11 Jul 2019
London: the city open to trade, talent, business and ideas
London and the UK continue to be prosperous and diverse business hubs, that was the key message to the 120 senior business and political leaders who attended the recent annual Summer Reception hosted by Investec and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, praised the hard work done by London's businesses to establish the UK capital as a thriving business hub: “Thank you for making London what it is, the city is open to talent, open to trade, business and ideas”.
The key topics of the night included the City of London's historical resilience in the face of adversity, which in turn has led it to becoming a springboard for businesses around the UK. Khan underpinned this by praising the hive of world-class talent that London holds and set the tone for the evening by crediting the city’s success to businesses aiming for "profit with purpose".
Making your presence felt
Investec’s Head of Corporate and Investment Banking, Chris Meyer, who introduced the event, praised London in his opening remarks; "London is well positioned as one of the world’s leading global financial services centres, and for Investec, that was critical for establishing a banking business. While the business landscape continues to be impacted by economic volatility, the City of London has been around for centuries, enduring various challenges and events to survive, so any short-term challenges will be taken in its stride."
London is an ideal home for us as we continue to support businesses on their growth journeys- as they evolve from small start-ups into multi-billion-pound businesses.
Driving business success around the UK
London can be a spring board for enhancing business’ success across the UK as well; “London-based banks and other financial services businesses play an important role in helping companies across the UK grow – Investec is privileged to support a wide range of businesses nationwide and internationally.”
The capital has proven to hold the right ingredients to start a business, culminating in a third of UK businesses,1 ranging from start-ups to large global companies, residing in London or the South East (1.1 million in London and 874,000 in the South East). Meyer continued: “London is an ideal home for us as we continue to support businesses on their growth journeys - as they evolve from small start-ups into multi-billion-pound businesses. In fact, we are proud to have recently been awarded £15m from Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) that will help us further enhance our support for UK business.”
The reality of urbanisation means that more people are moving to cities, so we need to plan for that growth
Urbanisation is the catalyst for "world-class" talent
When posed the question as to what the Mayor can do to continue London’s business prosperity, Khan focused on the quality of lives for Londoners: “The reality of urbanisation means that more people are moving to cities, so we need to plan for that growth.”
This feeds into the pool of world-class talent that London offers, which is arguably what the city’s success is built on. Its people and culture set it apart, however this is a factor that still needs to evolve: “Inclusive skill building needs to be addressed in the next few years, and I feel that this is a partnership between business and government” Khan explained.
All quotes were taken from the recent CBI Summer Reception (4 July) held at the Investec offices at 30 Gresham Street.
1. Rhodes, Chris. Business statistics, briefing paper, House of Commons Library, 12 December 2018