Blackstone, the global private equity giant, made national headlines in October 2020 when it announced plans to open a new technology office in Downtown Miami that will be home to 200+ employees – bypassing an opportunity to expand its existing presence in New York City.
Blackstone becomes the latest in a list of tech and finance firms expanding or relocating to Miami in search of a diverse talent pool, lower taxes and operating costs by comparison with other major cities, 75-degree days in January, and limitless opportunities for growth.
The Miami Herald broke the news of Blackstone’s planned move last month, and the Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA) – which is leading the charge to bring tech and finance firms to Miami – co-hosted a virtual panel with company principals this week.
This fall, the Miami DDA launched a new campaign, “Follow the Sun,” which is offering up to $150,000 over three years to companies that relocate or expand into Downtown Miami and create high-wage jobs. Blackstone becomes the first firm to qualify for funding through the program.
Working with the Miami DDA’s marketing department, our team at SMS has developed an integrated PR, digital marketing and social media campaign designed to drive continued business migration to Miami by highlighting opportunities for growth and touting the advantages of living and working in South Florida.
As Miami DDA Board Member and Enterprise Committee Chair Philippe Houdard explained, “Blackstone coming to Miami makes a lot of sense, but it’s also validation for our city. The world’s biggest companies are always looking for an edge, and this sends a message to the world that Miami has the human capital needed to grow here.”
All indications are that the team from Blackstone agrees with that assessment. Four principals from the firm covered a range of topics during this week’s virtual event. Our digital team was on-hand live Tweeting the event, but here are excerpts from the discussion ICYMI:
- John Stecher, Chief Technology Officer: “Our Miami office is the result of a long, detailed process. We set out to find a place with a pool of tech workers and top-flight engineers who could augment our New York team. Miami makes sense for a number of reasons. It’s a destination city where people want to live. There’s a deep tech talent pool and we’ll have an ability to bring in people with different backgrounds. Our goal is to build the highest quality team. This was the right spot for the number of people we want to hire.”
- Adam Fletcher, Chief Information Security Officer: “Keeping up with fast-changing technology needs means hiring from the outside and upscaling among existing staff. There’s fresh tech talent in Miami, and that’s a big reason we’re coming.”
- Ester McEwon, Senior Vice President: “Our new office in Downtown Miami will give our employees access to transit, amazing amenities within walking distance, and tons of great places to eat, shop and live nearby.”
- John Stecher: “Part of what drew us to Miami was the depth of talent in areas we want to build up. We’re looking for 200 people with expertise in cybersecurity, software development, cloud and data engineering, and infrastructure development.”
- Josh Schertzer, CTO of Enterprise Technology: “I’ve spent a lot of time in Miami over the years. It’s home to great people, great schools, and untapped talent. Lots of people who live here don’t want to leave. Now, our hope is that people graduating from school won’t have to leave.”
- Adam Fletcher: “The trend in cybersecurity is that top talent can remain in top tiers of compensation regardless of where they’re physically located. Now we can recruit top talent and give them a chance to live in Miami. We looked around and saw evidence that other companies have had success building their teams in South Florida, and that was appealing.”
Blackstone is wasting no time on the heels of its Miami announcement. The firm is already filling positions, with 18 jobs posted on the company’s website today.