Milan makes new bid to attract post-Brexit business

Milan to send team to London to recruit financial operators.

Unfazed by Milan’s last-minute, unlucky failure to win the relocation of the European Medicines Authority (EMA), the Italian government is now making a new bid to gain from the expected post-Brexit diaspora of financial operators from London.

On a smaller scale than the complex and pushy bid to host the EMA, this new initiative – called Select Milano – aims to attract up to 1,500 asset management and investment banking specialists as London loosens its strong grip on the market sector. The government team is expected to travel to London in the near future to press its case.

The lobbying group admitted that it is not expecting big companies to make wholesale moves to Milan or Italy. Speaking to the Financial Times, finance ministry chief of staff Fabrizio Pagani said he was being realistic: “We think Milan has every chance to get its share if there is a diaspora from London,” he told the London daily.

“In speaking to people there are two main points of consensus: London will remain important and there will not be a ‘new London’ post Brexit,” Pagani told the Financial Times. “There will be a wide spread of finance centres. It will be much like the 1990s where we had trading centres in different countries.”

Pagani pointed out that many of the inducements offered to the EMA were still valid, including tax breaks for middle managers.  But there was no talk of making Milan’s “Pirellone” skyscraper available to inward migrating managers.