In the first of a new series in which FOW visits the derivatives communities of European cities, Siân Williams reports that Parisians still fear the brain drain to London, but believe the flow of talent might be turning in Paris’s favour.
The view from the Palais de Chaillot in Paris is impressive.
Near the Trocadéro metro station, this exhibition
centre, built in the 1930s, boasts views of some of
Paris’s main attractions: the Eiffel Tower, the
Hôtel des Invalides and a fine view of skyscrapers
cutting across the clear autumnal sky.
But walk just a hundred metres or two from this tourist
idyll and you can enter a variety of elegant buildings that
house another exciting, if less visible, part of Parisian
culture — its financial services industry.
At first appearance, the two spheres seem completely
different. The romantic and architecturally indulgent Parisian
landscape appears to contrast with the high tech world of
derivatives, where technology is quickly outpaced and replaced
and every second is crucial.
But, according to market participants, the two have
something vital in common — a quintessential
Frenchness that no foreigner, no matter how well-seasoned a
traveller, can completely understand or master.
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