Publication A Question of Investment – why are boards investing too little in British business?

If investment in the United Kingdom is falling, it’s not down to Brexit.

Our analysis (conducted in association with RWC Partners) shows that investments made by the corporate sector had already started to lag behind the rest of the G7 well before June 2016.

The problem is one of an increasingly anti-investment culture in UK corporate boardrooms; if higher productivity is the aim then countries with high rates of employment usually achieve it by investing in new technologies.

In the case of the UK, we should point out that the problem is not economy-wide: so far as entrepreneurs, tech venture funds and family-owned business are concerned, investment levels are up.

So why is it that the big corporates are increasingly erring towards share buy backs and higher dividend pay-outs – thus underpinning share price performance – rather than investing in long-term wealth generation?

The country needs the sort of bolder entrepreneurial leadership that has marked our economy out in the past _______

It’s no secret that the UK is facing major challenges in terms of infrastructure, skills, health, housing, energy, water and the environment. And yet the corporate sector is not stepping up.

We need new ideas, the finest minds and serious investment to capture the many benefits of breakthroughs that are rapidly occurring in technologies such as AI, genetics and new material sciences.

Tomorrow’s Company believe that business has the potential to deliver societal, economic and environmental good.

But any benefit will be adequate at best if there remains a desire for short-term returns.

The country needs the sort of bolder entrepreneurial leadership that has marked our economy out in the past: an appetite for the risks associated with investment in innovation and long-term wealth must be rekindled in the boardroom.

Please download our report (below). We hope that it stimulates discussion and action on what is a vitally important topic.

Norman Pickavance,

CEO Tomorrow’s Company

"Tomorrow's Company shine a light on the structural and cultural shortcomings which are not just holding British business back, but also preventing us from achieving a more just and prosperous economy. This report offers a wealth of ideas for addressing these problems. A vital contribution to the debate on how we can forge a new economic settlement in Britain" _______ Rachel Reeves, Chair of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee