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Space for 1,000 jobs in St Andrew Square

Standard Life expands into £75 million office development

SLI officesStandard Life is expanding its operations into a £75 million development at the corner of St Andrew Square in Edinburgh.

Its fund management arm is taking most of the office space in the building where it will move more than 1,000 staff from 2017. It will be an overspill from its existing headquarters in nearby George Street.

Talks were under way  to expand into the building at the same time as the company was making threats to leave Scotland if there had been a Yes vote for independence.

There has been speculation in the property market for several months that Standard Life Investments (SLI) would occupy the building which will also house a flagship store for retailer TK Maxx. SLI is jointly developing the site.

Keith Skeoch, chief executive of SLI,  said: “Standard Life Investments has seen considerable global expansion in 2014, both in assets under management and people. This organic growth along with the recent integration of Ignis Asset Management and Standard Life Wealth, plus the global collaboration agreement with Manulife, means we needed to prepare for the future and ensure we have the right strategy for our long-term estate portfolio worldwide.

“The new premises in Edinburgh are just across the road from our existing HQ and will provide our people with the right high quality office environment to foster continued success as we expand our global asset management capability.”

Expansion during the year has included the acquisition in July of Ignis Asset Management. SLI now manages more than £240 billion of assets and has increased its operational and client servicing footprint, with further investment planned to support continued growth.

Standard Life Investments operates in 17 countries and ten new international offices have opened or will shortly open in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Munich, Tokyo, Zurich, Stockholm, Brussels, Milan and Madrid.

The business is also expanding its London office plus US and Hong Kong hubs – taking the entire floor of 1 Beacon Street in Boston, and an additional floor in The Gherkin, St Mary Axe. The Paris team has moved to new bigger offices, the Sydney office is in the process of doubling in size, and the Frankfurt team will move to new larger premises in Spring 2015.

The new building in St Andrew Square will be a striking modern complex that will include a replica facade of the 1960s former Scottish Provident headquarters.

Construction work begins early next year and will provide 105,000 sq ft of grade A offices, retail and leisure use in what Keith Dobson, director of Savills, says is the only garden square development in Britain. The building should be complete at the end of 2016.

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