Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Footloose Financiers Leave City as Cheapest Office Option

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Footloose Financiers Leave City as Cheapest Office Option

Article excerpt

Byline: Nick Hungerford comment

AN UNASSUMING side street in Vauxhall isn't somewhere you'd expect to find an investment company, but try working by the train tracks in Clapham.

The whole place shook once an hour, particularly violently, when the 14.42 fast train zoomed past. So in June 2012 we landed in Vauxhall with a fancy new HQ and a decent deal on the rent. Nearly three years on from that, it's time to move again. Having grown so much, we've had to jettison a couple of departments to a spill-over office down the road in Oval. Wanting the team to be together again, we're on the hunt for somewhere new.

But what we've discovered during that hunt is that London has changed since the great financial crisis, not only in spirit but also in form. What used to be the domain of the top hats and pinstripes is now much more, well, open.

Wanting to stay close to where we are now, we started with Vauxhall. If you've travelled along the South Bank any time over the past few years you couldn't help but notice the huge amount of redevelopment work that is going on.

The US and Chinese embassies are coming to Vauxhall, and shiny new apartment complexes are going up faster than you could imagine.

The traditional combination of creative, start-up and industrial businesses have been joined by financiers and hedge-fund managers. Perhaps having a Pret a Manger endorses the area as safe; the fact that our first local sushi restaurant opened last year certainly does. So where did these hedge-fund managers come from? Mayfair. Now that they've been priced out of the dark blue squares on the Monopoly board, they are moving to areas like Victoria, Vauxhall and Angel. Even into the more rugged areas of Piccadilly and Soho.

It won't come as a surprise to any readers that more financial firms are moving to Canary Wharf. …

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