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Millennials on Wall Street have been turned off London after Brexit

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Millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers don't always see eye to eye when it comes to Brexit.

Millennial Wall Street professionals are divided over whether working in London is a good bet after the EU referendum vote. The majority would still move to the City for the right opportunity, but it’s as close a call as the actual Brexit vote.

43% of Millennial financial services professionals who responded to an eFinancialCareers survey on Brexit career prospects said they’d still take a job in London. However, 40% said they wouldn’t consider a move to the City for a new job. Compare that to the older generation and it’s a worry for banks who rely on a steady stream of young talent from across the globe. 51.3% of American finance professionals aged 34-50 said they would take a job in London if it were offered, whereas only 18% said no (the rest were undecided).

In theory, this isn’t a huge worry for companies in the City. Figures from our own CV database suggest that just 5% of total candidates in either M&A/investment banking or markets functions within investment banks in London come from the U.S. However, of this proportion, 51% of those in M&A and 50% of those in markets have less than five years’ experience.

In other words, U.S. financial services professionals being hired by investment banks are disproportionately juniors in their 20s. And this is the group most likely to shun London the wake of the Brexit vote.

“I am less inclined to think of London as a future financial hub,” said one Millennial who said they had no desire to work in London. “London will be smaller and may no longer be the undisputed European capital of finance,” said another.

In theory, Brexit presents an opportunity for American’s looking for a job in the City. As we’ve mentioned previously, if banks no longer find it as easy to hire from the European Union, they’re likely to extend the search for roles internationally and inevitably this means that more U.S professionals could be in the running.

And there is still a lot of positive sentiment coming from the U.S. towards jobs in the UK. “A good job offer in an amazing city at a time when house prices might crash? As a millennial this could work well for me. Worst-case scenario I just leave again in a couple of years, but that’s the nature of the workplace these days anyway,” said one.

“I still love London and believe the EU held the UK back,” said another.

The problem for London, more than anything, is the ongoing uncertainty created by Brexit. Many Wall Street professionals believe that the visa restrictions on U.S. citizens entering the UK will remain as tough regardless of the talent hole created by a potential exodus of EU citizens. Others think that inaction by the UK government on securing passporting rights to the EU could gradually chip away at its standing as a financial centre and impact it’s appeal in the long-run.


Photo caption: Ulrik Tofte/GettyImages

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