Wall Street South, The Time Has Come

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Wall Street South’s Time Has Come

Bottom Line: Blackstone Group, Citadel Advisors, Elliott Capital Management, Goldman Sachs, Ichan Enterprises, Moelis, Virtu Financial. A Wall Street’s who’s who of firms. The elite of the elite. And all of which are now part of South Florida’s story. Each of those ionic New York firms have moved meaningful swaths of their operations to South Florida over the past year. What started out as something few in New York paid much credence to about a year ago, has turned into a movement. Literally and figuratively. And those firms, who’ve all relocated operations between Miami and Palm Beach Gardens within the past year have paved the path for what’s becoming known as Wall Street South. Two recent events are helping to advance that characterization forward. 

Virtu Financials' decision to move operations to Palm Beach Gardens brings literal Wall Street trading activity to South Florida. Increasingly high-speed traders like Virtu are consuming share of overall trading activity that used to exclusively be executed by the stocks exchanges themselves. The divorcing of trading activity at specific exchanges, like the New York Stock Exchange for stocks or the Chicago Board of Trade for commodities more easily allows for a decentralizing of trading outside of those cities. As that’s happening the question isn’t where the biggest players have to be, it’s where they want to be. Quoting Moelis CEO Ken Moelis – I'm in the talent business.I want to attract and retain the greatest talent in the world and if that talent wants to do it in Florida, then we’ll support them. And just like that it’s happening.

Goldman Sachs taking out a lease to move 100 of its top players to West Palm Beach is the second and perhaps most symbolic change to date. This came on the heels of Goldman Sachs taking an inter officer poll on who’d want to move to South Florida. Clearly there were takers, a la what Moelis described. In addition to bringing hundreds of high paying jobs and billions of dollars of business to South Florida, they’re laying the groundwork for something bigger. Quoting Business Insider regarding the Goldman Sachs move...This was once unthinkable. But now it’s here. South Florida’s now a top-ten technology player and is quickly becoming a second coming of Wall Street. The groundwork laid in Florida prior to the pandemic has set our state up to be long-term beneficiary coming out of it.

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