Is the world looking like a Rocky Horror Show?


2024 is looking like it could be a momentous year for planet earth.

Why? Over four billion people will be voting in national elections, with much of the world appearing to be looking for change after the events of the last few years. While here in the UK, it’s a jump to the left, internationally, it’s a step to the right, as a palpable increase in nationalism across the globe reflects shifting sentiment from the co-operative approach that, at least until Trump’s election in 2016, had seemingly benefitted the majority, to a more selfish assessment of potential outcomes.

So elections, along with the conflicts that fill our screens, will almost certainly add to existing uncertainty on the world economy. The OECD forecasts that global growth will slow to 2.7%. In reality, that growth is driven from India, China and Indonesia. With the exception of the USA at 1.5%, the OECD has the other G7 economies growing by a paltry 1% or lower. Is this time to put your hands on your hips and wait before investing or making big decisions – staring up at the sword of Damocles?

Well, one man who has not done this already in 2024 is Lewis Hamilton. On 8 December he will pull his knees in tight for the last time in a Mercedes as he squeezes in for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix before crossing the pit lane to Ferrari.

I think Lewis continues to set a fine example here. He could so easily see out his days (at $200k a day) at Mercedes but still strives for greater success. Very few of us have any control over the outcomes of elections, GDP growth or, indeed, F1 races; we can only play the ball that is in front of us and many of you are doing a brilliant job of it. Firms are still excelling, there is plenty of capital for growth, and we still see lots of high-quality buyers, both at home and abroad, for our deals.

Carpe Diem – before we know it, another year will have passed and we will have done the time warp again. So where do you want you, and your business, to “be” by the time Lewis is driving the prancing horse? And what do you need to do to get there without relying on your world being rose tinted?

By Charles Whelan on 07/02/2024