The business nucleus of Europe

By | Business
Around half of US companies in the top 250 have chosen London as their European base - credit via

More of the world’s largest companies make London their European home than any other city, according to new research from Deloitte. London also employs a larger percentage of high-skilled workers than New York, above the top five cities in Europe and North America. By these two measures, London has greater pre-eminence in Europe than New York enjoys in North America.

40% of the largest 250 companies, which are either European or have a European headquarters, are based in London. This compares with 8% in Paris and 3% in Madrid. Of the non-European companies in the 250, 60% have selected London as their European headquarters.

Angus Knowles-Cutler, London senior partner at Deloitte, said, “Measured by the locations of business headquarters, London is by far the leading commercial centre and business capital of Europe. The city is more central to the economy of Europe than New York is to the economy of North America and continues to attract the largest proportion of high-skilled talent.”

Deloitte has analysed the location of the global or regional headquarters of the world’s largest companies in Europe and North America. The firm also assessed the levels of high-skill employment in the leading five European and five North American business cities.

A comparison of high-skill employment in the leading five European and five North American cities shows that, in relative terms, London is again more vital to Europe than New York is to North America. London employs 46% of the five biggest cities’ combined total of high-skilled workers. In contrast, New York employs 31%.

Apart from London and Paris, global and regional European headquarters of the Top 250 are split fairly evenly between cities like Munich, Moscow, Madrid, Amsterdam and Brussels. All of the Australian, Brazilian and Mexican companies in the top 250 have their European headquarters in London.

Around half of US companies in the top 250 have chosen London as their European base, making the US the city’s largest source of inbound European headquarters, equivalent to 37% of all non-European companies with a base in London. Japan is the second biggest contributor with 29% and 15% of London-based European headquarters are Chinese companies.

A similar analysis of the location of regional headquarters in Asia is harder to carry out, however, it is clear that Asia is without one single city that has a comparable concentration of major businesses.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: “Successful global cities thrive on their capacity to draw in business, investment, talent and influence from around the world. London is the strongest city in Europe in this regard, it stands today as the fastest growing city in Europe and an unrivalled international hub for business. Long-term planning is essential to maintain and strengthen the city’s position as the greatest city in the world, and to ensure that those with high-level specialist skills continue to make London their home. This fascinating research by Deloitte contributes greatly to this discussion. I shall consider this report’s recommendations carefully as we plan for London’s continued prosperity.”

In light of all this information, Deloitte have made some recommendations for London so they can maintain this their position. They have suggested the strengthening of business links with education, to aid developing talent in London and the rest of the UK. In addition, they recommend appointing a Chief Talent Officer for London and implementing an intelligent visa system. They also fell that the UK should focus on infrastructure and housing needs.

Adding to this research from Deloitte, it has been announced this week that the UK is set to be the world’s fastest-growing major advanced economy this year according to an upgraded forecast from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

GDP is expected to increase by 2.9% this year, up from an earlier 2.4% prediction by the IMF. It puts Britain ahead of the USA on 2.8%, Canada at 2.3% and Germany on 1.7%. The new figures also upgrade UK growth for next year though they still predict it will be slower than this year.

What do you believe are the reasons why London is the home for so many global companies, for example the easy access to global markets? 


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