The American insurance company W.R. Berkley has hired Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) to design a 40-story tower on Leadenhall Street in London. If the plans proceed, the building will provide a British headquarters for W.R. Berkley as part of its efforts to expand operations in Europe.
"The agreement to build its own skyscraper follows a flurry of deals by U.S. insurers to expand their office space in the centre of London, taking advantage of the shrinking of banks, which have long dominated the City office market," the Financial Times reported.
Insurers are among the few companies looking to let space in the City, London's traditional financial district, in the face of increasing competition, according to Reuters. Low rents and available space have led some companies to move their operations to the newly flourishing Canary Wharf district.
W.R. Berkley is currently in discussions with KPF and the City of London Corporation about the specifics of the project, the FT reported.
KPF’s London projects include The Heron Tower at 110 Bishopsgate and the Unilever headquarters.