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New markets ‘top priority for finance chiefs’

Beirut, October 13, 2011

Expanding into global and new markets including the Middle East and cutting and managing costs were given top priority by 36 per cent of executives in the financial services industry (FSI) in a worldwide survey.

FSI leaders are struggling to find the appropriate equilibrium between austerity measures and investing for future expansion, added the Deloitte Human Resources survey titled ‘Talent Edge 2020: perspectives from the financial services industry (FSI) which polled 300 senior executives and talent managers worldwide.

“The Middle East is perceived as a market that offers business prospects in a plethora of sectors. For instance, many international investment banks have expanded their headcount in the Middle East and other emerging markets,” said Joseph El Fadl, partner and Financial Services Industry leader at Deloitte Middle East.

The survey reiterates that high unemployment rates globally and in the US did not create a talent surplus. Instead, many FSI executives predict serious talent shortages across business functions responsible for innovation and growth, such as R&D (75 per cent) and leadership (47 per cent).

Also according to those surveyed, investing in the next generation of leaders ranks low on the management agenda of FSI executives.

Only 6 per cent ranked ‘acquiring and developing leaders and talent’ as a key strategic priority, compared to 27 per cent across all industries and 25 per cent of FSI executives in 2009.

“It is puzzling that more than one in five FSI executives expect to see severe shortages in executive leadership in the future. This scenario stems from a shortage in hiring fresh graduates that would fill the generation gap in the coming years,” said Rana Ghandour Salhab, partner in charge of Talent and Communications at Deloitte Middle East.

Many executives perceive retention as a rising priority. Nearly half the organization surveyed (47 per cent) have experienced increased turnover in the past 12 months – and 56 per cent expect it to increase in the next 12 months. One out of two executives surveyed said that his company has an updated retention plan in place.

The report concludes that two third of survey participants (64 per cent) expect voluntary turnover among Gen Y (those under age 30) to increase over the next 12 months, and 58 per cent expect higher turnover among Gen X (ages 30-44) employees.

More than half (55 per cent) expect increased voluntary turnover for women, and 50 per cent expect higher turnover for ethnically diverse employees, the report added. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Survey | FSI | Deloitte | New markets | Finance executives |

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