Capita hosted a ‘Breakfast Bites’ event on behalf of The Federation of Corporate Real Estate (FCRE) recently.
Established in 2005, the FCRE is a networking and best practice group for CRE professionals in-house within corporates and also with advisers.
The event saw Jeremy Day, Capita’s head of occupiers and chairman of the FCRE, role-playing a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) facing a 2018 Central London lease renewal, threatened by rising rents, a changing workforce and challenged margins.
The delegates, which included central government, corporate real estate, office agency and technology sector representatives, concluded after much discussion that the CFO needs to act fast to properly understand his business and its staff and stakeholders, define its space requirements and agree a new occupational strategy, quite possibly incorporating a reduced Central London presence and a decentralised approach, with serviced offices and working from home definitely in the mix.
The consensus was that London will remain the dominant force it is today despite rising rents and supply shortfall, but this will drive a continued polarisation of higher margin businesses in Central London, and a continuing swing out of Central London and to the UK Regions (on cost, talent and quality of life grounds), for all but the highest margin corporations.
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