Now ARM shareholders have approved the takeover by SoftBank, we have added SoftBank to our Top 30 Japanese companies in the UK. This has made the group more services heavy than before, with 12 companies in the UK focused on services (financial services but also IT – Fujitsu, advertising – Dentsu, logistics – NYK) and several others being a mix of services and manufacturing (Sony’s employees are mostly Sony Computer Entertainment, Sony Music or sales and marketing), or are manufacturers but have no factories in the UK (Japan Tobacco, Yazaki). Together they represent over 90,000 of the 140,000 or so people Japanese companies are estimated to employ in the UK.
Although the focus since the Japanese government’s “message to the UK and the EU” (which we blogged about here) has rightly been on the automotive sector, largely because of the indirect employment that sector generates, the very fact that there are enough employees in the services sector for them to make up nearly half of the employees of the largest Japanese companies in the UK shows how the balance has shifted over the past 43 years’ of EU membership. Truly free trade does lead to specialization.
You can download our latest ranking below, if you sign up for our free monthly newsletter. It’s a Brexit special which as well as including numbers of employees globally, in Europe and the UK also shows which acquisitions if any the company made, and also the manufacturing sites and offices in the region – to which production and jobs may eventually shift. As before, there is a big caveat that UK employee numbers are much harder to get hold of than the Europe or EMEA figures which are published in annual reports. We have had to use our best guess in some cases. There is no European employee total for SoftBank, because until they acquired ARM, they probably didn’t have enough people to justify breaking Europe out as a separate region. Indeed the head of strategic finance Rajeev Misra said that human capital needs to be built up in Europe in the last annual report. A hint of what was to come, in retrospect.
Japanese companies in the UK
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