The Chartered Insurance Institute will save the money over a five-year period through becoming a subtenant of its sister professional body

London's Walkie Talkie building is named after its similarity to the handheld communication device (Credit: Unsplash/Harshil Gudka)

The UK Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) will save £6.5m ($8.47m) over its five-year tenant agreement with sister company the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI).

The insurance-focused professional body announced it would be moving to London’s Walkie Talkie building in Fenchurch Street earlier this week, but has now given some clarity on why it made the decision.

According to Keith Richards, chief executive of the Personal Finance Society and chief membership officer of the Chartered Insurance Institute, part of the reason behind the decision to relocate was the positive result of the organisation’s move to working from home amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said: “In keeping with the CII’s commitments to be modern, relevant, and diverse, we had implemented an agile working strategy for a while, so the majority of staff were accustomed to regularly working remotely prior to lockdown.

“Recent events involving Covid-19 have fully tested these working practices, and like many organisations, our people and operations have managed very well.

“While we could have remained at Lombard Street, we believe the benefits of relocating to a smaller site, alongside one of our sister professional bodies, makes sense.

chartered insurance institute
Chief executive of the Personal Finance Society and chief membership officer of the Chartered Insurance Institute Keith Richards (Credit: CII)

“This is an opportunity to reduce office space and costs without loss of presence, a matter that many organisations are currently considering.”

“The CII is a not-for-profit professional body and any savings will therefore be invested in services for our insurance and personal finance membership.”

The Chartered Insurance Institute currently has offices in South Woodford and Lombard Street in central London.

Both premises will be vacated by the end of December 2020.


Chartered Insurance Institute embraces flexible working

The arrangement will see the CISI remodelling their existing space to create a new physically separate office for the CII to lease over the next five years, with the move enabled by a new split of remote and office working for the CISI’s London-based staff.

The CII had already established a flexible-working approach it calls Anytime Anywhere, which it said has prepared it for the move to take place.

CISI CEO Simon Culhane said: “This is collaboration and cooperation in action and a great opportunity for both organisations.

“During 2020 we have learnt the benefits of our staff being able to work remotely and how this positively contributes to productivity and well-being.

“Therefore we have taken a decision to remodel our existing property footprint by creating two separate offices on our floor. We are delighted that this change has offered us a positive new opportunity.”

CII CEO Sian Fisher said: “The Walkie Talkie will be a modern and dynamic business hub for us, which meets the evolving needs of our organisation with community space for staff and visitors, both on our floor and from other features of the building like the Mezzanine and Sky Garden.

“We look forward to being neighbours of our sister professional body CISI from 2021.”