Post-Brexit, we should make London even more attractive to these entrepreneurs, with specific tax breaks and simplified administrative procedures. We should also be careful not to have new immigration rules which will push away the people we need to attract.
This drive should obviously include technology start-ups but also the thousands of listed UK and European SMEs, many of whom are stuck today because they cannot easily raise money as a result of European MIFID rules. Post-Brexit, London will be able to reverse this.
This three-pronged approach to maintaining the City’s leadership will require a coordinated effort. Trade bodies involved on these matters have generally been staggeringly unimaginative. Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, should form a commission comprised of a few City figures, entrepreneurs and officials from government and the Bank of England to think creatively about the future of the City.
Since the 2008 financial crisis, the public mood has oscillated between City bashing and silent mistrust, with governments too often following the zeitgeist.
We should put an end to this nonsense. More than ever, the British economy needs the City. The City can be a vector for substantial economic growth and positive change but for this, it needs to under go a kind of cultural revolution. The City needs to be more nimble and to put business creators at the centre of its model.
Daniel Pinto is the founder and chief of Stanhope Capital Group. He is also the founder of the New City Initiative, a think tank, and the author of Capital Wars – The New East-West Challenge For Entrepreneurial Leadership