Baillie Gifford to move HQ to £350m Haymarket block

The planned Baillie Gifford HQ at Haymarket

Edinburgh-based investment giant Baillie Gifford is to move its headquarters from Calton Hill at the east end of Princes Street to a new £350 million office block at Haymarket in the west end of the Scottish capital.

M&G Real Estate and its property developer partner Qmile Group said on Tuesday they have secured a 280,000 sq ft pre-let at the new Haymarket Edinburgh development, designed by architect Foster + Partners.

Qmile Group said Baillie Gifford has agreed to take the Grade A accommodation on a 20-year lease and will relocate to its new head office in the latter half of 2023.

The agreement also marks the first pre-let achieved at Haymarket Edinburgh.

Baillie Gifford has assets under management and advice of more than £260 billion and its high-profile funds are major shareholders in prominent global companies including Tesla, Amazon, Tencent, Netflix and Alibaba. 

The firm employs about 1,300 people and is headquartered in Edinburgh with offices in Buenos Aires, Dublin, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Krakow, London, New York, Shanghai, Toronto and Zurich.

Baillie Gifford’s joint senior partner Andrew Telfer said: “This new office is a significant long-term investment for Baillie Gifford, demonstrating our confidence in the future.

“It will bring all our Edinburgh colleagues under one roof again, in a more flexible and dynamic working environment.

“This will help to support our staff and clients around the world, whilst providing space for further growth.”

Haymarket Edinburgh will provide more than 380,000 sq ft of Grade A office space with Baillie Gifford’s accommodation located within a seven-storey building.

Martin Towns, Head of UK Commercial at M&G Real Estate, said: “As one of the world’s largest commercial property investors with significant capital at our disposal, we are ideally placed to acquire and regenerate a project of this scale.

“Our environmental, social and governance (ESG) credentials and expertise will ensure this site is transformed into a new, world class public realm for the local community and sustainable office space for the most exacting modern occupiers.

“For our customers and clients, this development represents a key asset with potential for sustained income and strong capital appreciation in a targeted growth zone.

“We are very pleased that Baillie Gifford has chosen Haymarket Edinburgh and we look forward to welcoming them in due course.”

Paul Curran, chief executive of Edinburgh-based Qmile Group, said: “Securing Baillie Gifford as Haymarket Edinburgh’s first office occupier shows the continued confidence in Edinburgh’s commercial property market, and in high quality, well-designed workplaces.

“Haymarket Edinburgh is without doubt a high profile development and represents the total regeneration of a site which has been derelict for more than 52 years.

“To attract an occupier of the size and stature of Baillie Gifford at such an early stage in the development of the site is hugely exciting.

“We look forward to working closely with the Baillie Gifford team to deliver their new head office.

“Construction work has restarted at Haymarket Edinburgh in line with Scottish Government guidelines and the development is progressing well.

“We are on our way to making our vision for Haymarket Edinburgh a reality by delivering a place designed to be inclusive for the benefit of both the local community where it is being built and city’s business community.”

M&G Real Estate, Qmile Group and Fosters + Partners all previously worked together on Edinburgh’s £750 million Quartermile mixed-use development near The Meadows.

M&G Real Estate and Qmile Group were advised on the agreement by property consultancies JLL and Savills, whilst Ryden acted on behalf of Baillie Gifford.