Paris won't replace London post-Brexit because the French care less about money, says French finance boss

But they make good cooks and entrepreneurs, Dominique Senequier, boss off $60bn Paris-based fund Ardian

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The Independent Online

Paris will not replace London as Europe’s financial capital after Brexit because French people are not financially minded, the boss of a $60bn French private equity fund said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the Cass Business School in London, the Financial Times reported Dominique Senequier as saying:

"London has always been the number one financial city in Europe. It may no longer be in Europe [after Brexit] but for me it won’t change the situation. It will still be London, and not only London, but people who are financially minded.

"French people are less financially minded. I’m not afraid to say that because I say it very regularly. We have many other things. We are very good cooks. We have the Mediterranean and we are very good entrepreneurs."

She added: “I was amazed by London at 25 years old and [it is] still the same. I don’t believe that Brexit will change this.”

The words come as European cities including Paris, Frankfurt and Dublin have launched campaigns to lure companies and jobs from the lucrative sector, once the UK leaves the EU.

Earlier this month a delegation of French politicians descended on London to make the case for the French capital. At a press conference, Valerie Pecresse, president of the Paris region told reporters that “tens of thousands of jobs” could move from London to Paris but the moves would happen slowly, adding “when was the last time you took your partner for a weekend in Frankfurt?”

A host of major finance firms have said they will move jobs to continental Europe because the UK will lose “passporting” rights to trade freely across the continent once it leaves the single market.

While it may be possible for the UK to maintain favourable access if its regulatory regime is deemed equivalent to the EU's, there is no certainty that this will be agreed. Many banks and others are taking a “safety first” approach by beefing up their European operations to avoid any risk of a cliff edge when Brexit actually happens.

HSBC boss Stuart Gulliver said in January the UK’s biggest bank would move 1,000 trading jobs, while UBS has suggested similar numbers of its staff would relocate.

JPMorgan chief executive Jamie Dimon told reporters at the World Economic Forum in January that “It looks like there will be more job movement than we’d hoped for”. The bank is rumoured to be mulling up to 4,000 Brexit-related job moves.

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