Tuesday 21 August 2018 5:52 pm

60 per cent of asset management firms ‘preparing for hard Brexit’

Jess Clark is a City A.M. news reporter covering private equity and investment.

Jess Clark is a City A.M. news reporter covering private equity and investment.

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Almost 60 per cent of investment management firms are preparing for a hard Brexit "rather than wait for potential political solutions," new figures reveal.

A total of 83 per cent of firms have a theoretical plan to respond to the UK exiting the European Union but only 43 per cent have put plans in action as the March 2019 deadline approaches.

Three quarters expect the UK to retain financial services post-Brexit, figures compiled by trading network Liquid Net show, while Frankfurt, Dublin, Luxembourg and Amsterdam are anticipated to emerge as beneficiaries of the referendum result.

Read more: Standard Chartered executive warning over Brexit jobs exodus

BlackRock was confident that the firm would continue to serve European clients regardless of the outcome of the negotiations.

A spokesperson for the firm said: "BlackRock has significant business across Europe and maintains extensive regulatory licences and permissions in a number of EU locations from where we serve our European clients.

"This will continue to be the case regardless of the outcome of the Brexit negotiation. Today BlackRock has 14 offices located across the European Union excluding the UK.

"We are evaluating multiple scenarios and have not yet made any final decisions about the legal structure of our business post-Brexit, but are well positioned to continue to serve our clients under any possible scenario."

Vanguard Europe managing director Sean Hagerty said the company was still assessing the post-Brexit options.

He said: "“The full implications of Brexit for the financial services industry are not yet known.

"Vanguard has a working group in place with representatives from across the company assessing the effects of leaving the EU for both the business and clients.

" We are committed to continuing to serve investors in the UK and across Europe.”

Half of the respondents to the survey, which looked at the Brexit plans of 29 asset management firms and hedge funds that manage $14.1tn in total, are reviewing their settlements options and a third feel comfortable that no change is required.

Read more: It's time to consider an off-the-shelf deal if we're serious about avoiding a hard Brexit