Trade and investment firm opens Nottingham office

Gareth Hagan

OCO Global, the trade, investment and economic development advisory firm, has opened a new office in Nottingham.

The office will help support a new multimillion-pound, five-year contract with the Department for Business & Trade (DBT) to support inward investment across the UK.

Established in Belfast over 20-years ago, OCO Global now employs over 200 people in 14 offices in cities including London, New York, Frankfurt, Dubai and Beijing. Clients include international development agencies such as the Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority and blue-chip firms including PWC, Siemens and PepsiCo.

The Nottingham office will initially include five senior analysts focusing on the DBT contract but with the intention of growing operations to provide advisory services across the Midlands, particularly in emerging industries such as clean technologies.

OCO analysts in Nottingham and Belfast are supporting a drive by DBT to attract higher value investment into the UK focusing on growth sectors such as quantum mechanics, net zero and sustainability. OCO provides potential investors with bespoke research to support their decision-making processes.

Gareth Hagan, OCO’s CEO, said: “Nottingham is our third office in the UK after Belfast and London, and we’re delighted that our new work with DBT has enabled us to expand into the Midlands.

“The city has an excellent university base and available talent, and we believe there are wider economic opportunities in the Midlands. The region has one of the UK’s most dynamic manufacturing bases with strengths in Digital Content, Life Sciences and Clean Technologies.

“OCO offers firms advice on international market opportunities and we see a long-term opportunity to grow this side of our business in Great Britain.”

Earlier this year a survey of 74 investment promotion agencies across OCO’s international client base found that 75% had developed specific strategies to attract quality rather than quantity FDI projects.

Quality includes projects centred on innovative technology, better qualified jobs and those based in strategically important sectors such as energy and digital. Of the ten largest FDI greenfield projects announced in 2022, six related to renewable energy and three centred on semiconductor manufacturing.

Richard Platts, OCO’s products & proposition manager in Nottingham, said: “Geo-political events in Ukraine and China, and the impact of Covid-19 on national finances have put immense pressures on supply chains and talent retention. As a result, competition for inward investment has never been stronger and Governments have reacted by targeting projects which offer quality rather than quantity.

“OCO has been working with DBT for over 12 years and in that time we’ve been involved in some of the UK’s largest inward investment projects. Quality inward investment projects require increasingly complex support and our Nottingham analysts will provide DBT and potential investors with bespoke, high-end research.

“OCO’s expansion into Nottingham is a vote of confidence in the region and a good demonstration of levelling-up in action.”