SOURCE: SEI

SEI

September 29, 2015 10:00 ET

SEI Report: Regional CFOs and HR Heads Expecting Strong Growth and Increased Headcount Despite Internal and External Challenges

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES--(Marketwired - Sep 29, 2015) - Eighty percent of companies expect to see an increase in headcount over the next three years despite mounting macroeconomic and operational challenges, according to SEI's (NASDAQ: SEIC) third-annual End of Service Benefits (EoSB) report released today. The report revealed an 8 percent increase from last year's results in the number of respondents that expect Expo 2020 to impact them positively, from 45 percent to 53 percent, respectively. Sixty-three percent of respondents claimed they have felt no negative impact as a result of the change in oil prices. Only 5 percent of companies surveyed expect major restructuring as a direct result of changes in oil prices.

Per the survey findings, finance executives are under continuous pressure to maintain profitability; so, it's not surprising that they cited operational costs as a key challenge, and cost reduction as a top priority for the year. Due to the expected increase in headcount and salaries, and in turn liabilities, 42 percent of Chief Financial Officers are now taking a more active role in HR decisions. For example, 63 percent of finance executives now believe talent management is one of their strategic goals.

The report findings go on to show that employees are beginning to stay at companies longer and as a result they are accumulating a greater share of End of Service Benefits. Despite the pressure to maintain profits and control risk, companies may still not be managing their EoSB liabilities effectively. Seventy-three percent of respondents said they either do not separate EoSB funds from their working capital or don't know how their EoSB liabilities are being managed. In fact, only 13 percent of those surveyed have set up enhanced EoSB plans, even though companies that have these plans in place seem to enjoy better attrition rates than those that do not. However, given the increasing alignment between finance and HR functions, the potential talent retention benefits of enhanced EoSB schemes were not lost on the respondents: 36 percent stated that they would be interested in a cost effective EoSB or savings scheme, or both, while 40 percent would consider outsourcing investment management services of their entire EoSB scheme.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Samer Abdel Kader, Head of SEI Investments (Middle East), said:

"In an employment environment that has remained competitive despite increasing challenges across the region, End of Service Benefit plans have proven to be a valuable mechanism in not only retaining, but also attracting key talent. While they remain underutilized, we're beginning to notice a change in perception, as employers -- under strong pressure to control costs -- are beginning to recognize their unique ability to reduce their financial risk while providing a potentially lower-cost alternative to traditional methods of retaining staff."

The survey, conducted in May and June 2015, was completed by 110 C-level executives, finance heads, and HR department heads across a variety of sectors within the GCC. Some of the survey participants are clients of SEI. To receive a full copy of the survey results please email SEIMiddleEast@seic.com. For more information about SEI's End of Service Benefit Solutions, please visit http://www.seic.com/enME/institutions/1078.htm.

About SEI's Institutional Group
SEI's Institutional Group is one of the first and largest global providers of outsourced investment management services. The company delivers integrated retirement, healthcare and non-profit solutions to more than 475 clients in eight countries. Our solutions are designed to help clients meet financial objectives, reduce business risk and fulfil their due diligence requirements through implemented strategies for the management of defined benefit plans, defined contribution plans, endowments, foundations and board designated funds. For more information visit: seic.com/institutions.

About SEI
SEI (NASDAQ: SEIC) is a leading global provider of investment processing, investment management, and investment operations solutions that help corporations, financial institutions, financial advisors, and ultra-high-net-worth families create and manage wealth. As of June 30, 2015, through its subsidiaries and partnerships in which the company has a significant interest, SEI manages or administers $661 billion in mutual fund and pooled or separately managed assets, including $262 billion in assets under management and $399 billion in client assets under administration. For more information, visit seic.com.

This information is issued by SEI Investments (Europe) Limited, 4th Floor, Time & Life Building, 1 Bruton Street, London W1J 6TL which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Information distributed by SEI Investments (Middle East) which is a Dubai International Financial Centre trade name of SEI Investments (Europe) Ltd which is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority as a Representative Office.

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