The Culture Fund

Creative Brands’ Growing Investment in Wall Street

A visitor walking into the lobby of 44 Wall Street might never guess that just a few doors down, high-blooded traders thrive riding the fickle waves of the market. Symbolic of subtle rebellion to its neighborhood and storied past of bulls and bravado, a vibrant neon painting by Brooklyn artist Hellbent traditionally known for his street art, hangs prominently from classic limestone. The entrance signals that this building is transforming into a creative cultural hub where agencies like Contently and Giant Spoon, and newest addition to the neighborhood, SMCP, the Paris-based parent company of fashion brands Sandro, Maje and Claudie Pierlot — who may have formerly operated in neighborhoods like SoHo or Williamsburg, work side by side with the more traditional finance companies. Welcome to the new Wall Street.

It’s all about creating a workplace culture that offers experiences that motivate an increasingly untethered workforce to actually want to come into the office.

This diverse mix of tenants, creatives trickling into the financial district to create awkward fashion collisions in elevators between Vans and Ferragamos is not new, nor distinct to New York. In the past decade, it’s been happening in financial districts across the U.S. where the once-affordable, creative neighborhoods are being developed, priced-up, and as a result, driving unlikely candidates to consider areas that were once conceived as the epicenter for all things money. For example, Bloomberg has reported that in the past few years the consolidation of finance companies has opened up 7% of lower Manhattan office space and given landlords the opportunity to “hipsterfy.” Although different dress codes and business models, this juxtaposition of neighbors has revealed a commonality: they are all fiercely protective of their culture.

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Space For Culture

Today’s workplaces are investing more in their office culture as a way to retain talent. A company’s physical space can directly reflect that culture — everything from customized office design to on-site services that allow employees to easily toggle between the duties of work and life.

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Culture Inspires Creativity

Trevor Guthrie, the co-founder of Giant Spoon, says that the combination of services and being able to customize their space helps to support a company culture that is about curiosity and lifelong learning. “We’re just not content with taking things at face value,” he says. “Learning from others and asking questions along the way is how we stay fresh.”

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At EQ, we make space for greatness. We work with customers to co-create workspaces that cultivate openness, foster humanity and generate potential.

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