PIF and Riyadh

Hi all. Thinking about Saudi financial sector, in particular, PIF, few questions:

  1. What is the typical premium they pay over your gross? Saw somewhere that it was 30-40%. Is it the case?

  2. What is the bonus? Again, saw many different %% ranging from 20% to 80%. Any specifics? 

  3. What is the structure of car/rent allowance?

  4. How much can you realistically save without restricting yourself much? For example, London rent is crazy high and eats up a big chunk of your fix. Is it the case for Riyadh unless you chose not to live in a compound?


thanks 

 
Most Helpful

1. In recent years this premium has eroded away quite a bit but somewhere in the region of 20-30% is still do-able

2. Depends on the team but bonuses are generally lower as a % than elsewhere (but you are not giving anything away in tax)

3. Salary is usually split into 3 buckets in all companies in Saudi (basic salary - 65% of total salary, housing allowance - 30% of total salary, travel allowance - 5% of total salary). You will get other allowances as well such as flights back to your home country, private school (if you have kids) etc.

4. Compounds are insanely expensive (for a decent place with good amenities you're looking at SAR 150k+ pa). I live off compound with a buddy and pay less than half this (which we then split 50/50). I save around 80% of my salary and that's with a very liberal travel budget (spend 10+ weeks per year travelling) 

Source: currently working in Riyadh (albeit not PIF)

 

This is super interesting! If you wouldn't mind I'd love to hear more:

1. What is the banking scene like in Saudi compared to other markets in the region, such as Dubai? 

2. What's your background, and how have you adapted to the culture? 

3. Based on the people I know, the social life seems quite family oriented; Is this something that affects the work environment and how is it making friends both from and outside of work? 

I don't know... Yeah. Almost definitely yes.
 
QuiltEmerson

This is super interesting! If you wouldn't mind I'd love to hear more:

1. What is the banking scene like in Saudi compared to other markets in the region, such as Dubai? 

2. What's your background, and how have you adapted to the culture? 

3. Based on the people I know, the social life seems quite family oriented; Is this something that affects the work environment and how is it making friends both from and outside of work? 

Sure happy to 

1. Banking scene is a lot less sophisticated than Dubai but this is changing super quickly and a lot of the usual suspects are rushing to set up local practices. HSBC has been the incumbent international bank since forever (40%+ market share in M&A and financings) as it was the first to have an office in Riyadh. Others such as Rothschild, Lazard, Citi etc. are pushing more into the market in the last couple of years. Most of the coverage is still out of Dubai offices though.

2. I'm from a white European background with no connection to the region (or Islam). Initially I did experience some culture shock but I got used to things quite quickly. Riyadh is becoming more and more westernized at an insanely fast pace which definitely helps

3.  Everything is incredibly family oriented here which definitely helps with work life balance. Downtime from work is sacred and weekends and holidays are usually respected. Downside is that it can be hard to make friends with Saudis because people spend almost all of their time with family so you will probably be almost exclusively socializing in expat circles outside of work. Silver lining is that with the amazing work life balance a lot of people spend a lot of time in Dubai or travelling elsewhere on the weekends.

 

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