According to the EMEA Research and Consulting team at CB Richard Ellis, the best spot for Santa’s global headquarters is Delhi in India.

Despite tradition, the North Pole ranked only 42nd of the 58 cities evaluated – behind Johannesburg and Tokyo, but ahead of Chicago, New York and Washington DC.

CB Richard Ellis key Criterion for the HQ search was to minimise the amount of energy consumed in transporting presents around the globe.

This meant identifying which of 58 strategically located cities across the globe was most central to the world’s population.

Santa reacted with surprise to the news, saying: ‘I’d been hearing all about this offshoring and corporate outsourcing, so thought I would talk to the experts to see what I should be doing about it for my own 'business’.

Nick Axford, CBRE’s head of EMEA Research and Consulting said: ‘It was a privilege to work for such a legend, and to get to know a little of the man behind the beard. He’s an extraordinary guy - though to be honest the ‘Ho Ho Ho’ after each sentence does become a little wearing towards the end of a four hour project review meeting.’

In the end, the project team were able to agree a ‘simple’ formula for determining the attractiveness of a location for Santa’s operations:

SHQLQ = ? (D x (P x ( K x (0.75+((CIcan- CImin) x (0.25/(CImax- CImin)))))))

D = Distance to each target city

P = Population of country within which each target city is located

K = proportion of target population aged 14 or below

CI = Corruption Index for Candidate country (can) or country with highest/lowest CI scores (max/min)