Tax increases are driving London's top money managers to pick up and move to Switzerland, Bloomberg News reports. From the Bloomberg article:
"Some people think it's morally wrong to be working for the government for more than half the year," says Jonathan Ivinson, a Geneva-based tax partner at international law firm Hogan & Hartson LLP, as he works the room, passing by a painting of Horatio Nelson's HMS Victory.
Fed-up financial professionals say they're ready to quit the U.K. because of a lethal combination of high taxes, looming European regulation and public anger toward bankers following taxpayer rescues of some of Britain's biggest lenders. London's highest earners must now pay a 50 percent tax on incomes above 150,000 pounds ($227,200) that came into force on April 6, replacing a 40 percent top rate.
The new levy follows a temporary 50 percent tax on banker bonuses that the Labour government imposed on awards over 25,000 pounds issued from December 2009 to April 2010.
Geneva has already attracted some of London's top talent. Alan Howard, co-founder of Brevan Howard Asset Management LLP, Europe's largest hedge fund firm, has rented office space in Geneva for 60 traders relocating from London. Howard himself is considering joining them, according to investors in the firm's funds who have been briefed on the matter.
BlueCrest Capital Management Ltd., Europe's third-largest hedge fund firm, has opened a Geneva office for as many as 70 traders and analysts who have worked in London on its two biggest funds.