Wales - the business advantage - Business Works
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Wales - the business advantage

by Ross Flanigan, Director, Quality and Risk Operations, Deloitte LLP Cardiff is the capital city of Wales and the seat of power for the Welsh Government. Businesses can benefit from a whole range of government support and incentives, including the UK's most generous training support to new and growing businesses. Furthermore, the dedicated Financial and Professional Services Enterprise Zone is supported by the wider Cardiff city region, home to three world class universities; over 70,000 skilled graduate and undergraduate students (25,000 specialising in financial and professional business degrees); and a labour pool of over 1.4 million people within 30 minutes commute of Cardiff's enterprise zone.

"With each chapter of its development, Cardiff has proven the company's original decision to grow here was correct," said Ross Flanigan, Director of Quality and Risk Operations for Deloittes in Cardiff. He explained that London was seriously considered as an alternative location, along with sites in Eastern Europe and India. Ross added, "The major success factor is the people. We would not have achieved what we have without the diverse and capable workforce. I have been overwhelmed by high quality of applicants every time I have recruited. The majority of our people are graduates and there is a huge pool of people in the relevant disciplines out there." Furthermore, the location of Deloitte is superb. It is in the heart of the Central Cardiff Enterprise Zone, the Welsh Government's Enterprise Zone dedicated to the Financial and Professional Business Services Sector. Being adjacent to the main railway station provides direct communication links to London in under 2 hours.

by Cardiff

The train journey between Cardiff and London will reduce to 1 hour 45 minutes upon electrification of the main line in 2017. Over 500 trains a day deliver workers to Cardiff's expanding industries and businesses.

Deloitte's Cardiff operation began with a specialist team set up to combat threats facing the accountancy profession. Its more recent expansion has seen it become a multi-functional research and compliance unit supporting Deloitte offices throughout the world and has created 100 jobs.

Businesses choosing Cardiff as a home can also benefit from some of the lowest property and salary costs available along the M4 corridor and at least 40% lower than London. Grade A properties are available in Cardiff at significantly lower prices per square foot than competitors' prices in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol.

Between 2003 and 2012, Cardiff attracted 63 new Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects, attracting investment of $304.5m according to fDi Markets investment monitor. In 2012, Cardiff's F&PS FDI increased by 83% in contrast to a UK contraction of 16% in its major cities.

Wales - the European centre for web-enabled customer comparison sites

In addition, Wales has become the European centre for web-enabled customer comparison sites with headquarters for, Go Compare and, and the home of world-class shared service centres for businesses such as Tesco, L&G, Virgin and Lloyds Banking Group

Michael Shirley, MD of OSTC, agrees and highlights the importance that, "trading has moved on and, with good staff and good telecommunications, you can operate from anywhere". Under a carefully-managed expansion programme, the company that specialises in exchange traded products, employed 60 graduates in 2012, a figure that is set to rise to 200 over the next four years. Most, if not all, will be graduate-level posts.

The decision to bring big City trading from London to Swansea, Wales' second city, outside the traditional financial hub was based on securing a location where there was great university talent and skills, but less competition for talent than in London.

The company received Welsh Government support to move into and equip its new Swansea home and to train its staff. To strengthen further links between student talent and the business community, OSTC worked with Welsh Government on an initiative which was introduced to train staff and equip a new mock trading floor at Cardiff University. It supports an 'investment society' for students operating on the campus. Continued investment in advanced broadband by the Welsh Government means the OSTC trading floor is served by fast, reliable telecommunications, linking traders to every major derivatives exchange in the world and gives them access to hundreds of products.

"The benefits are evident - with high-speed broadband and high-performing local universities combined, this attracts top calibre staff. Rapid online connections to global trading floors and the ready availability of talented graduates to conduct high-powered market transactions, have enabled us to create a thriving exchange on Swansea's waterfront."

For more information about the business benefits of Wales, please visit:

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