London declared globe's top city for future investment

11 June 2019 Consultancy.uk

Despite the uncertainty of Brexit, a new report has still ranked the city as a top destination for investment in the future, thanks to its heavy investments in cultural experiences. The UK capital has been a consistent performer over the last five years, and claims the top spot having ranked third in last year's edition.

Stability is a key ingredient when it comes to the success of any company. While shrewd investors might find volatile markets or crashes an ideal time for picking value stocks at bargain prices, in the long term, the idea that a market will return to ‘normality’ is a key ingredient for companies to sink capital into any geographical region.

Just one month ago, a report by Duff & Phelps suggested that a lack of stability had seen London lose its title as the world financial hub to New York, just a year after gaining it. Citing Brexit as the chief factor that has tarnished the UK capital’s reputation, respondents from the financial sector also said the situation is unlikely to improve in the coming five years.

The top 25 cities in the Global Cities Index and Outlook

However, now the A.T. Kearney 2019 Global Cities report has claimed that despite the uncertainty around Brexit, London is the world’s leading city for the future, while ranking just behind New York in the present. The evaluation from the consulting firm takes into account the cultural, economic and social make-up of cities around the world to create its rankings, which last year saw London settle for third place. This year, however, the study claims that a number of previously leading outlook cities have faltered, and this coupled with London’s historically steady performance has resulted in this year’s top position for the UK capital.

While London takes the top spot, other urban hubs are struggling to keep up. After four years at the top of the outlook, San Francisco has dropped to third place – still scoring high in innovation, but up-and-coming cities are outpacing the tech hub in personal wellbeing and governance.

London’s ranking as the top city in the future and number two today is in part due to investment in cultural experiences, where the capital was the highest-ranked in three out of five categories: international travellers, sporting events, and culinary experiences. Also boosting London’s ranking is increased investment in governance and personal wellbeing, including additional security measures and improvements to the quality of private and public healthcare in the city. Elsewhere, London has 72 of the world’s Michelin star restaurants, and plays host to sporting events such as Wimbledon, the Cricket World Cup and the FA Cup final.

Andrew Stewart, Managing Partner of UK & Ireland at A.T. Kearney, said of the findings, “While the true impact of Brexit is yet to come, London’s consistently strong performance in recent years puts the city in good stead for the future. Commitment to key areas such as innovation, cultural experiences, and human capital will be the defining factor in the next generation of the world’s most influential cities. Cultural and creative industries contribute £47 billion to London’s economy every year and the Mayor of London recently invested an initial £7 million to develop Creative Enterprise Zones in different parts of the city.”

While New York City is the world’s most powerful and influential city at present, holding on to its top spot thanks to strong scores in business activity and human capital, the city drops out of the top 10 in terms of its future potential. Similarly, while London takes the top spot for the future, other urban hubs are struggling to keep up. After four years at the top of the Outlook, San Francisco has dropped to third place – still scoring high in innovation, but up-and-coming cities are outpacing the tech hub in personal health and governance.


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