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Investors aren’t put off, they see the direction of travel the area is going in, they see the fantastic workforce and the great professional services, and they want to invest here.” These were the words of Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen at a recent Brexit on Teesside event arranged by Vintage, Chartered Financial Planners.

Almost 200 people attended the event, held at the Grand Marquee, situated within Wynyard Hall’s impressive walled gardens. As well as the Mayor, the event also offered attendees a chance to hear investment expert Neal Bailey of Invesco give his views on how Brexit might affect investments on a global scale.

Both speakers went down incredibly well with guests, who described it as, “fascinating”, “thought-provoking”, “enlightening” and a “top class event”.

 The date chosen for the event was significant as being the original date set for the UK to leave the European Union.

Paul Adams, partner at Vintage, was first to take the stage and welcome guests. He provided a brief synopsis of the Brexit saga so far, from Teresa May’s initial optimism, claiming “Brexit means Brexit and we’re going to make a success of it“, right through to the latest twists and turns.

He then handed over to Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, who gave his views that investment in the region is still strong and if anything, the impact will be a brief hiatus which will soon be resolved by some forward momentum on us leaving the EU.

“I believe we would see investment turbo-charged if the uncertainty of Brexit went away. I don’t think this is an issue of being good or bad for Teesside, Teesside is on the up, things are going extremely well. I just believe that without Brexit we’d be on turbo-charge and we’d be seeing a huge amount of investment” he claimed.

Ben made way for Neal, who despite initially joking about Brexit, told attendees that events in the UK only have a very small part to play in investment markets, which are usually dictated by more global events. Neal described himself as a macro strategist for Invesco, who manage £91 billion assets in the UK and well over a trillion dollars worldwide.

He said “In general, we’re looking at a reasonable level of growth. The forecasts are that the global economy will continue to grow throughout this year and maybe into next and that’s positive for everybody because if we’re all growing then we’re buying more goods and services from each other and we’re all helping each other. But if one starts to wobble then markets start to become anxious.”

The day concluded with an enticingly heated question and answer debate, where Ben and Neal’s opposing views on Brexit took centre stage.

Once the presentation came to a close, guests were invited to stay for lunch, to chat and to enjoy the scenic Wynyard Hall gardens in the sunshine.


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This post was written by Karen Parker