Tuesday 21 November 2017

US investment bank J.P. Morgan buys 130,000 SQ FT office building in Dublin

Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Global real estate investment company Kennedy Wilson, in a joint venture with Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited and the National Asset Management Agency has announced that J.P. Morgan is to become the first major occupier to commit to the highly-sought after Capital Dock campus development through a forward-funding sale agreement.

The news comes after the investment bank confirmed at the weekend that it was planning to increase the number of staff it has in Dublin following the Brexit vote. The building is capable of accommodating over 1,000 staff.

The investment bank will acquire ‘200 Capital Dock’, a prime office building of c. 130,000 sq ft through a forward-funding sale agreement to coincide with completion of the building, expected in Q3 2018.

Extending over 4.8 acres, Capital Dock is designed to meet the needs of the many rapidly expanding international businesses based in Dublin. Positioned on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, in the heart of Dublin’s Docklands, Capital Dock is one of the largest single phase ground up developments to be delivered in Dublin with over 660,000 sq ft of new mixed-use space.

Read more: JP Morgan to move up to 1,000 London staff to secure EU business after Brexit

The campus-style scheme is designed by award-winning Irish architecture firm O’Mahony Pike and will include 345,000 sq ft of office space across 100, 200 and 300 Capital Dock and 190 high-quality rented residential units with waterfront views across three aspects, including a 23-storey tower marking the gateway to the city.

“We are excited to welcome J.P. Morgan, through its acquisition of 200 Capital Dock, as the first major office occupier to commit to this best-in-class mixed-use campus development, to grow its existing business and meet its long-term plans in Ireland,” said William McMorrow, chairman and ceo of Kennedy Wilson.

“Dublin has the vibrant business and technology communities that suit a global firm like ours, given the momentum of our local businesses, this new building gives us room to grow and some flexibility within the European Union,” Carin Bryans, senior country officer for J.P. Morgan in Ireland said.

The news was welcomed by both the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, who described it as a huge vote of confidence for the government’s economic policies, Minister of State for Financial Services Eoghan Murphy TD, who said the move “reflects the increasing importance of Ireland as a gateway into the Single Market.”

JP Morgan will relocate between 500 and 1,000 front and back office staff from London, with custody business roles destined for Dublin, treasury services set to settle in Luxembourg, and investment banking positions bound for Frankfurt, according to people familiar with the matter.

It is understood that the relocation drive will take place ahead of spring 2019, when the two-year window for Brexit negotiations draws to a close, and the UK is expected to lose passporting rights for financial services.

Kennedy Wilson boss Mary Ricks added: "The Dublin occupier market is buoyant and we are in active and advanced dialogue with both Irish and international companies attracted to our visionary Capital Dock development and looking to base themselves in the heart of Dublin."

A growing list of financial services firms have confirmed relocation plans following the Brexit vote, with HSBC moving 1,000 staff to France, AIG set to shift a string of executives to Luxembourg and Lloyd's of London opting for a subsidiary in Brussels.

JP Morgan chief executive Jamie Dimon previously indicated around 4,000 of the bank's 16,000 UK employee base could move as a result of Brexit.

JP Morgan has been in Ireland since 1968 and currently employs 500 people here.

Additional reporting from PA

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