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Benelux Overtakes Dublin in the Fight for Brexit Business

11 July 2018

by Jessica Williams

Did you know just under 100 firms are actively exploring a move to Amsterdam as a result of Britain’s decision to leave the EU? Yes, Dublin may have proved popular for many in 2017, but it is the crown jewel of Benelux that is a real contender in the clash for Brexit Britain’s business.

Amsterdam has long been known for its favourable tax system, accessibility, highly skilled workforce and central location. After the dip in confidence in the London market, it’s no surprise 2017 saw 157 businesses shift offices to this prime destination on the continent. And while glimpses of a trading future post-Brexit are certainly encouraging movement, Benelux is providing its own compelling reasons for this grass-is-greener thinking.

Reports of numerous insurers leaving the capital for Belgium and Luxembourg show that the region is a safe prospect for expansion into the wider European market. Indeed, Lloyd’s firms are recruiting widely in Belgium, where change and IT teams are continually being deployed to support large-scale transformation projects. Meanwhile in Luxembourg, the presence of RSA, Hiscox, AIG, FM Global and other major insurers explain why the nation is rumoured to be running low on office space.

The Netherlands represents greater room and less competition than its sister nations – for now. 2018 will bring about the opening of two key regulatory firms’ Dutch footholds, amidst plans to maintain continuity of service for their European clients. Conversely, MS Amlin will build on its presence in Amsterdam by redomiciling in Belgium. Outside the insurance arena, RBS is in talks to move more business to the Dutch capital, while financial software giant Bloomberg has identified Amsterdam as the new home of its EU trading operations.

Alongside this heightened activity, we have noted huge demand for risk, compliance data analytics, quants and change management professionals across Benelux’s financial services and insurance spaces. Appetite for contractors is rising to accommodate project work, while regulatory experts with Brexit-adjacent experience become increasingly appealing prospects. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

To support this demand, Oliver James has been working closely with a portfolio of clients introduced to us by three of the Big 4 consultancy firms. They have enlisted us for our deep understanding of the region’s various candidate pools, skill sets and talent availability, while keeping complete discretion during what is, for many, a complex and transitional period in business. Given that we have mapped the markets comprehensively, we are well-placed to support prospective new entrants with the insights they need to fully realise a move to 2018’s most prominent European business destination.                                

For further insights on the post-Brexit market – or a confidential discussion regarding your plans – contact Jennifer Sol on +31208082098 or jennifer.sol@ojassociates.com.