Dubai tops Mena as investment bankers’ favourite

Dubai is the most favoured place of UK investment bankers to work in the Middle East and North Africa region, according to a survey.

By (Bloomberg)

Published: Tue 28 Aug 2012, 10:47 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 2:34 PM

Investment bankers favour working in Singapore over New York and London, where they face lower wage growth and higher taxes, according to recruitment firm Astbury Marsden.

Thirty-one per cent of respondents chose Singapore as their most favoured location, followed by New York (20 per cent) and London (19 per cent), the recruiter said in its annual ‘Preferred Location Survey’.

Hong Kong and Dubai got 16 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively. The survey found 60 per cent of bankers expect the Asia-Pacific region to the largest financial centre in 10 years.

“A fast growing, low-tax and bank-friendly environment like Singapore stands as a perfect antidote to the comparatively high-tax and anti-banker sentiment of London and New York,” Mark Cameron, chief operating officer at Astbury Marsden, said in the statement. “Financial centres in the West have taken a real battering since the start of the financial crisis.” Financial-services firms in London have come under intense pressure from governments and regulators to cut compensation amid public anger about trillions of dollars of taxpayer assistance to banks, including the UK’s Royal Bank of Scotland Group and Lloyds Banking Group.

London’s financiers may receive £2.3 billion ($3.6 billion) in bonuses for 2012, the lowest in more than 14 years as their firms deal with weak trading conditions and job cuts, the Centre for Economics & Business Research Ltd said in May.

“Cities like Singapore and Hong Kong have been quick to capitalise on setbacks in London and New York, courting investment banks and reacting to demand from expats and tourists for facilities such as sporting, music and other international events,” Cameron said.

“This has made them popular destinations for expat investment bankers and hedge fund staff.” Astbury Marsden surveyed 462 people in late July. —

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