Brexit: A critical juncture of relocation in European financial services?
The recent EU-withdrawal (BREXIT) endangers up to 75,000 workplaces in the United Kingdom (UK) and raises hopes at different European financial centers like Frankfurt, to gain up to 10,000 new workplaces within the financial sector through relocation activities. The BREXIT might be seen as a “critical juncture”, which is a central issue in institutional research in order to explain discontinuous and unforeseeable developments. This project uses this unique chance to study regional economic development beyond historical fractures based on the case of the European financial economy. It focuses the aim to capture geographical relocation processes during their initial phase and to increase our empirical understanding of their structural conditions. While traditional conceptualizations in financial and regulatory perspectives on relocation processes often address hard locational factors, we use a relational perspective to understand the process of relocation. Based on expert interviews in several financial centers and on a social network analysis of interlocking directorships within the financial sector, this project aims to integrate insights from the interlocking directorship literature into theories of relocation and internationalization. This project follows three fundamental questions: i) Is the composition of boards of directors related to ongoing preparations for Brexit, (ii) does the network of interlocking directorships affecting the relocation processes, and (iii) are these processes associated with broader organizational strategies and characteristics.