Fast-growing financial firm cuts FiDi office by a third
Last year, JPMorgan Chase said the Covid-19 pandemic would significantly reduce its office needs, and HSBC said it would use 40% less space. Interpublic Group, owner of advertising giants FCB and McCann, tore up leases on 15% of its space worldwide.
MSCI is a relatively small company with technology-like growth and profits. Revenue jumped 20% last year to $2 billion, while operating margins were 52.5%. Its stock price has more than quintupled over the past five years, to a market capitalization of nearly $45 billion.
The company creates financial indices used by pension funds and other large institutions to track the performance of investments by sectors or countries. The MSCI indices also track polluting emissions and other environmental data.
Chief Executive Henry Fernandez said his 4,300 employees quickly adapted to working remotely.
“We have become more productive and efficient during the pandemic,” Fernandez wrote in last year’s letter to shareholders.
The change was not entirely painless. MSCI recorded a $7.7 million impairment charge in the fourth quarter related to the sublease of its Manhattan office space.
The company’s largest office, spanning over 126,000 square feet, is in Mumbai, India. The New York workplace remains the largest in this country, but after the second sublease it will only be slightly larger than the 71,000 square foot office in Budapest, Hungary.