A civic leader has heralded Mattioli Woods’ move into the heart of Leicester as an example for other companies.
Sir Peter Soulsby said the firm’s purpose-built £15 million offices in New Walk highlighted the quality space the city centre had to offer.
The city mayor’s tribute came as Mattioli Woods threw open its doors to media representatives for the first time following completion of its switch from Grove Park, Enderby.
Journalists were taken on a tour of the new five-storey, glass-fronted building which now houses around 400 staff and features facilities such as a sky lounge and bar, prayer room, designated quiet working areas, brew hubs and spacious open-plan layout.
And they were told by Ian Mattioli MBE, chief executive officer and co-founder, that the number of people working there was set to rise to at least 600 within “two to three years”.
Mr Mattioli told how the wealth management and employee benefits specialist decided to make the switch into Leicester after its former premises became “log jammed” because it had reached its capacity.
He said its out-of-town location also meant the company had “started to struggle to recruit and retain people”.
The firm now looked after £8.7 billion of assets on behalf of its 65,000 clients and continued to grow both organically and through acquisition of “like-minded businesses”, he revealed.
“Our clients – some of whom have been with us since Mattioli Woods was formed in 1991 – are absolutely at the core of everything we do. We have not been afraid to lower our costs and continue to believe in doing the right thing by them, even though markets are much more complex and fast-moving”.
He spoke of his commitment and the company’s unshakable belief in its high-level training programmes, including bespoke graduate and apprenticeship schemes.
Mr Mattioli said the firm could save around £4-£5 million a year by halting it but declared: “We want all our people to be experts in what they do. That is really important to us. If we ever stop training, something is going wrong in the business”.
Mattioli Woods’ floatation on the Stock Market in 2005 was “the best thing we have done by far” because it had enabled the company to “grow and develop and give ownership to our employees”, he added.
Thanks to its share incentive scheme staff were now the second largest stakeholder in the business, owning more than Mr Mattioli and fellow co-founder and former chairman Bob Woods who is now its special adviser.
The new office block has been created on the site of the former headquarters of Leicester City Council, which was demolished in 2015 because it was considered structurally unsafe.
Sir Peter said Mattioli Woods move was part of the “dramatic transformation” that had taken place in the city centre in recent years.
He said the city had suffered from a “collective inferiority complex”, adding: “It generally believed its best days were behind it. It didn’t think it had a present, never mind a future”.
“We are delighted you have come back,” he told Mr Mattioli. “We will use you as an example to show we are a city that offers real quality space for people to move into.
“Mattioli Woods is a success story. It is a deserved success story. And it is a Leicester success story”.
The New Walk project saw Mattioli Woods link-up with developers the Sowden group, Paragon – who led interior design and fittings - and property consultants Pick Everards.