Brexit looms large for European asset managers

Ireland and Luxembourg the preferred relocation options for wealth industry

IFSC and Dublin Port. Assets under management in the Republic are expected to grow to $8.2tn (€6.6bn) by 2025, according to Trish Johnston, PwC Ireland’s asset and wealth management leader. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

IFSC and Dublin Port. Assets under management in the Republic are expected to grow to $8.2tn (€6.6bn) by 2025, according to Trish Johnston, PwC Ireland’s asset and wealth management leader. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

Global asset and wealth management chief executives are confident on the whole about their companies’ growth prospects this year, but Brexit remains a key concern for the European industry, a survey by accountancy giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has found.

“We also know from our conversations with leading fund managers in Europe that Brexit is a major uncertainty for the industry,” said PwC’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (Emea) asset and wealth management leader Andrew O’Callaghan.

Most asset managers based in London have “advanced Brexit plans in place”, he said, with Ireland and Luxembourg the preferred destinations for any Brexit-inspired relocations.

‘Uncertainties’

Assets under management in the Republic are expected to grow to $8.2 trillion (€6.6 billion) by 2025, said Trish Johnston, PwC Ireland’s asset and wealth management leader.

“However, with the uncertainties caused by Brexit and other geopolitical challenges, we cannot be complacent.”

The prospect of greater regulation was identified as the sector’s greatest worry, with tax changes also high on the list of concerns. About two-thirds of the chief executives surveyed, meanwhile, said they were “somewhat or extremely concerned” about a perceived lack of digital skills in senior leadership and throughout their businesses.