The Bullish Case for Miami & the Rest of Florida
Updated: Feb 27
The Covid-19 pandemic impacted the corporate world in a big way. Businesses closed, businesses opened, and businesses adapted. The Northeastern area of the US was perhaps affected the most. New York City, in particular, was shut down longer than most US cities and it resulted in a significant loss of revenue across the board. This led to the decision of numerous companies to relocate or move a significant portion of their workforce to Florida, specifically Miami and South Florida. Florida, typically known for only parks, tourism and the cruise-line industry, is now on the verge of becoming a finance and tech hub.
Why would a company move to Florida?
Florida has always been a retirement haven for New Yorkers, but there are some relocation benefits prior to retirement as well. Here are a few reasons why companies might decide to move their operations to Florida:
Best business taxes in the country
No state income tax for employees
Better weather = happier employees
Enhanced Covid-19 reopening procedures
10 million person workforce, among the nation's elite
Abundance of commercial airports
Greater investment opportunities than New York
Easier access to Latin America
Which companies have moved or plan to open a large office in Florida?
Elliott Management - West Palm Beach (HQ)
Microsoft - Miami (Large office)
Blackstone Group - Miami (Large office)
Thoma Bravo - Miami (Large office)
Citadel - Miami (Large office, potential new HQ)
Moelis & Co - TBD (Large office)
Virtu - Palm Beach Gardens (Small office)
Icahn Capital - TBD (Large office)
Balyasny Asset Management - Miami (Small office)
Goldman Sachs - South Florida (Large office)
Point72 - West Palm Beach (Small office)
NewDay USA - West Palm Beach (2nd HQ)
Jet Blue Airways - Rumored to relocate to Orlando
In addition to the finance and tech pouring in, Miami has been dubbed the cryptocurrency capital of the US. Miami's mayor Francis X. Suarez is bullish for Bitcoin and wants to begin paying city employees in Bitcoin. He even went as far as to suggest that Miami might convert 1% of it's treasury to Bitcoin. In addition to this, Miami is the host of the 2021 Bitcoin Conference in June 2021.
In addition to large companies, various wealthy individuals have also decided to flee New York:
Carl Icahn - $15.6 billion net worth
David Tepper - $14.5 billion net worth
Paul Tudor Jones - $7 billion net worth
While researching some supporting facts and documentation for this article, I came across a very interesting quote from Smith & Hopen.
Florida has three cornerstone universities forming Florida’s High Tech Corridor. In short, these schools collectively outperformed the three cornerstone universities in North Carolina’s historic Research Triangle. Specifically, Florida leads in number of patent applications filed and the number of patents issued. University of Central Florida, University of Florida, and University of South Florida anchor Florida’s High Tech Corridor. Duke University, North Carolina State University, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill form North Carolina’s Research Triangle. - Smith & Hopen
I always thought of NC's Research Triangle as top-notch (which it still is), but I had no idea it had such tight competition from these Florida-based schools!
Florida will never overtake the states with a larger financial-industry footprint such as New York, Illinois, or California, but this is certainly a step in the right direction to more credibility.