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

Analysis of public statements has found that four in 10 wealth and asset managers have drawn up Brexit contingency plans.

Four in 10 wealth and asset management firms have publicly drawn up Brexit contingency plans. The analysis, carried out by consultancy EY, found that 22 out of 57 firms (39 per cent) are considering or have confirmed they are moving some of their operations and staff out of the UK.

Moreover, 14 of the 57 firms have confirmed at least one location, with Dublin and Luxembourg the two destinations of choice. The majority, though, appear to be staying put or have yet to put a firm contingency plan in place.

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.

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‘There will however be major structural shifts in relation to products and distribution to allow fund management houses to continue to serve their customers in the event of a hard Brexit, both in the UK and overseas.’

The impact of Brexit on the financial services industry remains unclear, with prime minister Theresa May earlier this year ruling out so-called passport rights for UK banks. To date a viable alternative for the financial services industry as a whole has not yet been forthcoming, leaving firms in limbo as to whether firms based in the UK will be able to sell their services to the rest of the European Union.

As well as considering moving some of their operations and staff out of the UK, fund and wealth firms (16 out of the 57) have put plans in place to make regulatory or structural changes to their products because of Brexit. These changes include creating overseas fund ranges and shifting investor money from UK to European vehicles.

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