Business leaders host Lord Mayor in Wales

Lord Mayor of the City of London, Lord Mountevans, met with senior business leaders today (Wednesday, 12 October) to discuss the rapid growth of the financial and professional services sector in Cardiff.

The Welsh capital has undergone a truly remarkable transformation over the last 25 years, developing its roots as one of the world’s biggest maritime trade cities to becoming the fastest growing location for financial and professional services in the UK.

As the closest capital city to London and with office rental levels less than half the average rates in London, Cardiff has become a development hub for the financial and professional services sector and continues to receive investment.

Wales’ financial and professional services sector is responsible for an economic output in excess of £2 billion. There has been significant investment in the capital over the last decade, including a £400 million regeneration investment with Legal and General earlier this year to the Central Square project, which creates the capacity for a further 10,000 new jobs.

Speaking on his visit, the Lord Mayor said:

“Growing Wales’ professional and financial sector will be vital in facilitating strong economic growth across the UK. It is important for us at the City of London to continue to work closely with the regions to drive future growth and job creation.

“Wales hosts more than 159,000 workers in the financial, insurance, and professional services sectors, an increase of more than 40,000 over the last five years, and I am keen to explore how the City of London can help in creating even more top quality jobs like these across the country.

“We are engaging with the Government and EU policy makers to ensure that the interests and competitiveness needs of the UK-based financial and professional services industry are heard and recognised.

“Cardiff holds a special place in my family’s history, as the city played a vital part in facilitating the expedition to the South Pole that my Grandfather embarked upon more than a hundred years ago. I am delighted to be visiting as the UK’s spokesman for financial and professional services.”

The Lord Mayor led a discussion with business leaders and academics working in the financial and professional services industry. The business leaders discussed how Welsh financial and professional services can continue to thrive both on a UK and global scale after a short period of uncertainty following the EU Referendum.

Chris Nott is a Senior Partner at Capital Law LLP and Chair of the Welsh Government’s Financial and Professional Services Advisory Panel. He said:

“Business is not just about vision, it’s about execution, and Cardiff has now developed into a centre of excellence – and a very attractive place to do business. In the last five years, the sector has grown by 40,000 to almost 160,000 jobs in Wales.

“The meeting with the Lord Mayor today has allowed us to highlight what Wales has to offer the sector: excellent physical and digital connectivity, and a pool of business-ready talent in fields like data science and risk and compliance. These are skills we know the sector needs.”

The Central Square project is in the heart of Cardiff’s dedicated financial and professional services Enterprise Zone – a 140-acre site surrounding the central train station. Add to this a student population of over 70,000 across its three universities, and almost 40,000 people working in financial and professional services, Cardiff has become the destination of choice for many global firms.

Blake Morgan LLP, one of the leading law firms based in South England and Wales, hosted the event. The company moved to their new premises at Central Square earlier this year.

Emyr Lewis, Senior Partner for Wales said:

“We were delighted to host this meeting with the Lord Mayor at our new offices in Cardiff. As a full service commercial law firm that has a strong base in both capital cities, we understand how collaboration between London and Wales in the Financial and Professional Services sector can work to the economic benefit of both.

“Like other businesses in Wales we are keen to work with the City of London, harnessing the power of collaboration and promoting it to an international audience in light of the EU referendum”

Notes to editors

  1. About the Lord Mayor of the City of London
  • The Lord Mayor is head of the Square Mile’s City of London authority for one year and the position is unpaid and apolitical. It is an exceptionally demanding role. The Lord Mayor spends some 90 days abroad and addresses some 10,000 people face-to-face each month (making around 800 speeches a year).
  • The Lord Mayor represents City businesses and helps the City Corporation advise the Government of the day on what is needed to help the financial services sector to function well. The Lord Mayor frequently travels to represent the City; and travels overseas with the status of a Cabinet Minister.
  • On average, the Lord Mayor will meet one head of state a month and will meet a prime minister or finance minister each week to discuss financial services, often in conjunction with senior City business representatives. The Lord Mayor lives in the Mansion House for the Mayoral year.
  • More information on the Lord Mayor can be found here.
  1. The City of London Corporation provides local government and policing services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain, the 'Square Mile'. In addition, the City Corporation has three roles:
  • We support London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration, education and skills projects. In addition, the City of London Corporation’s charity City Bridge Trust makes grants of around £20 million annually to charitable projects across London and we also support education with three independent schools, three City Academies, a primary school and the world-renowned Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
  • We also help look after key London’s heritage and green spaces including Tower Bridge, Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important ‘commons’ in south London.
  • We also support and promote the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events and research-driven policies all reflecting a long-term approach.
  • See for more details.