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Will runaway wage inflation hurt Luxembourg’s competitiveness moving forward?


Over the past weeks and months, I have had more than one client baulk at the salary expectations for certain roles here in Luxembourg. Particularly London based clients, are often astounded by the level of pay and benefits demanded by candidates for certain specific roles in PE/RE and Asset Management sectors. It seems these salaries are often in excess of those earned by the Senior Managers/Hiring teams in London and elsewhere.


There is little doubt that wages in the financial services sector have been increasing at a huge and perhaps unsustainable rate over the past number of years in Luxembourg. We have seen this across the board from junior to senior manager positions. Of course, wage inflation is not necessarily a bad thing for the recruitment/head hunting sector (I’m not complaining) or the job market as a whole. More important however is a buoyant and sustainable long-term job market.


Allied to the difficulties in finding the required skill set for certain mandatory legal/regulatory roles, is Luxembourg heading toward a tipping point in terms of competitiveness?  There are many competitor jurisdictions who would happily take some of the business coming Luxembourg’s way. Coming from Dublin myself, Europe’s other primary fund domicile, salaries are significantly lower for similar positions. Cost of living is more or less the same.


Perhaps the fiscal and regulatory benefits which FS firms and funds derive from Luxembourg out-weigh these hiring costs. Perhaps there is enough business to go around. Certainly, an issue which needs to be managed moving forward.


KR Recruitment is a boutique head hunting firm, operating in Luxembourg for 10 years. If you would like further advice on the marketplace, or to have an open discussion about your recruitment needs (without any obligation or commitment to move forward); feel free to contact me at any time.

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