"The UK needs to get serious about protecting financial services after Brexit"

Brexit & My Business: LMAX Exchange Group CEO David Mercer believes there are huge international opportunities for industrious UK firms.

by Management Today Staff
Last Updated: 14 Oct 2019

Management Today has been speaking to bosses about how they’re preparing for the big day - whenever that may be. This week it’s David Mercer, CEO of  London based electronic foreign exchange firm LMAX Exchange Group.

"As a UK-headquartered global financial services business we have moved to diversify by buying a regulated broker in Europe earlier this year. This will permit us to trade through the EU should UK firms lose passporting rights, even in the event of a no-deal Brexit. We have also been investing in our Asia Pacific business to gain access to fast growing markets. 

"Regardless of the Brexit outcome, we need to fight to preserve what has made the UK a great place to do business, exemplified by London’s place at the epicentre of global finance. London is a nexus for global, highly qualified talent across disciplines, making it attractive for both banking behemoths and start ups alike.

David Mercer

"Taking LMAX as an example - we employ people from 26 countries, attracting talent from the worlds of financial services, technology and engineering. The market opportunity, availability of capital, robust regulatory environment and high level of financial services activity are also key contributors to Britain’s position as a global financial and fintech hub.

"This infrastructure will not evaporate overnight. However, the UK government need to get serious about protecting the financial services sector, one of the UK’s truly world class industries. In an ideal world this means keeping single passporting rights for financial services, which is vital for the continued success of the industry. 

"Mitigating any short-term Brexit downside is paramount, but businesses of all sizes will be planning for the long-term too. I think the opportunities are boundless. 

"The UK, one of the world’s deepest, most cost-efficient and well-regulated capital markets, with world class law firms, insurance and consultancies, has serious pulling power. We have the opportunity to deepen ties with the world’s most dynamic economies, from the US and China, to India and Mexico. 

"Asia represents a real and compelling opportunity for UK-based financial services companies. In the foreign exchange space, the abundance of sovereign currencies, coupled with the fact that FX is essential not only for large multinationals, but also for tens of millions of migrant workers, means that competition from expert, well-run and well-regulated British firms, who can marry innovation with robust technology, will be embraced. 

"The threat of the unknown is a worry for any business leader, but it’s incumbent upon all of us to find a way to grow and protect our commercial interests. Amidst this lack of clarity, I truly believe there will be opportunities, even if it means veering off the well-trodden path."

Image credits

Header: Peter Macdiarmid / Staff

Body: LMAX Exchange Group


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