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Will Goodhart, CFA UK

EU nationals in UK investment management industry on the move post-Brexit, says CFA survey

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Only 42 per cent of EU nationals currently working as investment management professionals in the UK plan to continue working in the country post-Brexit, according to a new survey carried out by CFA Society UK.

Some 16 per cent of the more than 1,100 respondents to the poll plan to leave while the remainder are undecided.
 
These results are a clear sign of the uncertainty and disillusionment in the profession surrounding the expected repercussions of the Referendum result for the UK market. An overwhelming 91 per cent of EU respondents indicated that they consider the competitiveness of the UK as a financial centre to have deteriorated, compared to 71 per cent of British respondents. Rating the extent to which Brexit has had a direct negative impact on their perception of working in the UK, EU nationals also awarded an average score of 7/10.
 
Brexit is further dissuading EU nationals from encouraging others to accept positions in Britain: only 15 per cent said that they would encourage non-UK citizens to come and work in the UK now.
 
By contrast, a high proportion of investment professionals from non-EU countries still envisage a future working in the UK. Eighty-one percent of British investment management professionals indicated in the survey that they plan to continue working in the country following Britain’s departure from the EU, and 69 per cent of those holding non-EU international passports indicated the same. The vast majority of the latter (80 per cent) are nationals of Asian and North American countries.
 
Despite uncertainties about the future of the profession in light of Brexit, 48 per cent of British investment management professionals polled also stated that they would encourage non-UK citizens to work in the UK; whilst still less than half of the British respondents, this is over triple the percentage for EU nationals.
 
Respondents’ views are likely to have been impacted by their sense of job security in the current climate. According to the survey, 60 per cent of British nationals feel that their job is secure, followed by 52 per cent of non-EU international employees and only 43 per cent of EU nationals.
 
Will Goodhart, chief executive of CFA Society UK, says: “While many of the outcomes of Brexit remain unclear, we can certainly expect a change in the profile of the investment management workforce in the UK. Many EU professionals working here intend to move to other markets once Britain has left the European Union, and we may see this increasing over the coming months.
 
“The resulting fall in the representation of EU nationals will be a huge loss for the UK market and it is crucial to minimise this as much as possible. Currently, an even greater number of EU professionals are unsure about the future. It will be vital to resolve the issues impacting the City post-Brexit quickly and favourably in order to retain those that are undecided about their plans. If the City doesn’t attract and retain the best talent from all regions, its ability to serve clients and the end investor will be weakened.”  

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