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Real-Estate Consultancies Smooth Multinationals’ Arrivals in Switzerland

Posted on 05 December 2007 by Mr Bureau

Numerous large multinationals have recently moved into the Geneva area — among them Yahoo, Alibaba, Essent, Louis-Dreyfuss Trading, Electronic Arts—and settled into large office spaces or complexes. Inevitably, when multinationals set up large offices in Geneva (which has a population smaller than 500,000), the arrivals are preceded by months of work and negotiations by professional advisors.

One of the leaders in the French-speaking part of Switzerland (Romandie) in Real-estate advising to corporations, SPG Intercity, has organized the installation of numerous large corporate headquarters or major presences over the past few years. The CEO of the Geneva office, Martin Dunning, explained the logistics of how these large multinationals move in.

Multinational corporations seek out consultants like SPG Intercity to help them estimate their needs in terms of a site for the company’s operations, and the consultancy seeks an appropriate spot, maintaining the confidentiality of their client. The consultancy needs to Careers in Switzerlandknow the local market very well and

know personally all the building management companies of the region (known as ‘Regies’) for optimal chances of success. The consultant then prepares a dossier with several propositions for the client.

For the client multinational, the language of the region is very important, but even more so the fiscal regime and corporate tax scales of the region. For example, in the Canton of vaud, local tax laws privilege incoming corporations if the local government deems them ‘positive’ for the local economy.

There are 26 cantons in Switzerland and 26 different sets of laws regulating commercial leases. For this reason, foreign corporations usually like to have a consultancy negotiate the rental or purchase contracts from price to contract signature. The consultancy is in a position to master all the local laws and their subtleties and is Careers in Switzerlandsometimes even mandated to take care of the interior design of the office space so that the client obtains office ‘ready-to-go.’

For the Nissan company which set up offices in Rolle (canton of Vaud), the SPG Intercity consultancy set up an architectural contest for the 5000 m2 office space.

Other consultancies handle such aspects finding lodgings for the company’s executives, finding appropriate schools for employees’ children, etc.

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