One of the biggest independent financial services companies in South Wales has committed its future to the region, regardless of the terms of the UK leaving the European Union (EU), largely due to the talent pool and other support available here.
The managing director of Swansea-based OSTC FX, a company that helps companies in the UK better manage their foreign exchange (FX) risk, made the commitment in a presentation at an event in Cardiff organised by independent think tank Gorwel, dedicated to discussing the implications of Brexit for Wales.
The event was one of the first to be organised in any of the devolved nations of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and saw some 100 business leaders and academics debate what Brexit means for Wales.
Speaking at the ‘Brexit – what next for Wales?’ event, which took place at the Angel Hotel on Monday November 21, Paul Langley, managing director of OSTC FX, said he felt the UK would remain attractive to most financial services firms but admitted that many would be exploring alternative options for headquarters, giving them access to the EU as a precautionary plan.
OSTC FX is owned by London-based OSTC, a proprietary trading and electronic market making firm, which is a big employer in Swansea with more than 100 staff working for the company.
“The OSTC FX headquarters are in Swansea and it is also an important office for OSTC. The two reasons for that are the quality of the local talent pool from universities in the region and the support we have had on job creation from the Welsh Government along the way,” Langley said.
“There is a wider question here for all companies and no doubt many will be exploring the possibility of either moving or opening European offices. But my overall sense is that the UK has enough going for it to keep these firms and we certainly are completely committed to South Wales.”
Since OSTC FX was formed in 2012, it has saved its clients in excess of £750,000 vs. previous suppliers and processed more than £500 million of transactions.
Some of the other speakers at the conference included John Mills, Founder and Chairman of JML and the Chair of Labour Future; Debra Williams (Independent Non-Executive Board Member of multiple companies), Ben Cottam (Head of External Affairs, FSB), Keith Burge (Director of the IED), Dr. Jo Hunt (Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre), and Dr. Thomas Prosser (Senior Lecturer in European Social Policy, Cardiff University). It was chaired by Councillor William Powell, Welsh Brexit Commission; David Melding AM, Gorwel President; and Dr. Meirion Morgan, Gorwel Chair.