GE Oil & Gas is to move its global headquarters from Florence to London in January.

Chief executive Dan Heintzelman said that “London was selected as the new headquarters location given its position as a leading international business and travel hub”.

“From this location, a team of leaders from our global support functions will be able to more efficiently reach and serve our colleagues and businesses globally,” he added.

The engineering outfit became a separate subsidiary of New York-listed General Electric late last year as part of a breakup of the previous mid-level unit GE Energy that was formed out of GE Infrastructure in 2008.

A limited number of mainly support staff will relocate as part of the move, the company said.

Florence will remain the global headquarters for GE Oil & Gas Turbomachinery Products & Services, which operates a key manufacturing and engineering site for centrifugal compressors and gas turbines in the Italian city.

Heintzelman said the company was committed to “maintaining Florence as one of our premiere manufacturing sites”.

GE Oil & Gas employs around 5200 people in Italy as part of its around 43,000-strong worldwide staff.