Jefferies Said in Talks to Move London Headquarters to Tower

Jefferies Group, the investment bank owned by Leucadia National Corp., is in talks to lease space at a tower under construction in the City of London financial district, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

The bank is negotiating a lease of around 125,000 square feet (11,600 square meters) at 100 Bishopsgate, a 40-story building being developed by Brookfield Property Partners LP, the person said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private. Spokesmen for Jefferies and Brookfield declined to comment.

Royal Bank of Canada agreed in November to lease more than a quarter of the space at the 900,000-square-foot building, which is due for completion in 2018, RBC and Brookfield said at the time.

Banks are competing with technology companies to lease the best work space in London’s main financial district after developers halted work on new projects during the global financial crisis, creating a shortage. The office-vacancy rate in central London is at its lowest level in about 14 years, according to data compiled by broker Knight Frank LLP.

Banks and other finance firms leased 37 percent of all space rented in London’s main business district last year, compared with 19 percent in 2011, according to data compiled by broker Colliers International Group Inc. Financial-services companies leased the equivalent of twice the office space in the City of London tower known as the Cheesegrater, the data shows.

Jefferies’ main London office is currently at Vintners Place on the River Thames.

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