MSCI Barra Suisse Sàrl has been a tenant at Prime Tower since July 2021 and has its offices on the 2nd floor. We asked Managing Director Dr. Oliver Marchand what MSCI does and why the company
chose the Prime Tower as the new location.
Could you please briefly describe what MSCI does? (Including some facts & figures like number of employees in Switzerland and worldwide …)
MSCI is a leading provider of critical decision support tools and services for the global investment community. With over 50 years of expertise in research, data, and technology, we offer our clients transparency and thus the ability to make better and more-informed investment decisions.
Why did you choose Zurich as a location?
Choosing Zurich as a location was a natural next step following the acquisition of Carbon Delta, a Zurich-based climate startup, in 2019. Our commitment to transition to Net-Zero before 2040 is at the center of every operational decision. Our Zurich office will act as MSCI’s Climate Risk Center, the focal point for the development of climate change risk analytics and tools.
What does Prime Tower in your opinion offer compared to other office buildings?
Prime Tower is the first of its kind in that it has been specifically designed and built by/with principles aligned with MSCI’s Future of Work. Our CEO, Henry Fernandez, described the global pandemic as “an extraordinary, once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape our vision of how we work”, and in Zurich, this is evident in our occupancy of Prime Tower. Flexible seating, a company booking system and phone booths have all been designed to accommodate our employees, fostering higher productivity, better collaboration and more flexibility.
If so, how has the workplace concept changed since Covid? Has it influenced the workplace design?
The workplace as we previously understood no longer exists. The model of employees coming in five days a week was introduced in the early 1900s, built around the efficiencies realized during the Industrial Revolution. That “normal” workplace concept is now becoming a relic of the past and MSCI will not go back to this “normal” once the pandemic has subsided.
We see this as a chance to shape our firm’s future – to be bold, to think differently and make radical changes in how we work and interact. We see this as an opportunity to rebuild the workplace in a way that puts employees first and is in tune with the demands of the 21st century.
In the words of Henry Fernandez, it’s about creating a future that takes the best of both our virtual and in-person worlds to empower people to be more productive, flexible and creative than ever. The desk booking systems gives our employees the autonomy and flexibility to decide when they come in. The new office design fosters collaboration with different types of meeting rooms and phone booths, equipped with the latest technology. We believe this will translate to higher creativity, improved employee morale and thus higher productivity.
MSCI’s commitment to Net-Zero and sustainability has also influenced our workplace design. A hybrid model offers our employees autonomy and flexibility, but also allows us to downsize office space, reduce our carbon footprint and limit electricity usage.