The following is the text of Mike Bloomberg’s remarks for the opening ceremony of Bloomberg’s new London HQ on Tuesday, October 24, 2017:
It’s my pleasure to welcome you to the world’s most sustainably designed office building – and the only one in the world that is home to a reconstructed Roman temple. We are excited to open it and to begin a new chapter in Bloomberg’s long relationship with London. This year we are celebrating our 30th year here.
We undertook this project nearly a decade ago not only because we saw that we would need more space, but because we wanted to create a place that would be as innovative and forward-looking as our employees. A place that would inspire them. And a place that would allow us to continue creating great products and better serve our customers.
The building will bring our 4,000 employees – who right now are spread over four sites – under one roof. That includes all of our 800 software engineers here in London – nearly three times as many as we had just four years ago, and a group that we expect to continue to grow.
Working together in one place will help them continue leading the way in developing machine learning, or artificial intelligence, and applying it to the world of finance.
For many companies of our size, building a new headquarters would have meant opting for a glass skyscraper. Given the price of London real estate, and the cost of construction materials, the economics would bear that out. But at Bloomberg, we have never made decisions based on short-term costs. And we have never cut corners when investing in our people and products.
That’s the beauty of being a privately held company. We don’t base decisions on quarterly earnings or on shifts in the political winds. We have always taken the long view, and we’ve always placed great value on being good neighbors in the cities that host us.
As a company founded in the U.S., we are conscious of the fact that we are guests in London. And that’s one reason why Lord Foster was the perfect partner for us. He is a brilliant innovator who recognized the opportunity this project presented to do something extraordinarily modern – and eminently British.
In designing the building, we wanted to respect London’s aesthetic traditions. We are standing right in the heart of the City of London – next door to Mansion House, the Bank of England, Saint Stephen Walbrook, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. To fit in, we built with Derbyshire sandstone from a UK quarry.
We also wanted to celebrate the history of this location, and that’s why we painstakingly worked with the Museum of London Archaeology and Museum of London to conserve over 14,000 artifacts, restore the temple, and create a new cultural and education opportunity for the public.
We also wanted to bring new life to the community, and that’s why much of our Arcade on the ground floor is devoted to great food and great public art – two things that people love to consume, no matter what their tastes. I want to thank the amazing artists from all over the world who have added so much creativity to the building: Michael Craig-Martin, Olafur Eliasson, Arturo Herrera, Cristina Iglesias, Ben Langlands and Nikki Bell, Isabel Nolan, David Tremlett, and Pae White.
The independent restaurants here will also reflect London’s cultural diversity – including, I should note, a New York-themed burger joint. I look forward to the taste test.
In the 21st century, being a good neighbor also means being a good steward of the environment. As a global company, we aim to get 100 percent of our power from renewable sources by 2025. And this building, which has been given the highest sustainability rating of any commercial building in the world, will help get us there.
Businesses have a vital role to play in improving air quality and tackling climate change. We can’t, and shouldn’t, expect governments to tackle those challenges by themselves. This building reflects our commitment to a healthier London and a healthier world.
It also reflects our company’s commitment to collaboration and teamwork. I’ve always been a big believer in an open office environment. Walls just get in the way of communicating and working together – and delivering the world-class service that our customers expect from Bloomberg. The fewer walls there are, the more people come together to solve problems and share ideas. And the more people do that, the stronger our company will be.
A lot of people deserve a lot of credit for making this day possible – but as we all know, the person who deserves the most credit when something good happens is the mayor. The Mayor of London has been a real leader on some of the issues that are part of this building’s foundation – improving air quality, fighting climate change, and, of course, creating jobs and helping to build London’s strength as a financial capital during challenging times.
Our company is strongly committed to London – and we’re honored to have the mayor with us today. Whatever its relationship to the EU proves to be, London’s language, time zone, talent, infrastructure, and culture all position it to grow as a global capital for years to come. We’re very optimistic about London’s future, and we’re excited to be a part of it.
We’re also joined by the brilliant mind behind the building, Lord Foster. Lord Foster succeeded in raising the bar not only for how an office building can feel and function, but also for how it can minimize its carbon footprint, while maximizing its connection to the surrounding community. His commitment to sustainability informed every aspect of the design, and I want to thank him for all his extraordinary work on this project.
Of course, some people say that the reason it took us almost a decade to build this was that we had a billionaire who wanted to be an architect and an architect who wanted to be a billionaire. I think we made a great team.
There are too many people to possibly thank by name, but I want to express my special appreciation to everyone who worked on this site and helped make this day possible.
Maybe 1800 years from now, Londoners will discover the remains of this building, just as the Temple of Mithras was discovered here. By then, they may consider the Bloomberg Terminal as primitive as the tools that we now display in the Roman Temple.
No structure or company lasts forever. But we can hope that the impact of the technological innovations we are pioneering – and of the values have that guided our company’s growth – will be felt here in London, and around the world, long after we are all gone.
We have a number of Bloomberg employees here with us this morning. I know they’ve been looking forward to today, just like I have – so let me just end by officially saying to all them: Welcome to the new building!