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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Chartis narrows it down to two buildings

CHARTIS Insurance Malaysia Bhd is said to be close to picking either Menara Worldwide or Cap Square Tower as its new corporate office in Kuala Lumpur.

Sources told Business Times that the two office towers fit the insurer's requirement - able to accommodate more than 3,000 employees and have the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) status.

It was learnt that Chartis needs close to 200,000 sq ft of office space to house all of its staff under one roof.

Menara Worldwide in Bukit Bintang is a 27-storey office block with a net lettable area of 250,000 sq ft.

The Grade A tower is owned by Worldwide Holdings, a subsidiary of the Selangor State Development Corp, and was completed in 2010.

Meanwhile, Cap Square Tower is a 41-storey office tower with a net lettable area 601,574 sq ft located directly opposite Chartis' existing office in Jalan Ampang.

Realtors said both office towers could fetch rental rates above RM6 per sq ft, which are negotiable in a long-term lease involving large space.

Property agencies in the city are already scrambling to tie the insurer to several office towers in the city, but remaining discreet since it involves a high-profile client.

Chartis is the global property-and-casualty insurance business of American International Group (AIG).

AIG received US$182 billion (RM570 billion) in government support at the height of the US financial crisis.

Top of the insurer's requirements is that its new office tower must have MSC status since its expanded operations will include those of American International Group Global Services Sdn Bhd (AIGGS), an information infrastructure service provider, and Chartis Technology and Operations Management (CTOM), a shared service centre for insurance and financial services and operations management.

Multimedia Development Corp website listed Menara Worldwide as a MSC status-building.

Cap Square Tower, according to its owner Europe-based Union Investment Real Estate (UIRE), was built to MSC specifications.

UIRE bought Cap Square Tower for RM440 million from by Bandar Raya Developments Bhd back in 2008.

Chief representative of AIG (Malaysia) Matt Harris, who is also chief executive officer of Chartis Malaysia Insurance Bhd, recently told Business Times that the insurer had reached full capacity at its current office and would need to move.

Wisma Chartis, its current head office in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, now holds 540 workers.

The insurer also has a call centre and a back office team in Dang Wangi, Kuala Lumpur.

Currently, AIGGS has 300 staff operating in Cyberjaya and this is expected to more than double to 700 strong. CTOM, meanwhile, has 300 employees at Technology Park Malaysia in Bukit Jalil, which are expected to grow to 1,600 in future.

By Business Times

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