People & Business: Super-SIB's search for sq ft has agents drooling

Whither super-SIB? Or rather, which of the handful of suitable sites in London will house Labour's new investment regulator?

The subject is a hot topic in regulatory circles, not least because the 2,000-odd staff may end up in Canary Wharf in London's Docklands, still not the easiest place to get to and from.

Word is that staff from the nine existing bodies which will go to make up the new leviathan are fighting a rearguard action to avoid banishment downriver. Optimists argue that since super-SIB's chairman, Howard Davies, lives in west London, he is unlikely to want to commute that far east.

Finding a site for super-SIB is also making property agents drool, being by far the biggest property deal in the capital for some time.

Super-SIB will need around 300,000 sq ft of space by next year, which narrows the number of acceptable sites. There are three buildings nearing completion in central London at the 200,000 sq ft mark - for instance, a building by Argyll and Helical Bar on London Wall. Overspill could be housed in the NatWest Tower near by, which itself is just being refurbished.

Another theory goes thus: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is still embarrassed by the spendthrift image gained under its former boss Jacques Attali, who spent more on the head office marble loos and gold taps than he did on lending to needy countries.

This theory suggests that the EBRD is seeking someone else to take up the lease on its 367,000 sq ft Bishopsgate office so that it can move to cheaper digs in Canary Wharf. And who better to move into Bishopsgate than super-SIB?

Another contender is a giant site in Spitalfields, earmarked as the new home of Liffe, the futures market that continues to grow at a prodigious rate. However, if Liffe does a U-Turn and abandons its "open outcry" trading for screen-based trading, it won't need such a big new building. Again, super-SIB could leap in and take the building instead.

The regulators will be up against stiff competition for space in the City. WestDeutsche Landesbank is about to make a decision on taking 400,000 sq ft, while Goldman Sachs is also poised to expand. Whatever happens, the property agents will be quaffing champers for some time to come.

Still on the subject of SuperSIB, I hear that its head of human resources is going to be Sandra Jenner. She will come with a warm endorsement from her present colleagues at the Personal Investment Authority (PIA) where she holds a similar position.

Her most interesting decision at the PIA has been the attempt to exclude members of staff from the board of trustees of the PIA pension scheme despite the provisions of the 1995 Pensions Act.

The people at BZW may be back on track following this year's better results, but the 3,500 staff recently relocated to Canary Wharf have had a salutary introduction to the measly public transport facilities in Docklands.

Most people in Canary Wharf rely on the Docklands Light Railway(DLR). This week it instituted a bizarre one-way pedestrian scheme lasting four months while one of its escalators at Bank Underground station is repaired. So if you want to transfer from the DLR to the Tube you have to walk underground to Embankment station, emerge at street level and then walk all the way back to Bank station.

This has prompted scenes of mass revolt by passengers, who don't see why they can't use other staircases in Bank station. Investment bankers from BZW, Credit Suisse First Boston and Morgan Stanley are all affected. What's the banking equivalent of a Peasants' Revolt?

Recent management upheavals at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden have been described as "more dramatic than anything Verdi came up with". At the centre is Mary Allen, due to take up the post of chief executive next month after the shock resignation of Genista McIntosh.

The ROH has just closed for a two-year refurbishment that will cost pounds 213m. MPs have criticised the way Ms Allen was recruited from her previous job as secretary- general of the Arts Council.

Anyway, I had not realised she was married to Nigel Pantling, one of three senior executives at Hambros Bank who resigned last month over the bank's involvement with Andrew Regan's attempt to buy the Co-op. Mr Pantling is now on "gardening leave". Some in the opera world suspect his wife may join him if the current wave of criticism does not subside.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Carlton Senior Appointments: Private Banking Manager - Intl Bank - Los Angeles

$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer – Office...

Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advisor – Ind Advisory Firm

$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Finance Manager

Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Sheridan Maine: Regulatory Reporting Accountant

Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas