PEXA, a world-leading technology provider, behind the world’s first digital property exchange process, has today announced it has chosen 114 Wellington Street in West Village, Leeds, for its new UK headquarters. PEXA will collaborate with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority as it sets up its new headquarters and prepares to invest in the region and its workforce.
West Village – developed by Bruntwood as part of the £200m Bruntwood Works Pioneer programme to create cutting-edge workspaces of the future – is a new, first-class wellbeing-focused workspace in Leeds. With the site due to open in Autumn 2023, PEXA has taken more than 8,100 sq ft at the newly transformed development. PEXA and Optima staff are expected to be working there by December 2023. PEXA chose West Village for its proximity to local transport links and its modern aesthetic, which is suited to a hybrid working environment. The site will receive a custom interior fit-out to match the requirements of PEXA’s UK businesses.
PEXA have been advised and supported throughout the process by Charles Parkinson from CBRE’s Advisory & Transaction Occupier team in Leeds.
PEXA Group managing director and chief executive officer, Glenn King, inspected the site on 19th June, along with the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin; PEXA UK chief operating officer, Simon Wright; and Optima Legal managing director, Tom Trevorrow.
“We are delighted to announce West Village as our new UK headquarters. Leeds is a key strategic location for PEXA, and its spirit of innovation and collaboration matches that of our business,” Glenn said.
The strong financial services sector in the city, with a presence from the Bank of England, Financial Conduct Authority and UK Infrastructure Bank, along with the depth of legal and professional services firms, made a compelling case for PEXA’s decision to base its headquarters in Leeds.
PEXA will engage a local design firm to curate the office fit out with a focus on sustainable products, natural light, and greenery, with a relaxed and flexible space which will take inspiration from the city of Leeds and in keeping with PEXA’s vision as a proud disrupter unlocking value in property.
Embracing PEXA’s Flex First hybrid working environment, the fit out will include around 60 dedicated workstations, a library, a hackable town hall style venue, well-being reflection room, hybrid team rooms and private spaces.
“The fit-out will ensure our people can adapt the space as they choose, instilling a sense of pride in their place of work,” Simon said.
PEXA launched into the UK last year, seeking to transform the UK’s 150-year-old conveyancing process, enabling digital remortgage transactions to streamline the process. Digital transactions reduce the associated time, risk, and costs in the remortgage process for consumers, lenders, and conveyancers alike. PEXA also aims to expand its product offering to sale and purchase digital transaction capability.
As part of its ambitious growth plans, PEXA has already invested AUD$100m in the UK, developing a new payments scheme in conjunction with the Bank of England and registration services with His Majesty’s Land Registry (HMLR).
Following the acquisition of Optima Legal in 2022, PEXA has become a significant employer in Yorkshire, with 65% of PEXA’s 380 UK employees based in Leeds and around the region. PEXA will continue to invest in the workforce in Leeds and aims to foster ties with the local universities to access the diverse pool of talent and expertise they provide.
The company’s expansion into the UK market follows its success in Australia, where it has facilitated over 15 million property transactions worth circa AUD $2 trillion.
Glenn said he was encouraged by the warm welcome of PEXA in the UK especially in the Yorkshire region.
“The region already has a vibrant financial services and tech scene, supportive local government, and great universities. Simply put, it is the natural base from which we will grow and support our workforce around the country. We have ambitious plans to transform the UK’s property market for the better, and investing in our offices, technology and people in Leeds and Yorkshire is central to executing those plans,” Mr King said.
Tom added: “We have had tremendous support from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to date, and we look forward to working with them closely as we select a new site for all our operations in the UK, including Optima Legal, and building closer ties with the city.”
Speaking on the announcement, Tracy Brabin said: “I’m thrilled that PEXA is set to strengthen its place among our thriving technology hub by choosing West Yorkshire for its UK headquarters.
“Inward investment on this level is a gamechanger and this is a major vote of confidence in our region.
“I’m confident our partnership with PEXA will continue to deliver the high skilled, well-paid jobs our region needs, as we work to deliver a stronger, brighter West Yorkshire.”
Rob Valentine, director of Yorkshire at Bruntwood Works, commented: “PEXA is a force to be reckoned with globally, and the business’ decision to choose West Village for its UK headquarters is a landmark deal for the region. It just goes to show the power that forward-thinking workspaces, with sustainability and innovation at their heart, have for attracting significant investment to the region, and how they help to boost the economy and put the UK on the international stage. PEXA will be closely linked to our network of innovative businesses and disruptors here in Leeds, and we’re proud to welcome the business to our Bruntwood community.”