Musings of a company of Mayfair London Property Finders
Last year in the midsdt of recession those of us dealing in the luxury goods in London were warned that the Hedge Funds were leaving London but barring my cousin, it seems that most people have decided to stay put. At the time, our Clients were saying they would drag their heels if asked to relocate to Geneva and there was much made of the ability to work from home, either as a trader for someone else or to make the leap to self-employment.
None of this seems to have happened however as most of the major hedge funds have stayed put.
He is reported to have said: “I agree that there are concerns about taxation and regulations. But something else comes into play here that I call the Wimbledon effect. London attracts the best people to one of the best tournaments. Businesses come to London because they have the best courts, the best talent, the best infrastructure, and a great championship.”
This view was apparently echoed by Lawrence Staden, managing director of GLC, which manages around $1bn (€678m) in assets. He said: “You can’t in every case just effortlessly move your family to a tax haven. What does money give you if not the freedom to decide where you spend your life?”
He cited an experience 25 years ago, when he told his wife that his then employer, Bankers Trust, wanted him to move to New York. Her response was “Send me a post card”. As a result, he didn’t go – he explained: “These things are not that easy for some of us.”
He said he did not believe that floods of funds would move for tax reasons, as the net impact of the UK’s 50% tax rate was neglible. He said: “Most people’s assets under management are less than they were two years ago. That means moving to avoid 50% tax on a smaller amount, when you were not prepared to move before to avoid 40% on a larger amount.”
He added: “Personally, I’d say that even if they put the [top rate of] income tax to 100%, I would still be in London.”
Long may it continue and for us Mayfair Property Finders to continue to deal with Hedge Funds! If you need a fabulous property in London or the South East, the Manse and Garret Property Finders would be delighted to help.