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London Top Choice for European Businesses

London Top Choice for European Businesses

London is home to more companies’ European headquarters than any other city, according to new research from Deloitte. What keeps the capital so popular?

Most Londoners will say there’s something very special about the capital, but it seems that the world’s big businesses would agree with them. According to new research from Deloitte, London really is the business capital of Europe.

Taking the Fortune Global 500 as its source, the study found that four out of every ten of the world’s top companies have chosen to set up shop in the capital with the European headquarters. For comparison, second-place Paris is home to just eight per cent, while three per cent are located in Madrid. Removing firms based across the continent from the picture, London’s dominance is even more convincing – 60 per cent of non-European firms that had European headquarters had selected the capital as their base.

On the one hand, a good supply of skilled labour has contributed to London’s success.

Of the five biggest European business centres in the study, 46 per cent of the total skilled workforce was concentrated in the UK capital. That makes it more significant for Europe than New York is for North America – the US city is home to 31 per cent of skilled workers in the region’s five biggest cities for business.

“London is an extremely attractive city for businesses and individuals for various reasons – easy access to global markets, an adaptable working environment and a stable political environment that is supportive of business,” says Angus Knowles-Cutler, London senior partner at Deloitte.

That will be reassuring for many businesses, since only last month the Financial Times reported that London was toppled from its number one position in the Z/Yen Group’s Global Financial Centres Index, having seen its ratings drop further than any of its rivals. Instead, it was overtaken by New York.

As far as analysts were concerned there were several reasons for this, including uncertainty over the UK’s future as part of the EU and diminished confidence in the wake of the Libor scandal.

There are plenty of financial institutions in the Fortune Global 500 who may have been spooked by these events, but they certainly don’t seem to be going anywhere. For now, it seems that London remains attractive to businesses from around the world – as long as it attracts the talent to meet their needs.


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