International Brexit Boardroom Series - New York event | KPMG | GLOBAL
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International Brexit Boardroom Series - New York event

International Brexit Boardroom Series - New York event

Resetting for the future: A window into the global Brexit conversation.


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The Financial Times and KPMG International held a private editorial event, under Chatham House Rules, for board members and business leaders in New York in June 2017. The discussion was moderated by Industry and Energy Editor Ed Crooks - accompanied by insights and commentary from Daniel Dombey - the FT's dedicated Brexit Editor – as well as KPMG’s experts and UK Head of Brexit.

The discussion focused on the strategic choices facing corporate decision-makers as they prepare for Brexit and other shifts in the geopolitical landscape. How are American and other multi-national businesses planning for harder borders between the UK and EU? What should be the main objectives of a new UK-US trade deal? What is expected on tax reform in different regions?

Highlights of what we heard in New York

—  The UK election has once again blown open the array of possible scenarios for a post-Brexit world, and US businesses are looking to rationalize the noise and provide direction by answering one key question: is politics going to overshadow economics?

—  US businesses are subject to many of the same concerns as UK and EU-HQ companies – particularly the movement of people, intellectual property and data. Leaders are also concerned about the effect that Brexit will have on the UK economy, demand and investment, as well as the broader impacts – upstream on their suppliers and downstream on their customers. 

—  Rightly or wrongly, business leaders expect that talent will still be able to move freely, but anticipate low-skilled labor shortages in the UK. Companies are grappling with what this means for their workforces and supply chains. 

—  US corporations are already investing time and energy in scenario planning, and many are applying a ‘Brexit lens’ to longer-term decisions. Businesses believe that decisions critical to growth or cost reduction must continue to be made, and these are being made regardless of the uncertainty around Brexit.

—  Business leaders are seeking a transitional deal that is put in place with sufficient time for them to plan.

—  Brexit has caused a level of uncertainty over the UK’s position in the world that has made it a less attractive destination for some businesses. Leaders are considering all options – including moving globally to locations such as New York. The UK government may need to consider incentives to encourage companies that are thinking of other options to remain in the UK even though the UK market has the building blocks for sustainable business.

—  Businesses leaders recognize the potential upsides of Brexit, and all participants agree that the voice of business is needed to realize the opportunities it offers.


Read the full summary report (PDF 5.41 MB). 

Reflections on the Brexit Boardroom discussion

Karen Briggs – KPMG’s UK Head of Brexit - reflects on what US businesses are doing to reset for the future and how these viewpoints compare and contrast to UK CEO’s Brexit readiness.

Co-host at the event Emad Bibawi – Partner and New York Advisory office Leader, KPMG in the US – discusses the impact of Brexit on the US market and how New York as a location may be impacted. 

About the International Brexit boardroom series

This global program is led by KPMG International’s experts on Geopolitics and Brexit in collaboration with the Financial Times. Each of the events are co-hosted by KPMG’s national teams and UK Head of Brexit to bring both global, regional and UK perspectives into the discussions. The final event will take place in London - insights, executive summaries and video assets from the Frankfurt and Tokyo events are available. Reach out to us to learn more

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