Credit Suisse will initially occupy the top 10 office floors of the ICC û including a client reception suite on the lucky-numbered 88th floor û in the very top zone, totalling 300,000 sq ft. The new facility, which will result in Credit SuisseÆs office space expanding by 40% in Hong Kong, will have a capacity for over 2,000 employees. The bank will start moving staff to the ICC during the second half of 2008 û although the 118-storey tower isnÆt expected to be completed until 2010.
West Kowloon is across Victoria Harbour from Central, which is on Hong Kong island. At the moment, most investment banks are located in Central or neighbouring Admiralty û however with Morgan Stanley and Credit SuisseÆs announced move, that balance is changing.
ôWe are delighted to be announcing this move to the ICC. Hong Kong is very important to us and this tenancy agreement underscores our commitment to the long-term growth of our Hong Kong businesses,ö says Paul Calello, who was promoted to New York as CEO last February but is still also acting as CEO of Credit Suisse Asia-Pacific.
The ICC building is being developed by Sun Hung Kai Properties and will boast around 35 restaurants, cafes and bars and the shopping mall planned for the building will be around 25% bigger than the mall in IFC2. A gym is planned for the building, an ice rink, and a 12-screen cinema. Out-of-towners may end up booking into the trendy W Hotel, or in the Ritz-Carlton, which will be at the top of the ICC, thus making it the worldÆs highest hotel.
Aside from the shopping and dining aspect, Credit Suisse took a unique, very politically correct in its pitch regarding the upsides of moving into the new building. In its press release announcing the move, the firm underscored that it will introduce technology into the ICC to reduce energy consumption. At ICC, Credit Suisse will become the first office worldwide to introduce ôthinclientö computer terminals for all of its staff, which will eliminate the need for each employee to have an individual personal computer, and instead all terminals will be linked directly to virtual desktop images running on remote servers that will be housed outside the ICC. The bank forecasts that should help reduce power consumption by 20%.
Now, if the bank can manage to convince its staff to walk up 88 flights of stairs rather than use the elevators, it will not only save energy, it will also have a super fit team of bankers.