By Kerri Bridges, Student at BPP University, Masters Legal Practice Course with Business
The City of London is constantly evolving. The way financial and professional services organisations have driven changes in how workspaces are designed, the adoption of new technology, and implementing regulation, across small and large businesses in the City, is a particularly interesting trend. The changing nature of financial and professional services in the City aims to outline some current trends and potential explanations for the changes taking place in the City today. By interviewing industry experts and collecting perspectives from academic literature, it has been possible to begin to forecast the main themes of change within the City. With relevance to a broad array of industries within the City, as well as read-across to the rest of London and the UK, this report is likely to be of interest to any person employed in roles both within financial or professional services firms, those who work for or with such firms as well as those with an interest in how these organisations are changing.
There are four main themes discussed within the report: workspaces, technology, regulation and financial technology.
Office spaces are becoming ever more modern, and part of their modernisation involves a change to open-plan layouts, and in some cases, hot-desking. There is some debate as to whether this is the best option for all businesses in the City. The main change in this arena is the way workplaces are changing to accommodate and encourage employees to work collaboratively.
Technology is playing an increasingly important role in business strategy; the ability of the firms in the City to harness technology that is able to support the nature and of volumes of transactions they handle accounts for a significant proportion of their continuing success. With thousands of employees and customers, this requires significant investments and careful management of overhead costs. Technology must also be considered in relation to the increasingly strategic and central role played by IT staff within organisations.
Regulation has changed the landscape of the City to an enormous extent in recent years. Organisations have excelled at adapting, and continue to do so. The role of compliance professionals is changing; fundamentally it is becoming far more attractive as a City role, with individuals who specialise in compliance becoming far more important as a strategic driving force in large organisations.
Financial technology (‘FinTech’) is a rapidly developing new industry on the physical fringe of the square mile, but has a significant impact within. The London talent pool is increasingly engaging with this industry, as are top investment funds and venture capital firms. There are potential challenges posed to top City financial firms by the FinTech sector, but far more opportunities.
The aim of this research is to highlight the developments for individuals and organisations within the City of London, and the way it is advancing in line with an increasingly employee-focused culture.
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