In his monthly Western Mail column, Acorn's Matt Southall examines the current climate of the professional services arena in Wales.
Shortly after last week's excellent news from Aston Martin was announced, Firstsource Solutions revealed that they would be opening a second call centre in Cardiff, adding 300 financial and professional services staff to the 1,000 they already have in Wales.
Firstsource is one of many financial and professional services businesses that have recognised the benefits of locating their operations in Wales and have helped swell the numbers employed by this thriving sector to some 150,000.
We are privileged to have some excellent professional services brands located here and the likes of Deloitte, Lloyds Banking Group, Admiral and Eversheds to name just a few, mean that Wales is punching well above its weight when it comes to being a key destination for the UK's professional services sector. Banking, legal services, accountancy, financial technology and shared service centre operations - as well as ourselves at Acorn of course, running specialist UK-wide and global recruitment services from our head office base here in Newport - have all seen the benefits that come from having operations in Wales.
The Welsh Government has played an important role in the success of the sector, having designated it a priority a few years ago. Among the many services they offer, including a cost calculator to show how much companies could be saving, they provide services such as relocation support, assistance locating property solutions and support on recruitment and training.
Certainly when we're talking to businesses that may be considering a move to Wales, we cite the fact that they can benefit from a loyal, productive and highly skilled workforce, as well as a superb quality of life for themselves and their employees. And in particular when comparing here with a London alternative the competitive operating costs, property market, etc. also add to build a compelling offer.
And I envisage the success in bringing more and more professional service firms to Wales is set to continue through the combined efforts of both Welsh Government and Westminster - for example, we're on the verge of some terrific developments in regional infrastructure, both improving the transportation links to Wales and also moving people, business and jobs around more easily once they're here.
And it's not just lawyers looking for the next step up in the legal career, sales directors, HRDs or technology graduates that we hear from each week about new opportunities in Wales, we are also in regular touch with fin tech businesses and legal firms for example, looking proactively at moving out of places like London, either wholly or in part, to benefit from the opportunities working regionally can bring - and Wales is increasingly a first port of call.
Our direct experiences reflect well the increasing level of interest the region is now attracting and the number of professional services firms, to whatever extent at first, are opening new offices here in Wales.
In supporting the professional services sector here in Wales we have something significant to shout about, not just across the UK but also globally, and in my view the great news is there is more to come.