Rathbones is one of the UK’s largest investment management firms, managing £34.2 billion (as at 31 December 2016) of client funds and with a trusted heritage dating back to 1742.
Following a period of rapid growth, the company quickly outgrew its premises in Mayfair and chose to relocate its head office to 8 Finsbury Circus in the City of London. A striking new development comprising of 160,000 sqf of premium office space, Rathbones occupies four out of the eight-storey building, nearly doubling its original floor space.
The new premises were deemed to represent the best single site solution that would not only provide a welcoming environment for clients and employees, but also create the capacity it would need to achieve its long term growth ambitions.
Following a lengthy and highly competitive tender process, Rathbones appointed AVMI to deliver a cutting-edge integrated AV solution that would embrace every aspect of the building.
On winning the tender, AVMI worked closely with the client and commissioning consultant, PTS Consulting, to refine and enhance the design and technical specifications of the brief, which involved equipping four floors with pioneering audio-visual technologies, including digital signage, IPTV distribution, dynamic display systems and projection equipment, conferencing systems, control and automation technologies, professional audio and sound masking systems.
The areas covered by AVMI’s integrated AV scheme included multiple meeting, project and video conferencing rooms, flexible client presentation and event spaces, common rooms and dining areas, executive suites and a seven-way divisible meeting space – the most complex video conferencing divisible space ever deployed by AVMI with a VC codec and DSP processor for each of the 7 rooms and over 200 room configuration modes.
At the heart of the new office is an impressive client presentation suite; a three-way divisible room that opens up to create a stunning event space overlooking the London skyline and with its own private roof terrace for entertaining purposes.
The visual centrepiece is a 98" NEC UHD display. With its ultra high definition resolution, the screen fits seamlessly into the prestigious surroundings which are quite simply, designed to impress.
All meeting rooms are equipped with a range of large format displays by NEC and feature the latest video conferencing systems from Polycom allowing employees to interact and collaborate with remote participants in other locations.
The rooms are also fitted with motorised ceiling microphones that can be lowered or retracted depending on the need for the room and which help to create a tidy and clutter-free impression. Everything is controlled via a central control panel which also features a butler-service system, allowing participants to call for assistance and order refreshments for the room.
The seven-way divisible room is a large, multi-functional space that can be sectioned off with folding walls to accommodate different functions and event sizes. The AV can be operated from a centralised touch panel and is programmed to automatically reconfigure itself based on the setup of the room. When in separate mode, each room can be operated independently with a wall-mounted touch panel in each room.
An important aspect of the project was the need for effective internal communication. There is a strong belief at Rathbones that keeping employees well informed and engaged is crucial to the firm's continued success. In fact, the event spaces are often used to hold town hall meetings in which employees are encouraged to provide feedback.
What’s more, every morning the Research team deliver an investment update to the entire business which gets distributed via a SIP-based PA system and to remote locations via an AVMI configured Pexip bridge.
In addition there was a requirement for a sound masking system made up of small white noise emitters located every 3m throughout the office floors. To achieve this AVMI had to install over 400 emitters and over 2.5km of patch cabling, all of which is neatly stored in the ceilings void, labelled and colour coded for ease of service.
Rathbones also opted for a digital signage with integrated IPTV platform by Tripleplay which features a built-in content management system (CMS) making it easy to update and control content from any of the 15 endpoints in the building. These are placed in kitchens and communal areas where they are clearly visible and create common talking points for staff.
The Rathbones project represents a sophisticated integrated AV solution that embraces every area of the Finsbury Circus building; from office, meeting and boardrooms to client presentation and event spaces featuring divisible walls, common areas and staff cafeterias, IPTV and video streaming services.
AVMI worked solely with the architect, building contractor and other contracted organisations
to ensure the project was completed on time and within budget and to the clients exacting specifications.
The result is a stunning corporate environment that utilises the latest in AV technology and integrates them seamlessly into the stylish new surroundings.
What’s more, Rathbones has demonstrated to great effect, the power of how AV technology can be used to enable effective internal communication and in turn, foster greater employee engagement.