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CFA® charterholder Salaries in the UAE

Posted on October 22, 2016 11:00 pm;

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By John Alexander Adam

An in-demand professional qualification such as the CFA® charter can open a wide range of doors when it comes to professional opportunities and increased earning power, especially in a region such as the UAE and wider Middle East. The developing economies of the region and growing financial centres are hungry for qualified finance professionals. While gaining the CFA® qualification at all three levels will take around 4 years, it is path that aspiring finance professionals understand is worth their while. So when all that hard work has finally paid off and you have earned you CFA® charterholder status, what are the main career paths open to you and what kind of salary level can you expect in the UAE?

CFA® charter Career Paths

CFA® charterholders are most commonly associated as working as investment analysts and portfolio managers, and in the UAE these two roles do indeed employ the join largest percentage of CFAs in the region at 13% each according to research published by the eFinancialCareers website. However, it is interesting to note that 13% of CFAs are also employed as Chief Level Executives, further vindication of the worth of attaining CFA® qualification. A full list of CFA® charterholder occupations in the UAE is given as follows:

  • Chief Level Executive: 13%
  • Investment Banking Analyst: 13%
  • Portfolio Manager: 13%
  • Research Analyst: 12%
  • Relationship Manager: 8%
  • Manager of Managers: 6%
  • Financial Advisor: 5%
  • Corporate Financial Analyst: 5%
  • Risk Manager: 5%
  • Trader: 3%
  • Consultant: 3%
  • Private Banker: 3%
  • Accountant/Auditor: 3%
  • Strategist: 2%
  • Other: 4%
  • Unemployed: 2%

CFA® charterholders Salary Levels

While salary levels for professionals holding the CFA® charter of course varies greatly depending on occupation, seniority level and company, it is safe to say that even at the lower end of the scale CFA® charterhlders are well-remunerated. Generally, salary levels in the UAE are higher than in other geographical regions, as well as being further boosted by the favourable tax environment. Positions requiring specialized professional qualifications such as the CFA® charter are particularly well rewarded in the UAE.

The Robert Half Middle East Salary Guide for 2014 puts the salary scale for financial analysts in the region at between $62, 500 and $97, 500. For Senior Financial Analysts the range is $ 72,750 to $ 109,750. These salaries also showed growth of around 4.5% between 2013 and 2014. The pay scale for Chief Level Executives is noted as being between $167,500 and $550,000.

According to the Morgan McKinley Banking and Financial Services Guide for the UAE 2014, Portfolio Managers in the region can expect to earn between $40,000 and $70,000+. The report also notes the influx of capital into the regions financial institutions and that over 2014 basic salaries in financial services rose by between 6% and 8%.

In terms of career prospects and salary levels, CFA® charterholders are undoubtedly at a strong advantage in the UAE and wider Middle East with the regions financial centers continuing to grow and in need of qualified talent.

If you would like to improve your understanding of economics, business and finance, why not take the CFA® Program! Morgan International offers a number of finance qualifications including the CFA® Program, at locations across the Middle East.


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