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Brexit

GFC Podcast episode 6: The British financial industry post Brexit

The British financial industry post Brexit: Hoping for equivalence – or move to the EU straight away? That is the topic of the latest, 6th episode of GFC (not the ,Global Financial Crisis‘) Podcast. The Brexit deal announced by the British government and the EU Commission on Christmas Eve largely excludes services – and with it the powerful British financial services industry with its immense share in economic output, tax revenue and employment. Especially for the British fund industry, which manages by its own record more than GBP 8.5 trillion in assets, a treaty with the EU about the future of financial services post Brexit is essential. However, the European Union doesn’t seem to be in a hurry with that … and every day without an agreement drives more business, firms, and staff to Europe – and unsettles British investment managers increasingly. You can find more information in our article in German or English.

This podcast is in German.

Length of this podcast: 14:20 min.

British financial sector post Brexit: hoping for equivalence – or move to the EU straight away?

The United Kingdom and the European Union want to sign a “Memorandum of Understanding” by the end of March, which should determine how the financial services industry will proceed after Brexit. While the UK hopes that its regulations will also be recognised as equivalent on the continent, a level playing field seems to be more important for the EU. Every day without an agreement drives more business, firms, and staff to Europe – and unsettles British investment managers increasingly.

Things are not looking good for the UK as an international financial hub. While the Brexit deal may have been an unexpected Christmas present for some Brits, for many it is turning into a national tragedy. Enervated hauliers, angry fishermen and ripped-off online shoppers from the United Kingdom (UK) may soon be joined by relocating employees in financial services firms. The sales manager of a London investment boutique put it succinctly in a phone call with me the other day: “Down the line, if you want to work in the EU, you need the local licence.” Ergo, his employer is intensively looking for a location on the European mainland.

Considerations, like those of this asset manager with its tens of billions in assets under management, are being made by more and more investment houses on the Thames that do not (yet) have a branch in the European Union (EU). The post-Brexit period is a grey area for many of them as long as there is no separate agreement between the UK and the EU. But that may be a long time coming. Continue Reading

The fish, the finances and the last act in the Brexit drama

The (for the time being) final curtain in the Brexit drama is rising these days, but it does not look like a good ending for the British financial and fund industry. Until recently, the biggest opportunity seemed to be “Fish for Finance“. But that is unlikely to happen. British financial firms are sitting on dry land if they do not have their own branch in the European Union by now (read the whole article as a PDF). Until the cancellation of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson last Friday, “Fish for Finance” – a possible trade between fishing rights for EU fishing boats in British waters on one hand and access for British financial products to the European Union on the other – looked quite promising. Haddock for funds or cod for derivatives, so to speak. Continue Reading

The quiet before the Brexit storm (infographic)

Unease within the British investment industry is increasing: Facing the threat of a „No Deal“-scenario there are continuous speculations about the extent of (anticipated) asset outflows due to Brexit, which companies are going to leave and how many employees they will take with them. Since the referendum the media, investment managers and national trade associations have their finger on the industry’s pulse. They predict: Small investment boutiques without any European representation will be hit particularly hard (article as PDF file) Continue Reading

Big Brexit and small businesses: How to prepare for the unpredictable?

Monkey sitting on a wooden sign with a warning that it is dangerous to feed animalsA couple of days ago I had an argument with my wife in the kitchen. It was, once again, about Brexit. The day before, Theresa May had received a serious slapping by the joint heads of the EU in Salzburg. I had been agonising for some time about what Brexit would possibly mean for us personally, but also for our business as a specialised PR consultancy (of course, I had written an outline of a few pages about it). When I asked my wife to read the outline, she said, while spooning sugar in her tea, “Well, we’ve really got no idea at all what’s going to happen”.

“This is exactly why we have to think about possible scenarios”, I responded.

“But that’s changing every day now! You’re just wasting your time and energy!”

“And that’s exactly why!”

“But what on earth are you going to prepare for!?”

And so it went on …  thank goodness, the steak knives were already in the dishwasher.

