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Tampa beats Atlanta for major financial company

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bobliocatt    0

Tampa lures 500 well-paying jobs

A financial services company picks Tampa over Atlanta to build an operations center. The salaries will be double Florida's average.

By STEVE HUETTEL, Times Staff Writer

Published May 25, 2004

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TAMPA - A New York financial services organization that handles trillions of dollars in trades for the securities industry will locate a new operations center in Tampa, one of the area's biggest business recruiting coups in years.

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., or DTCC, will employ 500 high-tech workers by 2007 at an average annual salary of more than $72,000.

DTCC, which is owned by major banks, broker/dealers, mutual funds and stock exchanges that use its services, looked at 25 cities before picking Tampa over Atlanta in a final round.

Local economic development officials have targeted the financial services industry, which employs thousands at companies such as JPMorgan Chase, Capital One Services and Citigroup in Hillsborough County.

"DTCC's decision to locate their southeast facility in Hillsborough County . . . serves as a testament to Florida's growing reputation as a financial services hub," Gov. Jeb Bush said in a prepared statement Monday evening.

DTCC is unparalleled in the United States in its size and scope as a clearinghouse for securities transactions, including stocks, bonds, government and mortgage-backed securities. It wants a new center away from the New York area in an effort to decentralize, partly in reaction to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"Florida quickly rose to the top of our list, with its highly skilled workforce, its quality of life and the growing number of financial services companies already in Florida who rave about its business environment," said DTCC chief executive Jill Considine.

Landing the center - and jobs paying more than double Florida's average salary of $31,817 - is particularly sweet for local economic development officials stung by the area's reputation for attracting so many call centers that pay low wages.

Mayor Pam Iorio said the recruitment of DTCC shows Tampa can compete against big-league cities, many of which offer big incentives.

"It really says a lot about what the city has to offer as far as a positive business environment and quality of life," she said. "It is just fantastic news, one of the biggest business expansions since JPMorgan Chase" in 1988.

The city and county came up with money to sweeten the pot for DTCC. They split about $1-million in incentives in addition to the $500,000 the organization qualified for under Florida's established incentive program for large businesses paying above-average salaries.

The state sealed the deal last week when Bush further sweetened the offer by setting aside for DTCC part of a "quick-closing fund" approved by the Legislature this year, according to Iorio.

DTCC would employ 350 workers by the end of next year, increasing to 500 at the end of 2007, the organization said in a grant application to the county. It expected to spend about $35-million to buy, renovate and equip a 176,000-square-foot building.

The company didn't identify a location. But a strong possibility is Intermedia Communications' former network operations center in New Tampa. Intermedia pulled out of that building and four others in early 2003 after parent company WorldCom Inc., filed for bankruptcy court protection.

The operations center was equipped with fiber optic cable and built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane.

- Steve Huettel can be reached at huettel@sptimes.com or 813 226-3384.

DTCC EXPANSION IN TAMPA

EMPLOYEES: 350 by 2005, 400 by 2006, 500 by 2007

AVERAGE SALARY: more than $72,000

CAPITAL INVESTMENT: $34-million

ABOUT DTCC

VALUE OF TRANSACTIONS SETTLED 2003: $923-trillion

STOCK AND BOND TRANSACTIONS HANDLED 2003: 4.8-billion

AVERAGE DAILY STOCK AND BOND TRANSACTIONS HANDLED: 18.9-million

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Jahi98    0

Great news for the city of Tampa, and the entire Tampa Bay metro area. This is just what we need. Hopefully, this will make other institutions and corporations consider the area for expansion.

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bobliocatt    0

I believe the Tampa/St. Petersburg area is on the verge of great things. I just wish some of these companies would look for downtown space instead of Westshore, Gateway, & the I-75 corridor. But when the average salary is $72,000, you can't complain.

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PghUSA    0

Tampa really is stepping up, Financial co's WANT to go to places that have lots of highly educated tech savvy workers, and places that are on the cultural map some too. Bravo Tampa!

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Jahi98    0

I believe the Tampa/St. Petersburg area is on the verge of great things. I just wish some of these companies would look for downtown space instead of Westshore, Gateway, & the I-75 corridor. But when the average salary is $72,000, you can't complain.

I think Westshore area and increasingly the Gateway area will continue to see the most growth in employers due to their central location. But, I agree. With an average salary of $72,000, they can locate anywhere in the metro they want to. :D

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