Macquarie Weighs New London HQ in Vote of Confidence for Offices

Macquarie Group Ltd. has kicked off a hunt for a potential new London headquarters, a show of confidence in the long-term prospects of the capital’s office market.

The Sydney-based bank is seeking brokers to help search for new offices of a similar size to its current premises on the City of London fringes, according to people familiar with the process. Any move wouldn’t happen for several years and Macquarie could still renew its current lease that expires in 2025, the people said, asking not to be identified as the process is private.

A spokeswoman for Macquarie declined to comment.

Macquarie’s London headcount has grown by more than half since the bank first signed for 217,000 square feet (20,160 square meters) in the Ropemaker Place development in 2010, one of the people said. The group employed about 1,000 people in the U.K. capital when the lease was originally agreed, according to a statement at the time.

Any move would be a boost for London’s office market, which has been at the core of a debate about the future of the workplace. Banks were among the slowest adopters of home working before the pandemic struck but have since been among the most vocal about what lies ahead. While lenders including HSBC Holdings Plc and Lloyds Banking Group Plc are cutting space, others have become fierce proponents of the office.

Read more: The Workplace We Return to Will Be a Hybrid of Home and HQ

Macquarie has shifted some staff to Paris and Dublin following the U.K.’s Brexit vote, but overall headcount in London continues to rise, the person said. The existing office, which was developed by British Land Co., includes a striking red staircase that zig zags through Macquarie’s section of the building.

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