Employee and executive incentives: an overview of incentive arrangements in the Middle East

There is a growing need in the Middle East for employers to establish incentive plans for their employees and senior executives. Historically, employers have established on balance sheet saving schemes; however, in recent years there has been an increasing trend to establish cash and share plans in the form of trusts following a greater awareness of the benefits that trust-based products offer. This briefing highlights the benefits of trust-based plans and illustrates the fact that plans can be tailored to meet specific employer or country requirements, such as foreign ownership provisions.

An occupational savings scheme is a plan established by an employer for the purpose of providing savings benefits to full-time employees.

Regulators in the Middle East are keen for their licensees to establish occupational savings schemes to segregate and safeguard employee funds from those of the employer. By way of example, the Central Bank of Bahrain issued a directive in February 2009 requiring occupational savings schemes established by a Central Bank of Bahrain licensee (where the Central Bank of Bahrain licensee acts as asset manager, administrator or trustee) to be constituted as a trust under Law No.(23) of 2006 regarding financial trusts…

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