Let's move out of the City

Date Published: 14/05/2020 10:13

Jillian Thomas asks why investment companies can't move out of the City of London, where office costs are sky high, after the lockdown

One thing I never understand is why so many of the investment companies have their administration centres with the square mile of the City of London. There could be an argument for the investment managers to be there, so they have easy connections with staff at HQs of major companies, but why do the admin teams need to be there?

These employees have some of the highest cost of living expenses, commute on full trains, into an area with poor air quality.  And for what?

With some of the most expensive real estate and office costs in the world, is it just vanity for the back-office functions to also be there? If these teams were not in central London, with all the associated costs, couldn’t the fees that are levied be reduced and clients have a better value proposition?

One of the consequences of the lockdown is that these businesses have found they can operate and function from outside the City of London.  Many staff I now talk to are enjoying the commute to work across the landing, into the bedroom, which has become the makeshift office, rather than becoming a ‘sardine’ packed into confinements of the tube.

Once the lockdown is over, I do wonder if CEOs will have the courage to de-camp out of the south east, to relocate to the provinces and ‘zoom’ in and out as required.  Outside of the bubble, we know (and this includes here in Sheffield and surrounding areas) there are good facilities, great office space, pleasant and cheaper places to live, and a very willing and able workforce.

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