Sunday 05, November 2017 by Jessica Combes

MENA pensions conference links employee benefits with business performance and profitability


TAKAUD, a specialist provider of pensions, savings, and investment solutions for the MENA region, has announced that Claudia Maldonado will lead its HR session on “How to make your employees love their benefits” at the 2017 MENA Pensions Conference taking place on 28 November 2017.

The session deals with effective employee engagement for business success, a subject that is new to the MENA region and which is headlining HR initiatives among leading employers and practitioners globally. Conference registration is free, with an agenda of significant interest to HR directors, managers, remuneration and benefits specialists and finance managers.

Maldonado is Head of Regional Business Development with Mercer Middle East and has spent 18 years with leading international providers in the areas of employee benefits. She was directly involved in the design, administration and promotion of employee benefit programmes and headed a company dedicated to their promotion with SMEs in South Africa.

“With all the businesses I got involved with, SMEs or large corporates, local companies or multinationals, the appetite for employee benefits varied. Some employers took a paternalistic approach and provided benefits wanted and considered fair by employees. Other employers introduced “minimum” benefits to discharge a perceived obligation. There is a case for improved employee engagement where employers design their employee benefits as part of their overall HR strategy. And we have seen that improved employee engagement lends itself to improved productivity which contributes to business sustainability,” Maldonado said.

She explained that there is a connection between employee benefits and business productivity, but it’s probably one that most organisations do not necessarily measure. Few businesses consider connecting benefits to business outcomes and productivity.

“A growing number of employers recognise the importance of supporting the needs of their employees, with financial wellness as a core pillar of total well-being. These organisations understand that when employees are comfortable with their ability to meet their financial obligations, they are more likely to be productive and well engaged at work,” she added.

Organised by TAKAUD, under the patronage of the Central Bank of Bahrain, the MENA Pensions Conference is a regional platform for thought leadership and information exchange on employee savings and pensions, pension investments, employee benefits administration and employee engagement. The Conference will take place at the Four Seasons Hotel in Bahrain.

“We are thrilled to have someone of Ms. Maldonado’s calibre, experience and dynamism to speak on this important issue at this year’s MENA Pensions Conference. We believe that the themes and information she will deliver can make a difference to businesses and SMEs in our region. In fact, it can also be of interest to larger corporations who are already doing the right things but who need to make the links to productivity and performance much clearer and stronger,” said Ebrahim K. Ebrahim, Conference Chairman.

Along with a number of national and international institutions, the conference is sponsored by Tamkeen, the Dutch asset management firm Robeco, the financial services company Allianz Global Investors, the world’s largest global provider of financial services technology FIS, the global provider of talent, retirement and health solutions AON Hewitt, the international trust and corporate management company Intertrust, and CEM Benchmarking UK Ltd., a provider of benchmarking information for large pools of capital.