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London Calling - visiting our colleagues in Europe's financial capital

The Global Financial Centres Index ranks London as the world’s Number One Financial Centre. It stays a little ahead of New York, and Hong Kong. Canary Wharf is one of London's two main financial centers with about 95,000 people working in the European headquarters of numerous major banks, financial services firms and exchanges.
Here, at 11 Westferry Circus is also the home of the Deutsche Börse AG UK Representative Office and the Eurex London Office.

Stuart Heath, Executive Director, London, about working in a key global financial centre

We've been talking to Stuart Heath, Head of the UK presentative office, about living and working in Europe's financial center.

Mr. Heath, tell us a little about the Eurex Representative Office in London?

The new Deutsche Börse office, incorporating nine of the Group companies (including the Eurex Group of companies) is situated in Canary Wharf – one of the major “Finanzplatz” areas of London. Our location is ideal in that the greatest concentration of our customers, in terms of business generated, is within a short walk of the office – and the City of London, where the bulk of the rest of our customers reside, is 20 minutes away by Tube or the DLR.

The office is close to the river and the area offers some great restaurants, bars and retail therapy on and near the waterfront – and you can also catch the river taxi into Central London.

How many people and how many nationalities are working in the office?

In total there are approximately 150 people working for Deutsche Börse Group in London. The vast majority have the sole focus on serving our clients here. The Cash and Derivatives segment (the Xetra and Eurex divisions) make up approximately 65 staff with the remainder working for Clearstream, MNI News, the European Energy Exchange and STOXX.

Reflecting the cosmopolitan character of London itself, there is a wide range of nationalities represented within the office and an even wider range of languages spoken.

Our close proximity to the Clearstream business means that we share a lot of information about what each division is focused on, and can bring that message to our mutual customer-base.

Are there any challenges being a German company in London?

None in terms of structure, laws or rules – London is host to a huge number of international and multinational organisations and most of the differences are small and often cultural. These usually can (and will) be explained by a London taxi driver on the way from the airport.

How do you see the future of London as a global financial center?

Personally, I think London will always be a key global financial center. This is not just based on its history – but on two key exports of the UK, namely law and language. From a Eurex Group perspective, approximately 60% of our global business originates in, or is directed through, the client-base in the UK and Ireland which is covered by the London office. We are also well placed to support the efforts of all other locations of Eurex Group as many of the companies to whom we speak have a similar geographic footprint to that of Eurex Group.

What is your favorite thing about living and working in London?

To me, London is an interesting place to work – but of course it’s also a fantastic place to live. With over 8 million people living here, every nationality, every language and every cuisine is represented and there’s something to enjoy for everyone – be it art, entertainment, culture or sport – and usually all at the same time. I think a good summation is that I heard someone mention that Monday is the new weekend to them as they had seen a live band or show every Monday for the last month.

London facts & figures

Population: 8.17 million (2011)
Weather:10 to 14 rainy days per month
Currency:

 1 £ = 1.1713 €

Price of a BigMac:

  2.29 £
Average rent in private accommodation: 1,106 £

Did you know, that

· London has the largest number of community languages spoken in Europe.
  Over 300 languages are spoken in London schools with Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi,
  Cantonese and Mandarin most common.     

· around 250 festivals take place in London every year including Europe's biggest street festival,
  the Notting Hill Carnival.

· London's Tube is the oldest underground railway in the world. The Metropolitan Line opened
  on 10 January 1863. Today there are 270 stations on London's tube network covering a total
  route of 402 km (250 miles)                                                                                                            

London whereabouts

Where to go: See world class musicals, plays, operas and ballets in the West End, take in some visual delights at the Tate Modern or the Photographers’ Gallery (where Deutsche Börse sponsor the annual Deutsche Börse Photography Prize), or watch a movie at one of the numerous pop-up rooftop cinemas scattered around the city – some with hot tubs.

What to see: Columbia Road, Greenwich and Spitalfields markets – but get there early. The British Museum is breath-taking – the roof itself is a marvel. The Wellcome Collection is perhaps less well-known but definitely worth a visit. “Shopping” for diamonds at the Tower of London is an option although perhaps not legal.

Where to eat: Breakfast at the Hawksmoore, afternoon tea at the Savoy, dinner at Hakkasan, cake at L’Eto Caffé and nightcaps overlooking the rooftops of Shoreditch at The Boundary.

Where to party: Nightclubs go in and out of fashion faster than Russell Brand. However it’s always a good idea to find out where Prince Harry’s club du jour is and make your way there. Alternatively, on any given day there’s sure to be a great music festival somewhere in London – especially in the summer.

Where to shop: London is truly a shopping destination. Camden is great for unique and odd curios, Knightsbridge, Chelsea, Kensington and Mayfair for the more upmarket experience. Whilst not for the faint of heart, Oxford Street is where you’ll find several major department stores and is only a hop skip and a jump from Soho.

 

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