Abbey Business Centres was established in 1998 and was privately owned by The Lord Laidlaw of Rothiemay, one of Scotland’s most successful businessmen and philanthropists.



Abbey Offices was keen to expand its network of sites across central London by opening a new prestigious facility located in the City core to compliment its other 13 centres across the UK.

When, in June 2008, Swiss Re took the decision to release the 15th floor at 30 St.Mary Axe, EC3, McCalmont-Woods quickly introduced the accommodation to Abbey Offices. The premises comprised 17,000 sq ft of fitted-out office space on the highest floor occupied by Swiss Re in the iconic ‘Gherkin’ building with commanding views over the City of London and across to the West End and Canary Wharf.



Initially, Swiss Re had been seeking to let its surplus offices on a traditional lease (at a quoting rent of £62.50 per sq ft) but McCalmont-Woods was able to convince the Swiss insurer to instead enter into an Operator Management Agreement (‘OMA’) with Abbey Offices and after twelve months exhaustive negotiations, Abbey Offices opened its new City business centre in June 2009. The innovative structure of the OMA required a detailed financial model to be constructed, enabling both parties to benchmark future operating success.


Julie Calder, Managing Director
“Nick McCalmont-Woods has represented Abbey Business Centres for three years, initially in his previous position, but when he set up on his own, it was an obvious move for me to continue to use his services. Nick is a professional who sets himself apart by being clearly focused on understanding his client’s ultimate requirements and then securing them.”