Ties between Canary Wharf and America will remain strong despite the election of Donald Trump, according to the head of Level39.
Ben Brabyn made the statement despite the uncertainty caused by the vote and follows worries that Trump’s commitment to withdraw the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) signalled an isolationist presidency.
But Ben was sure that tech start-ups, like those in Level39 , would still have close links to the market and access to talent across the pond.
“There’s no reason to say we must turn our backs,” said Ben. “We must continue to engage with everybody and the US is a wellspring of talent, investment and capability and it’s a fantastic market.
“Connections are the lifeblood of both our economy and the US economy. I don’t think President-elect Donald Trump would want to throw that away.”
Despite his optimistic outlook, the former marine admitted it was a time of uncertainty for London both because of Trump’s election and the vote for Brexit.
“There are huge anxieties about talent. Everyone is on edge with the uncertainties about what the outcome will be with visas,” he said.
But he said the fact there had not been an immediate “mass exodus” from Canary Wharf and the rest of London following the EU referendum was a good sign.
And he was keen to point out that Level39 had seen the number of employees in its member companies reach 900 for the first time, proving, he said, the demand was still there.
“I’ve been listening to a lot of people around Europe,” he said, “and even those who are hoping that all the talent will move to places like Berlin or Frankfurt have expressed surprise at how sticky talent is in London.
“There have been times when the commentary has galloped ahead of actual data. There’s been a huge demand for perspectives about this and actually very little about what is really happening.
“The initial gales of commentary have subsided. The data still hasn’t really turned up. This is a long process and uncertainty is going to be with us for years.
“It is usually unwelcome, particularly for investors - those looking to commit resources in the long term don’t like uncertainty.
“But on the other hand, innovators exist in uncertainty and can only really exist in uncertainty.”
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