At some point we both agreed that we didn’t know any more than all the other owners of small (and big) businesses who don’t sit at the negotiation table in Salzburg, Brussels or London. Also, that it is extremely difficult to plan for a ‘no deal’ exit from the EU in the face of all these, quite frightening scenarios and questions: (How) Will future services for clients in the EU be taxed? Will it be necessary to provide additional qualifications or licences to do business with clients in the EU? What will be the legal status of EU foreigners in the United Kingdom with a company which is registered in England and Wales? Continue Reading

Brexit scenario planning for PR practitioners

CIPR - Brexit scenario planning rport front page_Page_1What does a successful Brexit result look like from a UK perspective? And how do PR practitioners prepare their clients and organisations for different Brexit scenarios? These were the tasks for a group of 18 PR professionals who met in London end of May for the second “Brexit scenario planning” of the PR industry association Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR). As a Member of the CIPR, I participated in this session, as well, and discussed with colleagues of different institutions about “worst case”, “best case” and “most likely” scenarios. Not surprisingly, the findings for the “most likely scenarios” were not acceptable to the participants in the end. So the groups drew out implications for public relations practice to prepare for Brexit and carry out damage control. Read the complete report of the session here.

Europe in challenging times: Panel discussion in the British Embassy in Berlin

Podiumsdiskussion in der Brit. Botschaft in Berlin (167A4042)It seems to be a platitude that Europe is going through challenging times – in the face of ever so obvious disparities between the Northern and the Southern states, the upcoming exit of Great Britain from the European Union (Brexit) and the ongoing pressure through low interest rates in the eurozone. But which effect do these political and economical centrifugal forces have on pensions in Germany? What are the consequences for independent financial advisors and their clients? Standard Life Deutschland followed these questions in a top-class panel discussion in Berlin which was jointly organised by the British insurer and the British Embassy. Among the participants on the podium were Wolfgang Bosbach, former MP of the CDU and pension expert; Prof. Dr. Clemens Fuest, president of the economic think tank ifo Institut; and Sir Gerry Grimstone, Chairman Standard Life Aberdeen plc. Gerle Financial Communications supported Standard Life in prearing the event with regards to the content.

The last fund manager of London − a post-Brexit Sci-Fi short story

baroudeur regardant le coucher de soleilIt’s the year 2023 and Brexit negotiations have gone terribly wrong. As a consequence, the UK has dismembered itself, an exodus of firms from London to mainland Europe has taken place − and the Shetland Islands are now in third place behind Luxembourg and Ireland for the registration of new funds. A short story by Hagen Gerle, Gerle Financial Communications.

A picture from a family holiday in Cornwall, the 2020 stand-up metal award for ‘Best British Alternative Asset Manager (over 3 yrs.)’, a copy of a runners’ magazine – there weren’t many personal belongings left that Adam had to put in his cardboard box this morning. Most of the other stuff had already made its way into his small flat where the big removal boxes were piled up against the wall, or he had simply chucked them in the bin. ‘Travel light’, he told himself. ‘You’ll buy what you need in Helsinki.’ Continue Reading

Should I stay or should I go? (infographic)

GFC - Infographic Financial services firms on the move due to Brexit_ENG (07-03-2017)While the public is waiting for the British government to begin exit talks with the European Union, many companies within the financial services industry are already preparing for a “hard Brexit” and subsequently the potential loss of free access of their services and products into the EU: Around 10,000 jobs in the British financial industry, mainly based in London, are scheduled to be relocated to another member state of the EU ─ many more are likely to follow.

This is the result of a media survey of the British and German press for the period of 20 January to 1 March 2017, done by Gerle Financial Communications. Our infographic shows the relocation of jobs by financial companies and institutions in question, as it has been announced in the media. Estimates by different think tanks and consultants for the number of jobs the City might lose due to the Brexit, range from 30,000 to 85,000 jobs.

Brexit: Don’t loose sight of your own strategy

EU map without BritainSince the unfortunate British decision to leave the European Union, chaos in Westminster has grown, nervousness in the EU has risen and uncertainty among companies and consumers on both sides of the Channel is spreading. In times like these, it is important to keep a clear head and not to loose sight of your own strategy. Having lived and worked in the UK for five years now, I can only confirm that. Should you, as a result of Brexit, feel a stronger need for consultancy about your communication with private and institutional investors and with journalists, let’s have a chat. From my (British) perspective I can offer you an alternative point of view and provide you with the appropriate Public Relations measures.