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2024 business outlook: Fortune favours the bold

Olly Purnell by Olly Purnell

How we’re seeing the year ahead


2024 is only a few weeks old, but it’s clear those waiting for a return to business as usual are missing the moment – and leaders focused on growth have good reason for the spring in their step.


Reading time: 2 minutes

Turbulence is priced in

Times have changed – turbulence in global affairs is here to stay. China’s rise & stall will not be without incident; Russia is testing the West’s will in Ukraine; conflict in the Middle East is unpredictable and there’s sharp elbows jostling in seas and space. `

The spectre of Trump 2 haunts the headlines; globalised business is a lot less ‘global’ than it was; and it’s harder work to keep resources, money, and ideas flowing across borders.

Doom-mongers are out in force, urging businesses to hunker down and hope storms pass, but I hope this gloomy message falls on a few deaf ears.

The ingredients are there to do positive business this year 

The best leaders and entrepreneurs have already found plenty to work with in 2024.

Financially, wage and cost inflation are shaking off the last of the gas price shock, cheaper money is coming as interest rate cuts are priced in, and investors are returning to a wider set of growth stocks & non-financial assets – there’s fuel for investment and growth.

Consumers and the jobs market are proving remarkably resilient after years of squeeze. The conservative Christmas retail spending has to be seen in the context of strong recent splurges on services, media, technology & travel – and discretionary income will pick back up as interest rates drop.

Record legal immigration shows the UK is still a hugely attractive place for talent, and offers the capacity many businesses need to deliver & expand.

Government departments spurred into action on strategic issues, are putting investment and greater urgency into energy, defense, and infrastructure. Unblocking power station builds and reactor innovation, keeping shipyards at their busiest in decades, pushing forward game changer technologies like DragonEye, securing FDI deals for car factories in Sunderland and digital headquarters in London. Many businesses reading the polls are getting ready for new drive and investment in housebuilding, green tech, and social services after the Election too.

AI–Enhanced Performance is Arriving

Perhaps most of all, commercial adoption of AI is here, and already offering the first significant productivity leap in a generation.

Microsoft, Google, Adobe, and co are mainlining AI advances into business workflows at speed worldwide. Investors are confident that we will see sustainable, achievable step changes on bottom lines across media, finance, professional services, health, and digital sectors.

We’re working with businesses already finding warmth in new efficiencies and new services using AI – and new higher value activities for their human teams to focus on now too.

Mindset matters

Taking advantage of all of this will be about the human factors, as always. Committing to growth strategies, being prepared to work and manage in the right way for today, and leading bold changes will once again be the foundation of business success this year.

So yes, geopolitics in the 2020s is still rocky. But every stage of the business cycle rewards businesses who can ‘dance in the rain’ – and in 2024 the gap is already widening between those who are playing dead and those who are seizing opportunity.

As always, there will be surprises along the way no doubt. Curious to know if you agree this is a market with an upside – I’m happy to be challenged!



Olly Purnell

Founder and Managing Partner 


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