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London’s Resilience Shines: Major Investment Firms Bet On UK’s Financial Hub

Andreessen Horowitz chooses London as its international base, highlighting the city's strengths amid Brexit and pandemic challenges.

Following Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, the U.K. economy was expected to shrink. And it did. However, major investment firms haven’t given up on London.

For example, Andreessen Horowitz picked London as its international base. “This is a win for us,” said London & Partners’ head of fintech and cyber David Butcher.

“The strengths of London remain unaltered, whether we are a part of the European Union or not,” he added. “Our talent pool remains robust, and we continue to serve as a global financial hub, ideally situated in terms of geography and time zones for conducting business in Europe.”

London & Partners, the business growth and economic development agency supported by London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, is tasked with finding ways to make London’s economy stronger for longer. Its programs like ‘Grow London Global’ and predecessors, including the Mayor’s International Business Programme, have added approximately £3 billion to London’s economy and 80,000 jobs.

Following Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, the U.K. economy was expected to shrink. And it did. However, major investment firms haven’t given up on London. PHOTO BY SABRINA MAZZEO/UNSPLASH

The pitch is simple: choose London as your base, and let London & Partners help you with much of the rest, including establishing connections with financiers, policymakers, and diverse talents, some of whom have studied at several of the city’s prestigious universities.

“We’re one of the most connected global cities in the world with six international airports and high-speed links into Europe,” Butcher says. “We’ve got a financial center equivalent to New York, Silicon Valley’s technology, and Washington’s policymakers all within a 15-minute journey on public transportation.”

The idea of a 15-minute city means that everything a person needs should be within a 15-minute walk or cycle from any point in the city.

Andreessen Horowitz isn’t alone. Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners have set up shop searching for the next Monzo or Revolut — both based in London.

London & Partners also work with regulators to balance innovation and job creation with desires for protection and transparency.

“There are so many exciting developments in fintech,” Butcher emphasized, highlighting noteworthy initiatives such as the UK’s new investment vehicle supporting growth-stage fintech companies. Additionally, there is a concerted effort to position the U.K. as a global crypto hub, complete with an innovative sandbox approach to regulation. “The EU brought in the Markets in Crypto Assets or MiCA regulation, and I think we see the U.K. regulate around crypto assets sometime in the next 12 to 18 months.”

This renewed optimism comes at a crucial time, especially after the disheartening news that fintech investment in the U.K., like in many other regions, experienced a more than 50% decline in the first half of 2023. For those London-based companies determined to navigate the economic challenges ahead, London & Partners’ trade programs offer comprehensive support across various areas, from immigration to setting up a UK entity and recruiting. The best part? Programs like ‘Grow London Global’ are free, bespoke, and confidential.

Produced in association with Benzinga

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