Fund firms & wealth managers draw up plans to relocate after Brexit

Why they should not neglect the well-being of their affected staff

By: Christine Hall GMS, Managing Director


A recent report has revealed that 4 in 10 wealth and asset management firms have drawn up Brexit contingency plans. The analysis carried out by consultancy EY found that 22 out of 57 firms (39%) are considering or have confirmed they are moving some of their operations and staff out of the UK.

And 14 of the 57 firms have confirmed at least one location, with Dublin and Luxembourg the two destinations of choice. The majority, though, appears to be staying put or have yet to put a firm contingency plan in place. These findings chime with the soundings that my own firm has taken.

Gill Lofts, UK head of wealth and asset management at EY, says: ‘In terms of relocating staff, the impact of Brexit on the asset management industry appears less pronounced than on investment banking. But moves are inevitable, and as expected, Dublin and Luxembourg look set to be the major beneficiaries.

In practice, getting staff to relocate to EU locations like Dublin and Luxembourg may prove more challenging in practice than it might appear on paper! Both cities have red-hot housing markets with demand far exceeding supply. That challenge can be overcome with rental search support. However, persuading people to leave London may take some doing! People LOVE living in London for all the obvious reasons.

So part of the planning process should involve identifying the right people to move. Once you think you’ve done that, it’s a good idea to have a relocation professional have an early conversation with each of them to confirm that these individuals are likely to result in successful relocations. Failed relocations are VERY expensive for businesses and this usually comes down to selecting the wrong candidates. A skilled third-party professional will be good at smoking out hidden issues at an early stage. That this is done successfully is in the best interests of both the business and the employee.

And it’s very much in the best interests of the business to care a lot about the well-being of the staff that have been earmarked for the moves. Unhappy employees are never as productive as happy ones. Accordingly, the careful consideration of and support for their well-being should continue beyond the selection process right through the move and beyond. It’s a wise investment for the business to make and, in the scheme of things, the cost involved is minimal.

My team has been helping banks and financial firms successfully relocate key staff internationally for more than 30 years. If you’d like to learn more about our services call us on +44 20 7590 2700. You can email me at or you can call my office via our US number 1 239 530 1865.

Please do get in touch if you require further info.

Thanks again to Saunders 1865 team for such great support and ongoing commitment to making sure Ashleigh, Lola and myself were well looked after during our residency in the UK. Truly a great experience working with such a dedicated and customer friendly group.

Scott Ellman, New York