A rendering of the redesigned lobby at UBS’ Wealth Management USA headquarters in the Lincoln Harbor section of Weehawken — Courtesy: WeWork
By Joshua Burd
UBS has hired WeWork to transform a large piece of its well-known U.S. wealth management headquarters along the Hudson River waterfront in Weehawken.
The firms announced recently that the co-working company’s design arm, Powered by We, would oversee the roughly 100,000-square-foot project at the UBS Lincoln Harbor campus. The effort will span three floors, they said, including a redesign of the lobby, a multipurpose common area, the company’s largest learning and development center in the U.S. and a workspace that brings together UBS IT and digital groups.
It is the largest assignment to date for Powered by We — with an eye toward helping UBS drive employee engagement, foster innovation and attract and retain top talent.
“The way people work is undergoing a fundamental shift, and more enterprise leaders are recognizing the correlation between physical space and performance,” said Dave Fano, chief growth officer at WeWork. “We know from operating more than 280 workspaces around the world that every company is different, with its own unique culture, vision and team.”
Launched earlier this year, Powered by We is a business that brings WeWork’s concepts for design, technology and member services to spaces belonging to other corporations, the New York-based firm said. There are now 30 Powered by We clients that span a range of industries, including financial services, insurance, telecommunications, retail, entertainment, health care, travel and real estate.
Fano said WeWork’s team of designers, architects and workplace strategists worked closely with UBS to analyze its needs and build a space that supports its goals at the Wealth Management USA headquarters, which is home to 4,400 employees. WeWork said it used “qualitative and quantitative research” when planning the space, interviewing employees and using spatial analytics, which ultimately found a need to reconfigure meeting rooms to encourage greater collaboration, add more multifunctional space and incorporate wellness amenities.
“Today more than ever, we must partner closely across all of our businesses and functions so that we deliver even more value to our clients,” said Marc Montanaro, head of human resources, Wealth Management Americas and the Americas at UBS. “By partnering with WeWork to create this modern, community-focused workspace, we aim to increase employee productivity, encourage more frequent interaction and attract the next generation of talent.”
For example, a lounge adjacent to an inviting new cafeteria can host lunch-and-learn events, the 500-seat auditorium can open up for receptions and individual meeting rooms can be divided and expanded as part of a flexible working environment, according to a news release. New amenities such as a coffee bar, juice bar and dedicated wellness rooms will make the campus more welcoming, interactive and responsive to the needs of employees.
Upon completion, WeWork will use real-time data and spatial analytics to continuously improve the configuration and functionality of the space, the firm said.