On October 25, members of our Washington, D.C. chapter had the honor of participating in a Brexit debate and dinner, hosted by UKTI (UK Trade & Investment), at the residence of the British Embassy’s Deputy Head of Mission, Patrick Davies. This event provided a unique opportunity for The CFO Leadership Council to share its input and expertise as the U.K. gears up for trade negotiations with the EU. Knowing the highly regarded reputations and impressive career paths of our members, UKTI chose our organization to deliver expert perspectives and opinions on the implications of Brexit within their organizations and industries. We are proud to take part in these types of meetings where we can truly make an impact on the broader world outside of our local communities. We appreciate the respect that the UKTI has for our members and look forward to doing more in the future.
Attendees included the Deputy CFO of a $10 billion international entertainment company, an expert economist, and a private equity and venture fund professional who works with investors in London, as well as individuals from large multinational organizations, a $60m currency trading financial firm, an international cybersecurity company, and a $100m multinational training organization, with operations inside and outside Britain.
Covering areas from market access, labor mobility, and tax to security and operations, our members put forward insightful examples of risk mitigation, including mainland European subsidiaries, currency hedging, and labor reviews. In addition, there was a consensus and recognition that Brexit must be put in context against French, German, and U.S. elections. And, while the overall tone was one of cautious optimism, it was stated that Brexit is not optimal and could increase the cost of doing business in the short term. In addition, the type of regulatory certainty and flexibility that the U.K. can develop over the long term would outweigh any gains from extensive near term restructuring. There are also many variables still in design with tax reforms and several derailed trade deals.
Stating that he would like to continue working with The CFO Leadership Council in the future, UKTI representative Dan Marks commented on his overall satisfaction with the diversity of thought and backgrounds that our members brought to the table.
The Department for International Trade would love to hear from CFO Leadership Council Members with any U.K. and EU related anecdotes on the impacts on business continuity. Please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org at the Washington Embassy.