The EDC and the Commonwealth Host Financial Services Roundtable
Yesterday the EDC organized a roundtable for Boston site
selectors and brokers with a focus on the Financial Services industry. This was
another step in the initiative announced by Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and
Economic Development Greg Bialecki at last year’s Chamber Super 60 event.
Secretary Bialecki has an ambitious goal of talking to 50 companies this year about
locating shared service centers, call centers and other back office space in
western Mass. While the initiative is focused on business functions (customer
service, legal, HR, etc) more than on one industry, large financial services
firms are the most likely candidates to move these functions from high labor
cost to lower cost regions.
The EDC worked with the Mass Office of Business Development ("MOBD")
to hone the value proposition for our region and Secretary Bialecki made a
cogent presentation to the consultants yesterday. Boston and New York are our
top target markets because we add the advantage of management proximity to our
core upside of a productive workforce at substantial cost savings compared to
those markets. We had an excellent give-and-take conversation with the site
selectors about maximizing the opportunity for their clients to open a facility
in our region.
We all learned from each other. One interesting opportunity
that came to light is that several firms headquartered in California are
fleeing the state because the CEO’s are facing a combined headline personal
income tax rate (Federal and State) in excess of 50%. While the Sun Belt will
provide stiff competition for those firms, key executives who will consider the
northeast could be targets to locate, at minimum, their back office functions
in our region. One key site selector told me in a follow-up exchange that “You put Western MA
top of mind for me” and that, of course, was the point.
The EDC was fortunate to be joined by our colleagues from MOBD, the City
of Springfield, Develop Springfield and MassEcon yesterday. For more information about this initiative, please contact Mike Graney
at 413-755-1300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.