Fund firms make move to new base in at Atria site

Investment firm Alliance Trust and a pension fund for local government workers have become the latest tenants in Edinburgh’s Atria office development, taking its occupancy level to about 60 per cent.
Katherine Garrett-Cox: Alliance Trust is seeking flexibility. Picture: Jane BarlowKatherine Garrett-Cox: Alliance Trust is seeking flexibility. Picture: Jane Barlow
Katherine Garrett-Cox: Alliance Trust is seeking flexibility. Picture: Jane Barlow

Alliance Trust and the Lothian Pension Fund have both signed 15-year leases for suites within the Atria One building on Morrison Street. They are the first to announce a move to the site since accounting giant PwC said in July that it was taking an entire 32,000sq ft floor in one of the largest lettings of 2013.

Ben Reed, director at JLL and joint letting agent for Atria, said: “These particular lettings… demonstrate our ability to accommodate organisations looking for smaller suites.”

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Alliance Trust is making the move to its new 7,700sq ft home from its current site on George Street. The Dundee-based firm, headed by chief executive Katherine Garrett-Cox, also has offices in London and employs more than 250 people. In March, the group said that it had started registering companies in England to provide “operational flexibility” and deal with economic uncertainty caused by the independence referendum.

Its is also planning to invest about £2 million in its Alliance Trust Savings (ATS) division in a move aimed at bringing in more business from financial advisers. ATS delivered its first annual profit for eight years in 2013 after the operation’s assets under management swelled by a third, and last month it reported a 5 per cent rise in assets to £5.7bn.

Lothian Pension Fund, which serves local government staff in Edinburgh and the Lothians, was previously based at the city council’s Waverley Court head office. The £3.5bn fund is one of the largest in the UK, with more than 100 associated employers and 65,000 members, and has taken up a 4,400sq ft suite.

Investment manager Brewin Dolphin and the Green Investment Bank have already settled into the landmark building, next to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. Atria was developed and funded by the city council with part-funding from Scottish Enterprise.