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PineBridge to tap diverse talent pool in Fort Lauderdale.

Firm to open new office in the city next month.

PineBridge Investments will open an office in Fort Lauderdale next month to capitalize on the city’s robust and diverse talent pool.

The NY-based $133bn firm chose Fort Lauderdale as the location of its fifth office due to the region’s balance of talent availability with a high standard of living, according to a spokesperson for the firm.

The new hub will house up to 45 employees across various corporate functions, which the firm plans to hire from locally. PineBridge’s CFO and chief risk officer, Tracie Ahern, is the only staff member that will relocate to Fort Lauderdale. Ahern will oversee the establishment of the new office.

Brian Porter, managing partner at Charles Sterling Group, said the firm is smart to expand to Fort Lauderdale. “There is already a considerable talent pool in financial services in the region. From big bank client service centers to asset managers, this move will allow them to draw from competitors and attract newer talent which they can train up.”

Porter said that as competition for diversity with all companies has intensified, moving to a region where financial services is still developing will give PineBridge an advantage to meet its goals and further diversify its workforce.

Jenni Morejon, president of the Fort Lauderdale Downtown Development Authority, said Ft. Lauderdale is experiencing ‘explosive growth’ and has seen a 41 percent increase in the population of its downtown area in the last decade.

“Fort Lauderdale is securing itself as a player for company relocation nationwide,” she said.

Despite a national slowdown in investment activity, Fort Lauderdale ranked 12th in the nation for investor demand, according to the PWC Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2021.

PineBridge, a private, global asset manager focused on active, high conviction investing, will keep its headquarters in New York, according to a spokesperson for the firm. The firm recently opened an office in Westport, Connecticut. Its other US offices are located in Houston and Los Angeles.

Florida is one of seven states that has no state income tax, including no taxes on investment income and interest. Other tax advantages in Florida include no local income tax, no state estate tax and low property taxes.

Florida has a 5.5% corporate income tax versus New York City’s 4% partnership tax, 8.41% state tax and 3.9% commercial rental tax. The average cost of office space per square foot is $59.60 in New York versus $32.35 in Florida, according to EY.

Fund managers headquartered in Florida include $930bn Raymond James, $73bn Polen Capital Management, $71bn GQG Partners, $41.8bn Elliot Investment Management, which recently moved its headquarters to West Palm Beach from midtown Manhattan, $14.9bn Bayview Asset Management and $14bn Lighthouse Investment Partners.

“Moving to a region with less competition than New York City will also provide PineBridge with high-levels of retention,” Porter said.

Other fund groups have recently moved office locations in search of talent and real estate savings.

$2.3trn Goldman Sachs Asset Management has been preparing office space in West Palm Beach and the first group of staff relocating could amount to a few hundred people, including investment professionals.

$1.5trn Bank of America Merrill Lynch said its looking to expand its adviser headcount in key markets including Florida, senior executives told Fund Intelligence ahead of the firm’s 1Q21.

In January, $7.trn Charles Schwab moved its corporate headquarters to northern Westlake, Texas from San Francisco.

Last July, $3bn Smead Capital Management changed its base from Seattle to Phoenix. PresidentCole Smead said the firm was paying only about half of what it would be paying for lease and parking expenses in Seattle, as well as connecting with local universities.

Dynasty Financial Partners, a $50bn company providing middle- and back-office support to independent wealth managers, moved its headquarters from New York to St. Petersburg, Florida in mid-2019.

$697bn AllianceBernstein has been preparing to relocate its headquarters to Nashville later this year.

JP Morgan Chase has previously toyed with the idea of moving the firm’s headquarters to Florida but has dismissed the proposal.

-Traditional Fund Intelligence

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