Post Brexit the UK has been subjected to significant negative press and has probably faced one of its most challenging 18-month periods. However, it remains one of the strongest financial centres and attractive to firms looking to expand their global presence.

Leading up to Brexit, a Freedom of Information request showed over 1400 firms had applied for an FCA license and nearly two thirds of these applications were from firms looking to establish their first presence in the UK. And the positivity seems to be continuing.

A City of London Corporation report earlier in 2022 rated London as the top global financial centre when compared to 6 other financial services centres, including leading players such as New York, Singapore, Frankfurt, and Paris. A further report highlighted London beating other key financial services centres including Dubai when it came to foreign investment in finance. The report also showed inflows of circa £600 million into 114 financial professional services projects, with investment in Fintech accounting for a third of all investments within the UK.

Why the UK?

The UK is still seen as a key innovator when it comes to financial services, and firms looking to expand into the UK benefit from the strong regulatory culture that has been formed under the FCA and PRA. In addition, there is an extensive talent pool of highly educated, skilled and experienced corporate governance professionals who are able to navigate businesses through the regulatory landscape.

In the last six months at Saxton Leigh, we have seen a significant increase in firms looking to open operations in the UK. We have been engaged on searches for roles including Chief Compliance Officer (SMF16), MLRO (SMF17), Chief Risk Officer (SMF4) and UK Branch Manager (SMF19). These instructions have come from a broad spectrum of the market and have included Asset Managers, Corporate Banks, Investment Banks, and Fintech firms.

In an ever-changing recruitment market, Saxton Leigh delivers dedicated recruitment and executive search solutions in both the UK & Europe, specifically focussing on the Corporate Governance and Legal markets. We help build out teams, source specialist individuals and provide an end-to-end recruitment service for both permanent and contract staff.

If you are considering opening or expanding your UK operations and would like to learn more about the UK corporate governance market including salary data, candidate availability and attraction, and prevailing trends I would be keen to arrange a confidential, no obligation conversation with you.

Talk to our specialist team 




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