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Beyond Brexit: what happens next for European capital markets?

Brexit will have a profound effect on capital markets in Europe. This short paper summarises the main challenges and questions ahead for the capital markets industry, based on peer intelligence from events that we’ve hosted over the past few months and discussions with European Commission officials, senior market participants and policymakers. The main trade-offs are between access to the single market, free movement of people, and the regulatory framework.

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Report on 'Women in UK financial services'


Gender balance in UK financial services has leapt up the agenda since the government asked Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chief executive of Virgin Money, to lead a review of women in senior management, and launched HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter. New Financial’s latest report looks at the context of the Gadhia Review and the Charter and discusses how the industry can engage with these initiatives as an important stepping stone towards permanent, sustainable change.


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Report on ‘The potential impact of Brexit on European capital markets’

Capital markets across Europe would be significantly disrupted if the UK votes to leave the EU in the referendum on June 23rd. This would create uncertainty, complexity and increased cost for market participants and their customers in the UK and the rest of the EU – according to our in-depth qualitative survey of the views of market participants from different sectors of the capital markets.

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Welcome to New Financial

New Financial is a think tank and forum that believes Europe needs bigger and better capital markets to drive its recovery and growth – and that this presents a huge opportunity for the industry and its customers to embrace change and to rethink how capital markets work. Here is a summary of our work and of some of the recent coverage we have received:

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Post-Brexit, it’s even more important to make the positive case for capital markets

July 2016 • Unlocking capital marketsby William Wright

The outcome of the EU referendum campaign showed that the banking and finance industry has a long way to go in rebuilding trust with the wider public and with policymakers. This speech by our founder and managing director William Wright on ‘Making the positive case for capital markets’ at the annual dinner of the Institutional Money Market […]

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Taking stock on pay: what we do and don’t know about pay at investment banks and asset managers

February 2016 • Getting pay rightby William Wright

One of the problems with the question of pay in banking is that that so much of the debate is based on poor information: public disclosure by the industry is patchy, inconsistent and often confusing. This reports puts some hard numbers on what has been happening to pay over the past decade – and shows that while progress has been made, the industry still has further to go in addressing pay.

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If I ruled the world: a wish list for unlocking capital markets

September 2015 • Unlocking capital marketsby William Wright

For all the progress that has been made towards a single capital market in Europe over the past few decades, significant barriers remain. These inefficiencies cost the European economy many billions of euros every year in lost investment and unnecessary costs. Here are 10 fantasy reforms that could help unlock the potential of capital markets in Europe. 

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Report: ‘Counting every woman 2016 – gender diversity in the capital markets’

January 2016 • Driving diversityby Yasmine Chinwala

When it comes to gender diversity, we all know that the capital markets industry is starting from a low base. But the latest report by New Financial on female representation on boards and executive committees at 220 organisations across 11 sectors in European capital markets shows that the numbers are beginning to move in the right direction.

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Debate: this house believes that tax relief on debt is a dangerous flaw at the heart of the world economy

November 2015 • Unlocking capital marketsby William Wright

Tax relief on debt is an anachronism that distorts management and investment behaviour, increase financial instability, and helps fuel inequality. This is an edited version of a speech given by William Wright, managing director and founder of New Financial, as part of a debate held at the Capital Structure Forum organised by Private Debt Investor. The motion is taken from the cover of The Economist in May 2015.

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A signal of intent: report on diversity disclosure in European capital markets

July 2015 • Driving diversityby Yasmine Chinwala

Diversity disclosure is an opportunity for the European capital markets industry to get ahead of regulation, signal that it is serious about cultural change and inform the debate with facts rather than anecdotal evidence. The latest report from New Financial analyses what the biggest companies and organisations across the financial markets tell us about their approach to diversity on more than 50 criteria.

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The detailed numbers behind our report on ‘Decoding capital markets union’

May 2015 • Unlocking capital marketsby William Wright

The available data around the capital markets in Europe is very patchy and inconsistent. In producing our report ‘Decoding capital markets union’ we had to make lots of assumptions, some more informed than others. Here’s a summary of where we got the data for our report and what estimates we made. If you have any queries about our data […]

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Report: ‘Counting every woman: gender diversity in the capital markets’

November 2014 • Driving diversityby Yasmine Chinwala

The European capital markets industry risks losing its competitive edge if it doesn’t embrace the importance of gender diversity. The latest report from New Financial takes a snapshot of female representation on boards and executive committees at 220 organisations across 11 sectors in the financial markets – with some predictably depressing results.

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How to make markets fair and effective – Minouche Shafik

November 2014 • Rebuilding trustby Yasmine Chinwala

If you work in the financial markets then you should probably have already read the recent speech by Minouche Shafik – deputy governor of the Bank of England with responsibility for markets and banking – on why markets matter, why the latest scandals are not just the fault of ‘a few bad apples’, and how the industry can apply its collective imagination to help rebuild fair and effective markets. But just in case you haven’t, here is an edited summary.

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Thinking allowed: a selection of some recent academic papers

November 2014 • Unlocking capital marketsby Kaela Athay

Here is a selection of recent academic papers and research that we have read, sifted and translated so that you don’t have to. This week, the papers include the theory behind regulatory capture, the impossibility of designing a benchmark that can’t be manipulated by determined and unscrupulous traders, an alternative perspective on long-termism, and why happy staff make for happy shareholders.

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Thinking allowed: a selection of the best recent academic papers

October 2014 • Comment & analysis • Unlocking capital marketsby William Wright

Here is a selection of recent academic papers and research that we have read, sifted and translated so that you don’t have to. This week, the papers include the impact of capital markets on the companies that use them, the downside of shadow banking, what happens when CEOs drop dead, and why is the gap between bankers’ pay and lesser mortals so wide – and getting wider. Please send any papers that you come across or would like to recommend to info@newfinancial.eu

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Winning the debate on bankers’ pay and bonuses

June 2014 • Comment & analysis • Getting pay rightby William Wright

The question of pay and bonuses at investment banks is an important barometer of how the industry thinks about itself in relation to its shareholders, to its clients, and to society. Until banks start making a more positive case for what they do, they will struggle to defuse – let alone win – the argument.

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Why is the financial industry so inefficient?

June 2014 • Rebuilding trustby William Wright

Given the technological progress, deregulation and innovation over the past 30 years, you might have expected to see a quantum change in the cost and efficiency of finance. Instead, the cost of financial intermediation has increased – and  market participants have captured most of the gains for themselves.

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Market failure? The two different faces of the IPO market

July 2014 • Research • Rebuilding trustby William Wright

The impressive recovery in IPO volumes over the past six months has been accompanied by less impressive aftermarket performance and poor returns for investors. This points to structural weaknesses in the IPO market that could kill off a sustained recovery in new issues before it even gets going.

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FICC is dead. Long live FICC?

June 2014 • Comment & analysis • Rebuilding trustby William Wright

The long, slow decline of the fixed income business has highlighted the inability of most investment banks to adapt their business models to a changing landscape – and raises serious questions for the future of the entire industry.

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