Inevitably, the relocation topic comes up at board level with banks, law firms and other enterprises with a large exposure to Continental Europe. The decision to shift headquarters or major parts of the operation out of the UK and into other European capitals will be crucial. Companies will have to report on their plans to meet the challenges after the Brexit Referendum. Very soon, the senior management will be forced to come up with serious and detailed plans in the coming year how to cope with such new situation.
It is time to form a team which would need to give answers to much more targeted and focused questions. EDIFICIA Lawyers, being a Frankfurt based Law Firm specializes in Anglo-American companies. Bertrand Prell is a practicing lawyer with English and German professional roots and pleased to help. Despite the difference in language and a natural preference to English speaking countries such as Ireland, some may wish to consider a move to Frankfurt. Due to its cosmopolitan status, Frankfurt belongs to one of the more favored cities alongside Dublin, Amsterdam, Milan, Madrid and Paris.
Some large financial institutions including Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Barclays, JP Morgan and Standard Chartered are reported to move its post-Brexit EU headquarters to Dublin, Paris or Frankfurt. Indeed, interest is growing with UK & US financial services companies that require MiFID authorisation to do business in EU to consider Frankfurt as its headquarters or a strong presence in compliance with ECB-requirements.
BREXIT: More financial firms making plans to relocate staff and services: The speed at which UK financial firms are making plans to move some staff or part of their operations to mainland Europe ahead of the UK’s departure from the EU is increasing, according to analysis.
Frankfurt has increased in importance certainly on compliance issues due to the powers of the European Central Bank (ECB) located in Frankfurt. The proximity to the ECB is of significant benefit. The good infrastructure and recently finished office developments in the City lend themselves well to an influx of larger companies and banks. Some larger banks already have an operation in Frankfurt which may merely need to be extended to a full-fledged operation.
It is not only the financial institutions that are considering a move to Frankfurt.
Fintech companies are said to have shown an interest in relocating. A number of law firms have also expressed a need to set up or expand existing legal offices in Frankfurt. Globally operating recruitment agents would also need to show a presence in Frankfurt. So we talk about larger and smaller entities likewise.
Is there sufficient commercial office space to cope with the expected influx? There is currently 1,3 million sqm of vacant floor space available (https://www.frankfurt-main.ihk.de/images/broschueren/Gewerbemarktbericht%202016.pdf).
The availability of residential property will be a greater challenge as the City of Frankfurt expects an increase of its population by approximately 15000 people per year over the next ten years. Whether the residential property market can keep pace with this influx remains to be seen.