London’s overall attractiveness as a top investment destination has remained undiminished, with the first major poll of global investors since the start of the COVID-19 crisis showing that 99% are still keen to invest in the city, with 79% currently actively doing so. The poll shows London faring consistently better than other comparable locations across a key range of metrics including access to global talent and quality of life, despite the broader economic and public health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The poll, conducted by FTI Consulting for the City of London Corporation as part of a global investor intentions survey, engaged with 506 leading investors with assets under management of €850bn ($1tr) and was undertaken on 5-10 July.
London also scored highly among the world’s most prominent investors in terms of global connectivity, attractiveness as a hub for business and environmental, sustainability and governance issues. However, investors also showed a clear desire, with 72% of respondents agreeing, to see the development of a pandemic recurrence prevention plan which would encourage them to look more favourably upon the city when it comes to investment decisions. London was also described as `global leading’ or `above average’ as centre or hub for business, its built environment and offices, fostering innovation and provisions for socially distanced travel. In a further sign of the City’s fundamental resilience, the poll also demonstrates that London compares favourability with other comparable financial centres with regards to its ability to instil confidence (85%) in employees to return to work after the pandemic has subsided.
Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chair of the City of London Corporation, said: “It is testament to the fundamental strength, resilience and adaptability of the City that despite the COVID-19 crisis the Square Mile remains such an attractive long-term location for continued global investment and location of talent. There is no denying that we face testing times, but the City and London have always adapted to major challenges throughout history. We will continue to strengthen our attractiveness as we create the conditions for businesses of all shapes and sizes, as well as the real estate investors and developers who support those companies, to prosper over the coming decade. In particular, the City of London aims to become a world leader in sustainability, becoming a global centre for excellence in climate resilience, and will we be refocusing our pre-pandemic agenda on the built environment, transport and digital connectivity to reflect the new economic and social reality. We also note investors’ wish to see a robust pandemic recurrence and prevention plan, and are working with the Government and other stakeholders to provide the assurances that businesses and investors need.”