Marketform Managing Agency (rebranded as Neon Underwriting) is a global insurer operating in the specialist Lloyd’s market and is a member of Great American Insurance Group (GAIG), the insurance operations of American Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:AFG).
Marketform occupied 20,000 sq ft in a historic Grade II listed self-contained office building on the fringe of the City’s insurance district. An impending lease expiry event provided Marketform with the option to review its occupational requirements and either continue to occupy floors of c.2,800 sq ft in its existing building under new and improved lease terms (‘stay-option’) or, to size the opportunity to relocate to a more modern office building located closer to the Lloyd’s of London market building (‘go-option’) and consolidate its operations on one large single floor, enabling its staff to work more efficiently and productively.
McCalmont-Woods was tasked with undertaking a thorough investigation of available properties with a preferred building (and Plan B back-up option) selected for detailed financial review and benchmarking. Despite the preferred building option being advertised as newly refurbished Grade A offices, pre-acquisition building and M&E surveys revealed certain remedial works were needed to the property’s air-conditioning system. Because the due diligence surveys were commissioned early on in the acquisition process there was no disruption to heads of terms negotiations, which were adjusted to oblige the building owners to carry out the necessary remedial works prior to lease grant.
McCalmont-Woods successfully concluded negotiations for Marketform to acquire a large single floor of 29,500 sq ft at 20 Gracechurch Street, EC3, a landmark building strategically located between the City’s financial and insurance districts. A new protected LTA 1954 lease for a term of 10 years was agreed on the 5th floor which maximised the tenant incentives available to Marketform and produced cost savings of £4 million for the business.
Andy Ribaudo, Chief Financial Officer
“We initially had an office space spread over 6 floors, in a building that was nice, but not really close enough to Lloyd’s to meet our needs. We worked with Nick to move into a building that let all of us be on the same floor, and not only closer to Lloyd’s, but with other insurance companies in the building. The impact of getting all of us on the same floor was tremendous – it really made a difference in how we worked together.”