Cathie Wood’s New York outing shines a spotlight on Florida region

(Bloomberg) – Cathie Wood’s move to St. Petersburg gives an extra boost to an area of ​​Florida that’s booming, even as Miami and West Palm Beach gain more attention as destinations for New York financial companies.

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With the addition of Ark Investment Management, which has about three dozen employees, the Tampa Bay metro area will have increased its assets under management by 61% to at least $ 582.4 billion since December 2019, according to data. of the Securities and Exchange Commission. By comparison, the Miami metropolitan area – an area twice as populated with around 6 million people – saw a 58% increase to $ 864.4 billion.

“Everyone thinks of Miami first, but what I do know is that if I can get them to come here and think of us, they are going to choose us,” said St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. , in an interview.

The Covid-19 pandemic, which has kept many workers at home for months, has prompted financial companies to reconsider the space they need in New York and other expensive cities. Florida has attracted business with its year-round warm climate and lower taxes.

Read more: Wall Street South is building its own New York City to attract a younger crowd

Miami and West Palm Beach on the Atlantic coast have grabbed the headlines as financial firms move south. But the Tampa region, across the Gulf of Mexico state, is making gains.

Ark, which is permanently closing its Manhattan office and moving to St. Petersburg, currently manages $ 38 billion in ETF assets, up from a peak of over $ 60 billion in February.

Local St. Petersburg firms Raymond James Financial Inc. and Dynasty Financial Partners helped recruit Ark, according to Kriseman. Dynasty, which provides wealth management and technology platforms to financial advisors, moved to the region in 2019.

Overall, Florida has a very small share of the investment management business, and its forays since 2019 have barely shaken New York City. In fact, it’s still a much smaller player than states like California, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, with just 1.4% of U.S. regulatory assets under management in September, down from 1.3% before the pandemic.

Wealthy financial titans have long looked to Florida for lower taxes, and the pandemic has seen more companies set up satellite offices in the state. Ark, meanwhile, is moving his seat.

The company said a “substantial” number of its employees had agreed to relocate and would accept remote work. Still, it might be difficult to find talent in Florida, according to Todd Rosenbluth, head of ETF and mutual fund research at CFRA Research.

“There are definitely some cultural differences and some advantages to being in New York compared to Florida,” he said. “Their ability to recruit employees may be different when based in Florida. “

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