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There were sharper increases with rates above eight per cent in areas like compliance, software quality analysis, and trusts.

Despite the lingering euro crisis and economic uncertainty within their wider operating environment, most of Malta’s financial services, iGaming and technology companies plan to increase their headcount this year, according to a sample analysed for a salary benchmark survey.

Good progress is being made in insurance and foreign exchange

The annual study, carried out by IT and finance specialist recruiter Castille Resources, found that 80 per cent of the companies surveyed would recruit additional staff and that 41 per cent expected their payroll costs to increase by five to 10 per cent over the next 12 months.

More than 2,500 positions ‘ranging from junior level diploma roles to chief executives’ were surveyed across the banking, insurance, corporate services, fund management and administration, software, iGaming and telecoms sectors. Three-quarters of the 30 organisations surveyed are foreign-owned; information was collected during workshops, over the phone, and by e-mail.

‘Growth in front office activity cited in our report last year is still trickling in for the funds business,’ Castille Resources managing director Matthew Camilleri says in the report.

However, there seems to be good progress being made in other areas such as insurance and foreign exchange. Middle and back office continues to generate good employment with market risk, compliance and accountancy ‘from technicians to newly warranted levels’ remaining the most sought-after skills.

Mr Camilleri confirms that the shortage of software developers persists as technology employers struggled to hire Java and PHP developers.

Demand for people with experience in business intelligence, business analysis, and automated software testing exceeded supply.

He added that Castille Resources received favourable feedback about locally sourced human resources, with 67 per cent of respondents rating the talent available as ‘excellent’.

In the senior talent bracket, chief executives are currently earning an average €100,000, with remuneration reaching up to €180,000. Chief operations officers and chief financial officers command an average €74,000 and up to €120,000.

Chief technology officers average €58,600 but can be paid up to €75,000.

Chief officers for financial markets and investments, and internal audit earn significantly more than those responsible for risk management and legal and compliance, with average salaries ranging from €87,600 to €98,000, earning up to €174,000 in financial markets. Legal and compliance chief officers earn an average €54,700 and have the potential to reach €81,000. Risk management pays an average €70,600 up to €84,000.

The best paid mid-tier role in finance is senior treasury manager with an average salary of just under €45,000 but a top salary of €84,000 with higher end organisations.

Financial controllers, senior audit managers, internal audit officers (in industry) and senior insurance managers may earn up to €65,000 but averages range from €36,500 (internal audit) to €56,000 (senior insurance manager).

Among the professionals one tier lower, senior tax managers average €48,500 with a potential to earn up to €56,000. Tax managers earn between €40,500 and €48,000. Insurance, audit, senior compliance and tax managers can earn between €34,400 and €48,000.

Professionals possessing skills still in short supply locally, particularly software development, enjoy attractive earning potential. Senior project managers can earn up to €72,000, from an average €45,500. Expert level posts in technical architecture and business intelligence, expert level systems analysts, security analysts and software development team leaders could gross up to €55,000, although averages start at €34,700.

Top salaries for senior level web developers and system administrators hover around €38,000, with averages for the posts of €31,500 and €36,300. In entry level ranks, junior level diploma first line support agents earn an average €12,600 up to a potential €15,000.

‘Comparing salary figures for both IT and the financial sector, we’ve seen stabilisation for junior roles, with increases of about five per cent,’ Mr Camilleri told The Sunday Times. ‘In areas of specialisation, there were sharper increases with rates above eight per cent in areas like compliance, treasury, software quality analysis, fund controller and trusts.’