I’m a Bulgarian citizen with an EU passport. I was educated in the U.S. but now I live in the UK and work at a brokerage in London. I was not allowed to vote, but I would have voted ‘Remain.’ After a majority of UK citizens voted the other way, I’m left questioning what my future has in store once Brexit happens.
I got a Bachelor’s degree in finance and economics from a university in Illinois and an M.A. in international finance from Brandeis University’s International Business School.
I’ve always been of the opinion that my educational background meant it would be easy for me to work pretty much anywhere in the world. I’ve been in London now a few years, but I’m likely to leave the UK for good after the Brexit vote. There have been pockets of racism since the vote and, while these may be isolated incidents, I get a general sense of heightened hostility towards expats from the EU – an ‘us versus them’ mentality.
I’ll most likely leave Europe all together. Up until a year ago, it would have been a no-brainer to return to the U.S, but I feel that my international outlook is no longer supported there. Trump is a hopeful to become president and this sends out the wrong message to immigrants.
I’d always hoped that Brexit would stall at some point during the democratic process, but Teresa May’s installation as the new UK prime minister most likely means that she’ll steer us out of Europe. For those of us in the City, this raises a lot of questions.
I share the fear of many of my colleagues that there is an increased uncertainty in the job market. Some firms have already announced hiring freezes, and until the new rules are clear, which could take at least a couple of years, mobility and confidence in the job market will be subdued.
I think given my firm’s size and geographical location – 85% of workforce in London and 15% in the U.S. – we should not be dramatically affected and should remain flexible in coming months and years. New MiFID regulation on how clients pay for research remains the main driver of how my firm’s business model will change and Brexit will not have an impact on this regulation.
There is lots to explore and do around the world; I embrace a global mindset, so I will likely strive to pursue living in a place which shares this outlook. Where, though, is still something of an open question.
Aleksander Jones, a pseudonym, is a sell-side analyst working for a small investment bank in London
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