5 Reasons Why Financial Services Can Feel Positive Post-Brexit

11 August 2016 by Jack Denison

3 minutes (648 Words)


Britain’s historic exit from the European Union left many of us reeling, sending shock-waves through the halls of financial institutions and businesses across the country. A sense of impending disaster and financial fear spread like wildfire. Would Great Britain, that economic and financial powerhouse, be cast back into the Dark Ages? What did it mean for us, for our clients and for our candidates? Social media was enjoying a serious heyday.

Well, it’s almost two months on, and we’re still here and doing fine. Yes, uncertainty lingers, but that thick cloud of doom is not only dissipating, but revealing some silver linings. As Leonhard Fischer, former CEO of BHF Kleinwort Benson Group, said in the FT recently: “The Brexit vote offers an opportunity to start afresh with a blank canvas.”

So to my colleagues, candidates and clients I would say grab that blank canvas with both hands, ignore the doom-mongers and focus on the positives. Brexit could mean new and exciting opportunities for all of us.

Looking on the bright side of Brexit

New roles will be created. With new legislation, new processes and new codes of conduct, a host of new roles will be created in organisations. While some jobs might be displaced or moved, change creates jobs. We must seize the new opportunities that come our way. It is interesting to note that Britain’s trade with the EU has actually been declining over the last 6 years (in spite of its membership) whilst its trade with the rest of the world has been growing robustly. This trend is likely to develop further as the UK seeks to sign bi-lateral trade agreements globally. In the medium-term we are likely to see the creation of Financial Services roles in that direction.

London will always be a Financial Services hotspot

European cities might be trying to lure businesses to Europe for cost-efficiencies, but these cities can’t compete with London, which is the leading hub for FinTech industries. Operations might be cheaper in places like Berlin, but the quality of candidates and capabilities can’t be rivalled.

Rumours of mass corporation exits are not what they seem

JP Morgan rocked the industry when it announced that it would move thousands of jobs to Europe if we left the European Union. The truth is, this was always part of their wider business vision. They are moving thousands of jobs to Europe, but they have also created new roles here in London and candidates are well placed to take advantage of this opportunity.

Technology, IT and change services are macro-proof

No matter what happens in politics, businesses will always need to generate revenue and review cost-efficiency practices and therefore will always have an appetite for candidates in technology, IT and change services. The market is healthy. Those jobs aren’t going anywhere.

Scratch the surface and people are positive

While the media might be spinning stories of doom, people on the ground are positive about the future of Britain post-European Union. What I’m seeing as a headhunter is overwhelmingly positive when it comes to what businesses are looking for and what they need. The market is healthy and innovation is thriving.

The more we move away from the panicky aftermath, and the more Brexit sinks in, the more we believe there are some serious opportunities to be seized. We feel positive not only about the future but about the current climate.

As Steve Grob, director of group strategy at Fidessa, points out: “The UK might be Brexiting, but it is not going away. In financial services it’s an integral part of the Eurozone, and financial services are at the heart of pretty much every other business.”

So, it’s only onwards and upwards from here.

If you found this insightful and want to read more on post-Brexit Britain, click here.

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Jack Denison

Director - Global Head of Executive Search and Interim Management