With the Prime Minister having submitted the paperwork to enact Article 50 last week, the question on all our clients’ lips is: what does the next two years – and beyond – hold for the industry?
While no-one has the crystal ball that will give the answer to that question, there are some things that we can be confident in:
#1 The media will continue to exaggerate everything
Heard the one about the major financial institution sending thousands of jobs to Frankfurt? In January, we heard that Goldman Sachs was considering relocating up to half of its workforce out of London. Fast forward to last week, and the figure is more like hundreds – and it became clear that the firm is also planning to bulk up its European presence with local hires – not just with London transfers. Growth in Europe doesn’t necessarily equate to a reduction in London.
This is just one example, but as ever, it’s wise to take the reportage with a grain of salt and read beyond the headlines.
#2 Business was evolving before the vote and will continue to do so after we leave
Another thing that’s been glossed over in reporting about businesses decamping from the UK is that many of these plans were in the offing well before the idea of Brexit reached the national stage.
As organisations grow in size and complexity, the way they hire is rapidly evolving – cloud computing and the increasing digitalisation of the industry means that decentralising from London has become a far more viable and efficient option in the last few years. Globally, businesses are looking to create efficiencies by outsourcing and offshoring. The nature of the roles is changing, but there is always demand for top finance talent in the City.
#3 It’s unlikely that the UK will go down the deregulation route
With the credit crunch still a recent memory, it’s highly unlikely that there will be a move towards deregulation following Brexit, as some have suggested – in fact, we might see even more regulations arise from the move.
Far from turning the UK into another island tax haven, parliament is already proposing a bill that would transfer thousands of EU regulations into UK law, with likely many more to follow. This means we’re likely to continue seeing a high demand for talented compliance professionals.
#4 A lot can happen in two years
Since Danos Associates opened its doors in 2004, we have seen seismic changes in the finance industry, from the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the subsequent domino effect across Wall St and the City, to the heightened scrutiny of the Financial Services Act that followed.
It’s safe to say that no-one wants more changes of this kind – and in an industry as valuable as financial services, it’s likely that it will be kept protected from major upset.
#5 Uncertainty = opportunity
When we speak to our clients, one thing is clear – and that’s that nothing is clear. No-one is sure what’s going to happen next; some clients are cautious and risk averse, while others are more optimistic about the possibilities and opportunities. But it’s often out of these challenging circumstances that businesses thrive, and that the talent and ingenuity of their people shine.
We are confident that demand for the best financial services talent to navigate this period of change will be highly competitive.
The bottom line as the clock begins to tick towards April 2019 is that optimistic pragmatism is the order of the day. Whatever happens beyond the UK’s exit from the Union will bring exciting challenges to the financial services industry.
Danos Associates is a boutique financial services recruitment firm, working with blue chip financial institutions to meet their compliance, risk, and legal recruitment needs. To start a conversation about your talent requirements, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or +(0) 20 3542 1605