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Henri Murison speaks on Northern Powerhouse – Guest Post by Bird Lovegod

Jake Fox / 7th June 2018

“When Henri Murison, Chief Exec of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership took the stage at Fintech North (Manchester), I recall wanting to be able to ask him a couple of questions, one relating to the role of Universities in the Powerhouse, and another relating to the concept itself. Is it possible, in truth, to create a unified Northern commercial intention? One of my concerns was that the Northern Powerhouse was and is a microcosm of the European Powerhouse, also known as the EU. The bone of contention being the individual ambitions of the individual components versus the collective ambition of the whole. Ultimately, how to prevent some sort of cannibalisation, whereby the unit as a whole profits slightly, but at the expense of the weakest in the pool, Greece, to the benefit of the strongest, Germany. Have I digressed, possibly, so it’s fortunate the video works (below) But you get my point. Unless a collective truly works together, there is a risk of amplified competition within the unit. A powerhouse divided, and all that.

With regards to the Universities, I’m getting inundated to the point of actually doing something about it with the frequency and consistency of the SWOT grid on this. I’ll spell it out. The Strength is the multiple excellent Universities in the North, the Weakness is the fact that they are not integrated into the commercial fintech ecosystem in any meaningful way, the Opportunity is to do exactly that, and the Threat is the continuous talent drain into London which is the single biggest reason why fintechs in London don’t need to come North, because the talent already goes South. Keep the talent here, nurture that talent to fit to purpose, and the fintech companies will move themselves. QED.”

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