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Strathclyde Business School

Glasgow powerhouse: a question of finance

By Daniel Broby - Posted on 10 February 2016

Daniel Broby, former senior executive in the fund management industry and now senior lecturer within the Accounting & Finance department of Strathclyde Business School, looks at Glasgow’s financial centre ambitions in advance of the joint PwC/Strathclyde Business School’s Glasgow Powerhouse event next week.

Promoting Glasgow as a financial centre should be a key Scottish policy objective: academic research shows that vibrant, competitive financial centres gain an economic advantage, and a strong regional financial centre connects information, knowledge and access to capital.

It’s accepted that financial centres funnel investment toward innovation and growth - the trick is to go up the value chain by leveraging the knowledge and expertise that already exists.

Glasgow has both the ability and talent to become a Scottish national financial centre. It can grow and nurture as a niche player in key disciplines. The City already has the critical mass to achieve this with a population of 1.5 million in the wider ‘travel to work' catchment area and 30,000 people currently working in the financial services sector. Glasgow hosts the IFSD – International Financial Services District – a partnership between the public and private sectors which has seen over £1 billion investment secured to date, with over 90% of that from the private sector.

Since the launch of the IFSD, over 15,500 net new jobs have moved in to the District through new investment, expansion or diversified development, and the IFSD has ambitions to grow further and attract more inward investment from leading financial services companies.

Strathclyde University plays a pivotal role in the city’s financial ambitions, providing high quality graduates from undergraduate and Masters levels suited to working in the finance sector. The Department of Accounting & Finance is ranked 1st in the UK for Accounting and Finance in the Complete University Guide Subject League Table for 2016. The Guardian ranked the Department of Accounting and Finance 3rd in the UK in 2015. The Department’s position in such guides is consistently in the top five year on year. What’s more, our academics regularly engage in research and knowledge work relevant to the financial services industry, and we’re excited about the launch of a new specialist Centre within the Department of Accounting & Finance which will expand and drive on this research while acting as a hub for consultancy collaborations with the financial sector.

We’re delighted to partner with PwC for the second in our joint series of Glasgow Powerhouse events, designed to look at the economic future of Glasgow across key sectors. And I’m looking forward to sitting on the panel next week to debate, “Can Glasgow become a Financial Services Powerhouse?”

We’re anticipating a lively debate both in person and online using #GlasgowPowerhouse. Financial Services is a people business after all and as the well-known City slogan goes, “People Make Glasgow”.

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