Soft power success or waste of time and money? We’re more inclined to side with the Lord Mayor than some on Twitter when it comes to the weekend’s festivities.
Clearly, the coronation was always going to kick off an almighty debate on the role of the Royal Family in the twenty-first century; but regardless of one’s views there, what is unarguable is that a global audience saw even a rainy London look magnificent.
Early indications are that it did wonders for the West End’s hospitality and retail businesses, and they need all the help they can get.
The question for our leaders now should be how to ensure that London looks as good as it did in those TV pictures to business leaders and talented youngsters across the world.
Last week’s announcement by the FCA of listings reforms are a start, as are the Edinburgh reforms, but they will not in and of themselves make the UK “the best place to do business” as the government so endlessly puts it.
That will require a whole ecosystem to move towards a more modern, tech-infused City economy. Speak to some tech bosses in the UK and their issue isn’t necessarily a regulatory one – for the sake of this column we can park Revolut to one side – but a question of institutional knowledge in the Square Mile.
There still aren’t enough analysts, for instance, spending quality time getting to know London’s fastest growing tech businesses; and institutional investors and fund managers are naturally put off investing in things about which they know relatively little.
Capital continues to be available for smaller raises but big money cash calls inevitably require stateside intervention. Those looking for a silver bullet are likely to be left waiting.
The good news is that in the Lord Mayor, now back at his day job after the weekend, the City has a figurehead who understands the need to drive cultural change, rather than tweak at the edges of regulation. Let’s hope he wins the battle of ideas.