Jack also works with a number of local and international banks in the region which have been very active in terms of hiring this year. He works with a talent pool both internationally and locally and recruits professionals from mid-senior appointments and board-level positions. In this blog, Jack will discuss how changes in the sell-side investment market in the UAE have had an impact on recruitment and hiring requirements from organisations. Traditionally, in UAE private investment firms have looked at diversifying their investments into private equity and public markets which haven’t changed in recent years however we are now seeing many firms shift their attention towards early stage and growth equity investments as well.


The UAE economy has made a strong recovery from the recent global pandemic which was significantly helped by the government’s proactive strategies, initiatives and plans implemented to enhance a speedy recovery of the economy. A survey in February by Bayt.com and YouGov found around 76 per cent of employers in the Arab world’s second-largest economy planned to expand their workforce in 2022 which we have noticed especially in quarter two.


Due to the quick and successful recovery of the UAE the investment banking market is thriving at the moment with deal flows and the prospect of large bonuses making a return for employees which Cooper Fitch also found in their GCC CEO Report for 2022. The global oil and gas shortages, the rapid increase in activity in mergers and acquisitions and successful capital markets as a result of the strong recovery in business performance throughout 2021 with a surge of IPOs in the region have led to clients facing many challenges attracting talent to the region. This is due to headcount requirements for investment bankers continuing to rise in the majority of local and international banks. As a result clients are looking to find their talent locally and we have seen many recruit top talent from mature financial markets as they have the required skill set.


Private investment firms in the UAE continue to be very active in the local and international market and we have seen clients shift their strategy towards early stage and growth-stage equity type investments. Many of these investments are taking place both locally and internationally through best in class global fund managers and leading corporates across the globe. Clients are now looking for investment candidates with managers selection experience as well as a good track record in sectors such a technology, healthcare and consumers.


Another recent development we have seen in the past few months is that Dubai is becoming the newest Hedge Fund market. A number of Hedge Fund players such as All Blue Capital, Millennium Management, ExodusPoint Capital Management & BlueCrest Capital Management have all recently announced big plans to grow their operations and headcounts in the region. With the rise of global inflation, the effects of Brexit for many and firms looking to manage crippling costs, Dubai’s tax free offering is appealing for many of these firms.


While we have seen many firms look outside the region when looking to hire certain talent there is still a big Emiratization drive within investment firms and banks. We have seen UAE Nationals with finance modelling skill sets be the most in-demand and we believe this will continue to be the case for the remainder of the year.


If you would like to leave a comment on the blog or require Jack’s expertise please contact him at jfogarty@cooperfitch.ae