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Financial and Professional Services

The UK’s financial services sector is the most internationally focused marketplace in the world, accounting for 31.4% of total inward investment in 2017.

 

Benefiting from close proximity to the City of London, but with 30-50% lower costs, the Thames Valley has an established financial and professional services cluster. As of 2017, 249,000 people were employed in the financial related professional services sector in the South East.

 

Centred predominantly around the town of Reading in Berkshire, there are a growing number of companies that have established regional and specialist offices.

Discover the reasons to invest in the UK financial services sector in this video from the Department for International Trade. Find out more at Invest In Great.

Financial Services in the Thames Valley

With the region home to over 1,500 registered financial and related professional services businesses, many of the best names in the industry have substantial regional and specialist service offices based in the Thames Valley.

 

Major organisations based in the area include: The Asset Finance team of Aldermore Group and the global EY offices. Others include:

Alpha FX

A corporate foreign exchange specialist with a strategic focus on helping its clients control the impact currency volatility has on their businesses, Alpha FX became a publicly listed company on the London Stock Exchange in 2017.

Deloitte

Deloitte’s largest office outside London is located in the Thames Valley and has approximately 600 people working across all four of its service lines (Audit, Tax, Consulting and Corporate Finance), with a strong team covering Reading, Gatwick and Southampton.

Covéa Insurance

Launched in 2012 as a result of a merger between MMA Insurance and Provident, the company has won countless awards since and has its head office located in the Thames Valley – one of ten UK offices.

KPMG

KPMG’s Reading office is one of the firm’s largest UK regional teams, employing more than 400 professionals and working with an array of impressive companies across the Thames Valley.

PwC

PwC work with clients from across the telecommunications, energy, utilities and biotechnology industries, and are the largest professional services organisation in the Thames Valley area.
The region is home to a number of specialist companies, including Honda Finance Europe and Tavistock Wealthboth based in Bracknell – Neilson Financial Services (Slough); Xafinity (whose Head Office is in Reading, ahead of five other UK locations); Yattendon Group (Thatcham); and H.Young Group (Newbury).

Access to Talent and Universities

Henley Business School

The University of Reading’s Henley Business School, the first to be established in the UK, has been leading the way in business and executive education since the 1960s. Firmly placed in the top 1% of business schools in the world, it is triple-accredited for the quality and capability of faculty and output. Additionally, it has a global reputation for excellence in undergraduate, postgraduate and executive education in finance, as well as professional and policy development research and consultancy.

 

It is home to the most extensive non-investment bank dealing room facilities in the world. As Europe’s first active collaboration between the securities industry and a University finance department, the ICMA Centre has built an international reputation over 20 years. Its mission is to deliver teaching and research in finance of the highest standard and contribute actively to policy debate.

 

A truly international business school, Henley boasts 70,000 alumni in 150 countries, along with a well-established community.

Saïd Business School

Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford blends the best of new and old. Founded in 1996, it is one of highest ranking business schools in the world, with a reputation for entrepreneurship and innovative business education. A young, vibrant and innovative business school, Saïd is deeply embedded in an 800-year old world-class university – and the number one in the world.

 

The Oxford Saïd Finance Lab is a joint venture between the Private Equity Institute and the University of Oxford. It is a tailored financial graduate training programme which is highly respected by financial services recruiters and senior finance professionals.

 

The Lab is a series of practical workshops on financial modelling and real-life case studies, connecting business plans with financial statements, structure, valuation, risks and investment returns. It offers students the occasion to understand key concepts, instruments and models required for finance courses and interviews. Applying theory-based learning from the programme and combining it with practical training, each workshop is followed by a networking opportunity with company representatives.