London voted top city for global locations

International business leaders vote London top for locating global teams as city provides a mixture of creativity, teamwork and tech skills.

Office workers discuss at a computer
International business leaders have voted London the number one destination for companies to locate global teams despite Brexit uncertainty, according to a new report.

London seen as best for innovation and global teams

A survey of more than 450 senior executives at major companies in business districts across the globe found that 37 per cent regarded the UK capital as the best for innovation, as well as for the location for global teams.The report, published by the City of London Corporation and the City Property Association, said New York was second favourite, with support among 26 per cent of respondents, followed by Paris (20%) and Singapore (17%).Half of respondents adjudged collaboration across and within business teams as the most important factor in driving innovation, and 94 per cent scored London positively on this with 54 per cent rating it as ‘world leading’.

Collaboration across and within business teams drives innovation

Results of the survey are contained in the City Corporation’s annual research publication, ‘Locate, Create and Innovate: London in a Changing World’, which will be presented at global property exhibition, MIPIM, on March 14."As businesses undergo rapid transformation through technology, the research explores how recruitment, retention and business location decisions are informed by short- and long-term drivers of change and what this means for real estate and location decisions," said the London Loves Business website.

London possess a clustering of innovation and creativity

Catherine McGuinness, policy chair of the City of London Corporation, said, “With weeks to go until Britain officially leaves the European Union, London’s appeal as a global business hub is more important than ever."This data shows that businesses place a high value on the capital’s innovative cluster of talent and creative energy when it comes to making location decisions.“Firms across the board are becoming more and more technologically focused. In just five years, we have seen a 31 per cent increase in London’s information and communications jobs, while international workers make up 40 per cent of London’s highly-skilled tech workforce.“As the concentration of financial, professional services and TMT industries blend, it is vital that London continues to be the first to attract top talent. This is a vital factor alongside the City’s business landscape, commercial real estate, and mixed offering of flexible workspace, culture and lively public spaces, when it comes to ensuring its continuing appeal to domestic and international investors.”

Access to tech talent and soft skills are key to business

Findings in the report include:
  • Access to top talent is a key consideration in firms’ location decisions
  • As technological advances drive business, the need for human interactions, face-to-face meetings and relationships have become even more important
  • Almost three-quarters of companies in financial, insurance and professional services referred to the use of new technology as the key factor in determining whether a company is seen as innovative.
David Ainsworth, president of the City Property Association, commented, “Across all sectors, companies are using data and new technologies to drive growth and productivity. This report shows that the rise of tech is, counter-intuitively, increasing demand for workspace that encourages human interaction.“London’s property industry is rising to this challenge. In the City and across Central London the collaborative workplaces of the future are being built, alongside world-class public spaces and exciting cultural and retail experiences. This dynamism ensures that London is a world-leader in fostering innovation and attracting global business.”* The research among 459 global business leaders was conducted by FTI Consulting in January.
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