The British – Icelandic Chamber of Commerce and the Icelandic Chamber of Commerce published a report on Saturday covering the migration of Icelandic companies to London. The authors of the report estimate that Icelanders were holding about ISK 200 billion of assets in the UK in the first half of this year; from 2000 to 2005, Icelanders have invested over ISK 600 billion in foreign companies.
The English executive summary of the report likens investments of Icelanders in the UK to a tsunami and says that it has generated much media coverage in the UK: “The tsunami – like investment wave by Icelandic companies into London and the UK – has been vividly covered by the British press and increased the awareness of Iceland by the British public. Usually, the journalists have been trying to answer the question how it is possible that a country with the same number of inhabitants as a typical London borough can put its mark on the British Business life. For example, a recent article published in the The Economist cited “courage” and “resilience” shown by Icelandic companies in their invasion of Britain.”
The report is based on interviews by Icelandic journalist Sigrún Davidsdóttir with executives of Actavis, Bakkavor Group, Baugur Group, Íslandsbanki, Kaupthing Bank, and Landsbandi, and it aims to “throw light on the reasons driving the Icelandic outflow to London”. The interviews are anonymous “in order to cover a wider range of topics than they otherwise could have done.”
One of the main objectives of the report is “to describe clearly the characteristics of Icelandic executives – to capture their mindset and their business experience prior to the investment decision to go abroad.” The survey covers manufacturing and services companies.
According to the paper it “wishes to highlight the key success factors in the Icelandic business efflux to establish the main shred or diverse characteristics of Icelandic or British business life and to show how the Icelandic economy has benefited from this outflow.”
Iceland Review will report on some of those highlights in the Daily News section this week.