Nigel Wilson

Nigel Wilson

Group Chief Executive

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How Britain can step up investment to seize the post-Brexit dividend

This article written by Nigel Wilson appeared in the Sunday Telegraph on 2 September 2018 and talks about how under investment and low productivity will have a greater impact on our long term economic growth than Brexit.

Our inability to close our 30pc-plus productivity gap with France, Germany and the US, coupled with our failure to develop scaled-up technology businesses, will have a greater impact on our long term economic growth than Brexit. 

Our problems are solvable. There has been structural under-investment in the UK economy since the Seventies in many sectors. We also know that modern urbanisation drives economic growth and that our society is ageing.

UK policies and investment need to reflect these trends.  Devolution is one of the solutions. Recently the Prime Minister signed further city deals in Newcastle and Edinburgh, following successful deals in Birmingham, Cambridge and Greater Manchester. I have met many of the political, business and university leaders in these cities. They are determined in their shared goal of delivering better economic and societal outcomes for their citizens.

Our outstanding universities have recognised that within their world leading research are brilliant commercial ideas. To drive economic growth they need to capitalise on them like their US equivalents. Our universities are brimming with millennials with commercial ideas. Oxford Sciences Innovation and Cambridge Innovation Capital, are ahead of the game. Others are following, they need to speed up.

We have created an almost perfect economic background for patient and inclusive capital investment; low interest rates, competitive exchange rate, low wage costs, low inflation, an abundance of start-up companies, £300bn infrastructure deficit, brilliant science and energetic entrepreneurs.

It will be a tragedy if we don’t seize these opportunities by stepping up investment across the UK.

Nigel Wilson, Chief Executive, Legal & General