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If you thought NFI meant Not Flippin’ Invited — or something similar — you’d feel sorry for recruitment tycoon Robert Walters.
His NFIs are up 16%. Happily, though, in his business it stands for Net Fee Income, and — despite Brexit — fees are up, meaning clients are hiring.
Banks might not be hammering on his door, but then Walters says that’s been the case for years.
What’s really encouraging is that other companies are looking to recruit armies of accountants and lawyers to advise them on Brexit’s ramifications.
You could harrumph that compliance wonks do not an economy build, and you’d be right. But Walters says clients have also been hiring staff to handle big export orders springing from sterling’s weakness.
Is this is just a short-term gain to be followed by long-term pain when Article 50 is invoked? Perhaps, but Walters doesn’t seem to think so.
It’s good to hear some optimism in town for a change.
After all, no one invites the party pooper.
Shanks’ euro sense
Waste disposal group Shanks is also consigning Brexit gloom to the dustbin, pressing ahead with its takeover of Benelux recycler VGG.
As the €440 million deal is priced in euros but paid for in our newly devalued sterling, it is costing Shanks £40 million more today than it would have in May when the talks began. Thanks, Boris.
Nonetheless, it makes sense because of the euro revenues that VGG will bring for years to come.
As with yesterday’s bigger deal by Melrose, Shanks is sending a sign of confidence in the City.
Plenty more UK companies are hunting for deals that bring in dollars and euros. London M&A isn’t dead yet.