The Americans are coming as Trump proves a business turn off
Just how quickly can things turn 180˚ and change completely? We were just lamenting the downside of the EU referendum and a possible mass exodus of financial institutions from London – taking staff with them – when Donald Trump goes a wins a presidential election, sending America into a tailspin.
Suddenly the news is full of panicked professionals looking to escape the USA during Trump’s term in office. As well as sending individuals reeling, Trump’s success has worried businesses, who would prefer not to practice or trade on home soil during his tenure.
London’s Mayor, no less, has flung the capital’s door wide open to American workers disappointed by the election result. Sadiq Khan made his invitation by saying: “I heard one of the most Googled things since the election result has been ‘how do you emigrate?’ If talented people based in the US want to come here to London, my message is simple: London is open.”
Khan was addressing people gathered for a press conference with Google chief Sundar Pichai, as the tech giant confirmed plans to expand its offices in London’s King’s Cross, creating 3,000 new jobs in the process. This was hot off the heels of Facebook announcing the creation of 1,500 jobs at its new Fitzrovia office and Apple announcing a new London headquarters at Battersea Power station. Interestingly on the latter, the social media company has taken enough space for 3,000 employees even though it is only moving 1,400 staff from other UK sights, indicating its plans to more than double the Apple workforce in the capital. There’s also a shiny new US embassy in Nine Elms hopefully due for occupation in 2017, which may prove very tempting and vacancies are already being posted on the US embassy’s website.
“American brands and institutions thriving in London will undoubtedly draw people away from the US,” says Klippa Relocation’s Alex Hancock. “There’s no language barrier, a culturally diverse backdrop and fantastic educational facilities, including the respected American School in North West London and TASIS The American School in England just outside of Kingston-upon-Thames, which work together to form an irresistible package for many while Trump is in office.”
A FT article published immediately after the election result touched on another aspect that may also fuel the crossing of the pond to UK shores for some Americans. Estate agent Charles McDowell was quoted saying “US clients are pushing ahead with London home purchases,” though he attributed this less to a desire to escape Trump’s America than to a belief that this may be the optimum moment in currency terms.
Adding weight to the argument was estate agent Alex Newall, Managing Director at Hanover Private Office, who was quoted in the International Business Times saying: “We have seen a small number of the business elite from around New York making enquires for homes in London – particularly Prime Central London in areas such as Belgravia, Knightsbridge and Mayfair.” Experts speculate that interest from the States will build as Trump’s grip on the country tightens.
It will be interesting to see how the combination of the weak pound and the Trump presidency will affect the relocation market in the coming weeks and months. If you find yourself relocating professionals and families from America – and from other parts of the world – contact us for advice on housing and orientation matters. We have a strong presence in London and would be delighted to assist.