Omar Ali, the new head of the company’s 14,000-strong EMEA financial services business, said the new posts would be created in Europe, India, the Middle East and Africa.
The news came after a survey conducted by EY showed that, although the total number of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects fell by 12 per cent last year, the UK remained the top European destination for investment in financial services.
Mr Ali told Financial News that the company would hire in climate change and sustainability, technology, data and artificial intelligence practices, as well as expanding legal services.
“[The new jobs] are all in areas where we see a lot of market disruption, a lot of places where clients are being asked big questions about their future,” he said, adding that about 150 of the new posts would be at partner level.
Mr Ali said that, apart from post-pandemic recovery, the many challenges facing financial services – including climate change and the sustainable finance agenda – also represented “a massive opportunity” for the industry.
But he warned that was also the risk of increasing fragmentation across European financial services. “Post-Brexit, we have seen large numbers of financial services organisations create EU hubs but there is no one city, one jurisdiction that has one won out above everyone else,” he said.
This fragmentation could increase friction, costs and risk, he said, possibly resulting in more jobs leaving Europe for the US or Asia.
However, EY’s own, annual ‘Attractiveness Programme’ survey found that, over the course of 2020 and despite the ravages of Covid-19 and Brexit, the UK attracted 56 new FDI projects in projects. France overtook Germany for second place, attracting 49 new programmes.
The survey found that as global economies begin to recover from the pandemic, 48 per cent of foreign investors see the UK as having the most investment-friendly recovery strategy, with 50 per cent regarding the nation as the most attractive destination for investment in financial services.
Germany was rated in second place with about a third regarding it as an attractive place for financial services FDI, while France and Switzerland shared third place with support from just over a fifth of respondents.
As far as the appeal of individual cities was concerned, London was favoured by 44 per cent of investors, ahead of Stockholm (19 per cent) and Amsterdam (17 per cent).
Read more news and views from David Sapsted.
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