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You are hereHome / How business and government can ensure London remains the home of business

Adam Cramer CEO and Partner

3 Oct 2019

We recently collaborated on the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) London Business Survey 2019. Wilson Wright CEO and Partner, Adam Cramer attended the launch day and also joined the podcast to share his views.

  • 77% of London businesses think financial education should be part of the national curriculum.
  • 66% are considering moving some or all of their operations elsewhere in Europe.
  • 98% think London’s political environment needs to improve.

According to the 2019 London Business Survey (LBS) 42% of firms believe London is ‘very attractive’ to UK business leaders, but only 29% believe London remains ‘very attractive’ to global business leaders – highlighting the fragility of the current political and business environment.

For our capital to remain globally competitive, the voice of London’s business community must be heard loud and clear. The LBS 2019 highlights the sentiment and top policy priorities for CBI’s London members, providing policymakers and businesses with guidance on how to ensure the capital’s continuing status as the home of business.

In partnership with Russell Reynolds Associates, Wilson Wright and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), the report aims to help both businesses and policymakers understand sentiment in the capital, the policy priorities that both the local and national government must address and the types of opportunities available in the city to ensure businesses continue to grow and thrive. Other themes explored include:

  • The city’s ability to attract and retain business leaders, both national and global, and the type of leadership we require to navigate this era of uncertainty and change.
  • How we can optimise the capital’s tech and finance opportunities and encourage innovation and growth.
  • What we can do to strengthen collaborations between London’s world-leading universities and businesses, enhancing knowledge exchange.

Listen to the podcast:

Findings include:

  • 74% of London firms say attracting and retaining talent and skills and increasing workplace diversity and inclusion are their top policy priorities, followed by 54% who prioritise the delivery of major capital infrastructure projects, including access to affordable housing and transport.
  • 87% of businesses see technology as a tool for achieving greater efficiency but 78% don’t always have sufficient in-house skills to assess and/or adopt new technologies.
  • 33% think a university’s expertise in a specific field, subject or area of research is – or would be – their primary driver to work with a university but the perceived complex administrative processes involved is the biggest barrier to collaboration (28%).

Recommendations include:

  • Avoid no-deal in London and secure a trade deal with the EU covering goods and services; protecting and developing London’s status as the business gateway to the UK.
  • Work with organisations, such as London and Partners, to promote business success stories and showcase London’s competitive advantages.
  • Reconsider the £30,000 immigration salary threshold to ensure London has access to skills and talent of all levels.
  • Support infrastructure projects to grow London’s connectivity, including the delivery of Crossrail 2, tube line upgrades and extensions and airport expansion and modernisation.
  • Ensure London’s executives can build genuine partnerships with government and help solve and develop policies alongside policymakers.
  • Enable young people to apply their skills to real-life situations through the curriculum and include development of digital skills in London’s Industrial Strategy.
  • Create a digital platform for university and business collaborations, advertising success stories and opportunities.
  • Commit to associate membership of Horizon Europe.

Member priorities include:

  • Promote your success stories and showcase London’s competitive advantages by working with organisations such as London and Partners.
  • Continue to work with both local and national government to find solutions to London’s most pressing problems and support consumers and employees by driving change and building confidence in new solutions.
  • Source strategic leaders for your business, who are able to navigate uncertainty. These leaders should be long-term thinkers and apply market and business insights to develop compelling strategies. They should also be able to pivot effectively between disruption and pragmatism.
  • Invest in your employees’ digital and financial skills, ensuring that your business has the ability to take advantage of emerging technologies and the changing financial and lending landscape.
  • Take advantage of London’s world-leading universities in a variety of ways, such as through secondments and placements and research projects or consultancy work. These partnerships can help enhance ‘work readiness’ in graduates and postgraduates and increase diversity of thought within your projects.