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International language firm to take over bourse

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International language firm to take over bourse
Photo: SIX Swiss Exchange
10:47 CET+01:00
Education First (EF), an international language training company founded in Sweden, has confirmed that it is acquiring the building housing the Swiss stock exchange in Zurich.

The company, which calls itself the world’s leader in international education, will establish offices in the Zurich building in early 2018 while the SIX Swiss Exchange plans to relocate from Selnaustrasse to the Zurich-West district.

EF’s global headquarters are in Lucerne but it plans to employ 1,000 people in Zurich.

“The centre of Zurich has been a regional hub (for the company) since 2009,” Yvonne Kolar, EF regional director for Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria, told Le Temps newspaper in a report published on Tuesday.

The building “will regroup current staff and a great number of new employees,” Kolar said.

In terms of staffing, the Zurich base will then be bigger than the operations in Lucerne, she said.

EF was founded in 1965 by Bertil Hult, a Swedish man who started a company that combined language learning with travel abroad.

Hult, who suffered from dyslexia, discovered during a visit to England how easily he picked up the English language and “became convinced that traditional classroom-based teaching was not always the most effective”, according to the company's website.

He announced his retirement in 2008 but his sons Philip and Alex have taken over leadership of the company that has grown to employ 40,000 people around the world.

In Switzerland, it also has offices in Bern, Saint Gallen, Basel, Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg.

The SIX Group, which operates the Swiss stock exchange, announced in 2012 its intention to move from its current building to Zurich-West.

Business journal Finanz&Wirtschaft reported in November that the bourse would relocate in 2017.

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