13 January, 2019

Michael Page Releases its 2019 Salary Guide


C level roles and heads of transformation salary levels have remained constant in 2018/2019 with no real change. There has been a slight shift in the requirements/candidate profiles with many clients asking for candidates with one or two successful transformation projects under their belt in the region.

There are fewer roles for quality candidates which has kept the salaries from increasing as companies are more demanding having now seen a few transformation projects not go well so there is definitely pressure to get it right first time, leading to lengthier processes but ultimately better quality hires.


Salaries have remained unchanged or decreased; definitely not increased.


There has been a decline in salaries in the banking sector. At the more senior level, C-level or C-1, we’ve seen salaries slashed by almost 20-25%. The middle-management positions have not been affected as hard, but again a decrease of 5-10% as an average. The more junior roles or entry-level roles remain untouched however, so salaries are flat at this level. Benefits such as schooling allowance for children have either been reduced or taken away altogether in the banking sector. And finally, bonuses are no way near attractive, with average pay-outs of 1-2 months, versus maybe 3-4 months pay-out a few years back.

Financial Services

There is a move to automate and digitalise accounting processes. However, this has not really impacted salaries in the accounting field. Most of the accounting functions for MNCs are based out of locations such as Philippines, India and Malaysia or are moving to these locations in the near future.

Hence, the salaries have not been impacted as much as the roles themselves. Furthermore, there is a rise in demand for candidates with Business Partner and FP&A experience (including corporate finance) and the salaries for those roles have seen an average upswing of about 10% in the region.

Introduction of VAT had a very negligible impact on the no. of roles we recruit in the Tax space. The big four did beef up their Tax teams, but other businesses didn’t really add any additional employees as such and hence, the pay seems to have had a very marginal increment, if any.

Oil & Gas:

Salaries in the Oil & Gas market have either remained at similar levels to 2017/2018 or have dipped slightly. Due to the continued downward pressure on Oil prices, we have seen a delay in a number of projects across the industry, which has in turn produced an over-supply of personnel for remaining vacancies in the region. This has been tempered slightly by the relocation of professionals to other regions, however, increased competitiveness in the procurement process regarding new projects has resulted in companies offering the less glamorous packages which we have seen before.


Salaries have reduced slightly from 2017 to 2018. The construction pipeline is thinning because of an increase in competition between contracting companies within the region. Some of the key construction companies who were the first on the ground and top in the region now have thinning pipelines and are being undercut in tenders by their direct competitors. On top of this, multiple projects are in last phases and handing over for the Expo 2020 and there are fewer projects being announced which leaves a larger pool of candidates, making it a candidate driven market and driving the average project delivery salary down.