We (Charlie (left) and Olly (on the right)) have worked for both property companies and serviced office providers before starting up The Office Group in 2003 with the backing of Bridges Ventures, a socially aware Private Equity Fund.
The concept was driven by a desire to create buildings that would stand apart from the competition, that were simpler, much more design-led and generating a real sense of ownership (as well as being greener). If we can deliver this, as well as value, we believe we’re getting much closer to meeting people’s expectations from office space.
We’re trying to get away from Serviced Offices and break it down to just providing great offices, with a range of services that are there only if you need them.
The aim was to also try to buy freeholds to have greater control over costs, design and the running of each building.
In September 2010, Lloyd Dorfman funded the management buyout of the previous private equity shareholders and became the majority shareholder. Lloyd founded Travelex, the Global Currency Exchange business and remains it’s largest individual shareholder and its Chairman. He was already running 4 buildings very much along the same ethos as The Office Group with two in The City and two in the West End. We’re now running the enlarged Group under The Office Group brand and Lloyd is also our Chairman.
In late 2011, we completed a deal with Network Rail to form a 50:50 Joint Venture vehicle to refurbish and run empty office space in 5 mainline stations in London. In addition, we’ll be creating drop-in working areas into the Stations. We hope this will be a concept that we roll out to other Stations in London and the rest of the UK.
We have committed funds to grow the business and are very excited about what the future holds with plans to expand into a range of locations in London and to come up with new and innovative ways of addressing how people work and adapting to those needs.