner Ilya Bonic. "Companies looking to expand overseas have a host of considerations when identifying where best to locate staff and new offices.”