New stock exchange HQ to be in George St, Edinburgh

The new Scottish Stock Exchange in George Street, Edinburgh

UPDATE 3 — The proposed new Scottish Stock Exchange said on Thursday it will locate its headquarters at 39 George Street, Edinburgh, after signing an initial four year lease with Crown Estate Scotland for 7,800 square feet of office accommodation.

Project Heather, the company assembled to establish “an impact-focused, Scottish-based, globally focused stock exchange” will occupy the space shortly.

The new headquarters, spread over two floors, provides space for further expansion of the team, with further senior appointments to be announced shortly. 

Project Heather is partnering with Euronext, Euro CCP and Euroclear to provide the market infrastructure for the proposed exchange, which, subject to regulatory approval from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, is targeting a launch in the second half of 2019.

Project Heather recently confirmed the support of Scottish Enterprise via a Regional Selective Assistance grant, following a successful fundraising coordinated via AAB advisers.

In March, Aberdeen-based chartered accountants and business advisors Anderson Anderson & Brown LLP (AAB) said it secured a “significant seven figure equity investment” for Project Heather to support the re-launch of a Scottish stock exchange after almost 50 years.

“In addition to housing the headquarter offices of the exchange, 39 George Street is intended to become a focal point for collaboration among partners of Project Heather to help change the way capital markets operate to better benefit the whole of society,” said Project Heather.

“Open access events for those participating in this transformation will be held onsite, with a view to harnessing collective insight and willpower.

“Representative offices in Scotland’s other cities will follow.

“By partnering with Crown Estate Scotland, Project Heather signals the importance of shared principles across the value chain.

“Since it was established independently of the Crown Estate in 2017, Crown Estate Scotland has aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals with a core aim of delivering lasting social, environmental and economic value.”

Tomás Carruthers, CEO and founder of Project Heather, said: “We are delighted to secure our new home, and look forward to establishing a physical hub for our brand of 21st century finance.

“We are also pleased to be working with Crown Estate Scotland as a landlord, an organisation which shares our values of social and environmental sustainability.”

Lynne Higgins, Head of Finance & Commercial at Crown Estate Scotland, said: “It’s fitting that the home of the new Scottish Stock Exchange will be in Crown Estate Scotland’s George Street property.

“As well as the benefits our prime city centre property offers up, Project Heather’s focus on impact investment aligns with our own strategic focus on managing assets to deliver wider, positive change.

“We’re looking forward to working with them in the coming years.”

Cameron Stott, Director at JLL, who advised Project Heather, said: “39 George Street is a prestigious address and an ideal location for the establishment of the stock exchange.

“There are many synergies between the parties; both of whom moved swiftly to secure the letting which is proving to be crucial in an increasingly tight commercial property market.”

Stewart McMillan, Partner at Cushman and Wakefield, who advised Crown Estate Scotland, said: “We are delighted that Project Heather has chosen 39 George Street as the base for this exciting new operation.

“There has been significant office letting activity on George Street in recent times and this commitment is a further endorsement of Edinburgh’s core city centre as an attractive place for business.”

Crown Estate Scotland were represented by Cushman & Wakefield and Project Heather by JLL in this transaction.