Yesterday in the papers Facebook confirmed that a significant part of their business would be re-locating to London where there was an abundance of the right skill sets for that business. In this attached July article from the FT – WR Berkley, a large US Insurer which has a market value of $5.4bn, confirms that they have agreed with the City’s planners to construct a 40 storey tower – close to Lloyd’s of London.
WR Berkley is one of the largest providers of insurance capacity to midsized companies in the US. They are now looking to scale up their operations in Europe with offices in Germany, Ireland, Spain and Norway – but it is London that they have come to for their European HQ.
In January – as reported in The Advantage – Aon signed a lease for 191,000 sq ft of the Leadenhall Building (cheese grater) – and will be moving their Group HQ to London – the first time this has happened with a US FS listed firm. Another big US Insurer – Markel – have agreed to take 51,000 sq ft of the Land Securities (Walkie Talkie) building. This is good news for the London Market Insurance community and great news for the City. Interestingly – JP Morgan recently moved their European HQ into Canary Wharf. It would seem that there is a trend here – with Investment Banking clustering in Canary Wharf and Insurance and Asset Management firms in the City.