Stephen Chipman and his teams at Boston-based Radius have helped a lot of US companies set up their European headquarters in the United Kingdom especially London, and they are understandably concerned about what to do in the wake of the country’s referendum to leave the European common market.
Those UK offices employ a lot of people, a lot of skilled engineers, technicians, marketing and sales staff. So the prospect of moving their operations because of restricted access to the much larger European market is a top concern.
“There’s no need to worry right now, I tell them,“ says Chipman. “And there’s nothing that can be done right now, until we know what the terms of the exit will be. It could take years.”
“In the meantime your UK operations are a lot less expensive because of the drop in the pound,” points out Chipman.
Radius employs 800 people UK, Brazil, China, India, Japan and Singapore helping more than 600 companies expand globally by setting up, or managing their operations, running the offices, dealing with HR, taxes, local regulations, etc.
I met with Chipman on his recent visit to San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Radius had organized a series of meetings around the topic of Brexit.
Chipman says he was surprised by the Brexit vote but he doesn’t think that his clients will move to mainland Europe.
“Companies are in the UK because of the talent it has, and the talent it attracts. That’s unlikely to change. But each client is different.”
Chipman says that Radius has been expanding its tech clients locally. It recently acquired Montage Services, a San Francisco based tax and compliance firm.
“Startups don’t know how to open a sales office in Singapore and we do. We can get them into new markets quickly, help hire the staff, and deal with all the paperwork.”
Radius is not a typical services company. It has built a technology platform that allows clients to manage their offices and people through a desktop app. And a center of expertise in its 600-strong India based operations. It’s counting on being able to use technology to scale the company.