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The Business Professional and Financial Services (BPFS) industry is at the core of the Greater Birmingham region, with 30% of Birmingham’s firms in this sector and over 300 company headquarters located in Birmingham, particularly the city centre. It is the largest regional (BPFS) hub in the UK, bringing in £23 billion (25% of GVA).
Deutsche Bank AG is a German global banking and financial services giant with its headquarters in Frankfurt. It has more than 100,000 employees in over 70 countries, and a large presence in Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and the emerging markets.
Deutsche Bank opened its first office in Birmingham in late 2006, initially with 30 employees. Since that first investment it has become the region’s largest foreign owned financial services company, employing over 1000 staff in a range of roles in technology, support operations and increasingly front office functions.
The Birmingham office now services 500 clients that were previously handled in London across debt, listed derivatives and cash equities, which have generated a 150% increase in profit, and has plans to double its staff levels in the near future.
DTZ’s history dates back to 1784 when the founding predecessor firm, Cheshire Gibson was established in Birmingham. Since then, the company has become a global leader in property services, providing occupiers and investors around the world with industry leading, end-to-end property solutions.
In 2013 DTZ chose to establish its EMEA Financial Control European Centre of Excellence in Birmingham’s Colmore Business District. The critical mass of accountancy talent in Birmingham, coupled with the region’s multi-lingual capabilities (more language graduates than anywhere in the UK and 55,000 commuting multi-linguists), enabled the company to consolidate operations from across the UK, Germany, France and Poland.
The project demonstrated the complete package that the region offers, especially in relation to companies that need to service an international client base at both an SME and corporate level.
A growing American law firm that chose Birmingham for its new UK legal centre and announced that it will open a 20 lawyer office in the city. The firm plans to grow to 100 staff citing employment and real estate costs as the reason for the move.
The firm looked at 11 locations around the UK before opting for Birmingham. The office is expected to open in September 2014. All of the lawyers will be hired locally, with Bright pointing out that Hogan Lovells wanted to go somewhere where the talent pool was sufficiently large to find both the quality and quantity of fee earners required.
And while the Birmingham base is certainly designed to save money, Bright says it is also about winning new business. The expectation is that giving clients the option of using the low-cost centre will land the firm new panel appointments.
Building on its Black Country heritage dating back to 1897, George Green LLP has grown to be one of the region’s leading law firms serving both businesses and individuals within the Greater Birmingham region.
The Cradley Heath based firm has recently opened a further office in Wolverhampton, well placed to support increased economic activity around the i54 Enterprise Zone, home to Jaguar Land Rover’s new engine plant.
Senior Partner, Paul Bennett cites location as integral to the firm’s success.
“The gravitational pull for professional services in cities outside of the capital is now greater than ever. The pool of young and ambitious talent consciously developing careers locally is growing. Local diversity is a real asset in a globalised market.”
“We have lower operating costs than many of our competitors and we are accessible with infrastructure benefits of close rail and motorway links. It’s a recipe for success.”
thecitysecret is an established software engineering and consultancy company working with top tier financial institutions across the financial centres of Geneva, London and Moscow. Opening its Brindleyplace office in the region in 2013, the operation is revolutionising the sector through the development of the Hārchvӓrd platform – which puts powerful tools into the hands of any team managing alternative assets. This is achieved by having all assets in one place, both liquid and illiquid and managed through an easy to use application.