Friends Provident, the leading financial services group confirmed today that it will move its London headquarters to One New Change, the hugely successful mixed use scheme delivered by Land Securities and designed by Jean Nouvel that overlooks St Paul’s Cathedral. Around 200 people including the group’s executive directors and corporate teams will move from the firms existing offices at 100 Wood Street into the landmark development in April this year following fit out.
After the merger in September 2010 of Friends Provident and the bulk of AXA’s UK life insurance business, the new group, set to be known as Friends Life had been searching for a new headquarters in the square mile. Friends Provident has so far only stated that it has taken approximately 48,000 sq ft, which would indicate that it has agreed to occupy part of either the 2nd or 3rd floor. Land Securities will release its third quarter interim management statement tomorrow (Wednesday 19th), which will likely offer more details in terms of both the rent achieved and the lease period agreed, which is expected to be £52.50 per sq ft on a 15-year lease with a rent free period of 36 months.
The deal is one of two that the London based developer had previously confirmed were in solicitors hands, with other names linked to the remaining four floors of office space including both the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Lloyds Banking Group. The retail element of the scheme has long since been fully let with retailers known to be queuing up to take any space that becomes available.