Photo of TIAA courtesy of Childress Klein – Clear Sky Images
By Neill Caldwell and David Mildenberg
Big money is finding North Carolina to be a great place to grow. To be more precise, some of the world’s biggest financial institutions such as Credit Suisse, Fidelity and Vanguard are expanding in the Charlotte and Triangle regions with finance, operations and technology jobs that tend to pay significantly more than state averages. Twelve companies studied in our survey employ nearly 19,000 people in North Carolina’s two big metro areas, with several thousand more jobs in the pipeline.
Like many industries, financial services has consolidated in recent decades with the bigger companies taking market share away from smaller institutions. Several of the companies reporting the fastest growth in assets under management — particularly Dimensional Fund Advisors, Fidelity and Vanguard — have set up major N.C. operations. The exception is Charles Schwab & Co., which has a limited presence in the state. While North Carolina’s biggest banks have substantial brokerage or wealth-management divisions, none are attracting new clients as rapidly as these rivals.
Though the companies tend to be extremely profitable, most haven’t been shy about asking for government incentives to cushion their expenses. North Carolina has pledged about $230 million to nine of these companies, with payments tied to meeting hiring and investment targets.
Northfield Township, Ill.-based public company
N.C. employees: declined to comment
Key N.C. leader: declined to comment
Stock-market value in early May: $32 billion
The insurance giant said in 2017 it would add 2,250 jobs in Charlotte by 2021, joining 1,400 existing employees. It is the largest publicly held property and casualty insurer, serving more than 16 million households. It had $40 billion in revenue in 2018. Allstate has agreed to lease a building in Charlotte’s South End neighborhood for its expansion, according to media reports. A company official declined comment.
Allstate received $25 million in state and local incentives in 2017 and pledged that the new jobs would average about $47,000 annually.
Paris-based multinational public company
N.C. employees: declined to comment
Key N.C. leader: Patrick Parry, senior director
Stock-market value in early May: $53 billion
Formed in 1816, the insurance company said in 2017 it planned to add 550 employees to its 475-person Charlotte operations center that provides underwriting, customer service and other functions. The Equitable, which AXA acquired in 1991, opened a Charlotte office more than 40 years ago. AXA sells life insurance, annuities and other financial products and had revenue of more than $118 billion last year.
The company is eligible for $11.8 million in state incentives if it meets hiring targets.
Charlotte-based public company
N.C. employees: 750
Key N.C. leader: Eric Steigerwalt, CEO
Stock-market value in early May: $4.7 billion
Spun off by MetLife in 2017, Brighthouse has issued more than 2.5 million life-insurance policies and annuity contracts. It has more than $220 billion in total assets.
Before the split, MetLife received $87 million in a 2013 state incentives package for creating 2,600 jobs in Charlotte and Cary.
Subsidiary of Springfield, Mass.-based
MassMutual Life Insurance Co.
N.C. employees: 631
Key N.C. leader: Tom Finke, chairman & CEO
Barings manages $317 billion, mainly for institutional clients. It operates across North America, Europe and Asia. The company moved its headquarters into the new 300 South Tryon office tower in downtown Charlotte in 2017. The Charlotte-based business operated for many years as Babson Capital Management LLC before changing its name to Barings in 2016.
Zurich, Switzerland-based company that is
among the world’s biggest banks
N.C. employees: About 2,000, with about 680 contingent workers
Key N.C. leader: Sophia Wajnert, senior franchise officer of Credit Suisse in RTP
Stock-market value in early May: $32 billion
Credit Suisse opened its Morrisville office in 2007 and has since added two more sites. The Triangle area is its second-largest U.S. employment center. It has added 550 jobs at RTP over the last two years, including finance, operations, technology and risk. Several hundred more positions are expected to be filled over the next 18 months. Plans call for moving this summer into a building now under construction.
Credit Suisse received $53.6 million in state incentives in 2017, dependent on fulfilling a pledge to hire 1,200 employees over 10 years at an average annual salary topping $80,000.
Frankfurt, Germany-based company that is
Europe’s fourth-largest bank
N.C. employees: nearly 1,000
Key N.C. leader: Nick Addison, chief operating officer for the Cary technology center
Stock-market value in early May: $16 billion
The Cary site opened in 2009 with about 150 employees and has grown steadily. It focuses on developing application software and boosting the efficiency of the bank’s technical efforts. The company has been involved in three rounds of state incentive programs starting in 2009. The funding, which hinges on meeting investment and hiring targets, totals more than $18 million. The bank’s hiring slowed in 2017 as it was not in compliance with the incentives agreement that year, an N.C. Department of Commerce spokesman said. It’s not been determined if hiring in 2018 met state requirements.
Austin, Texas-based privately owned
N.C. employees: 260
Key N.C. leader: Aaron Marcus, head of global human resources
The investment-management company opened its East Coast headquarters in Charlotte in April. The building has a capacity of more than 500 people, double the current local workforce. DFA has about $575 billion in assets under management, making it among the largest, fastest-growing U.S. investors. The Charlotte office provides a wide variety of services, including research, portfolio management, trading and operations.
The company was awarded $18 million in state and local incentives in 2015 in return for pledging to hire 315 people by 2020. The average salary is estimated to be $147,000 annually.
Boston-based mutual-fund company owned by
the Johnson family
N.C. employees: 3,500
Key N.C. leaders: Jillian Munro, head of technology, Fidelity Digital Assets; Pam Norley, president of Fidelity Charitable; and Thomas Ryan, emerging business lead of workplace investing
Fidelity Investments helps more than 30 million people invest their life savings, 22,000 businesses manage employee-benefit programs, and more than 13,500 financial-advisory firms with investment and technology solutions. The company entered North Carolina in 2002 and now takes up four buildings formerly occupied by Nortel Networks. Fidelity Charitable, which donated nearly $4 billion in donor-recommended grants in 2017, and Fidelity Labs, which is dedicated to incubating new businesses, are based in Durham.
Fidelity received $15 million in incentives from the state in 2015 after promising to add 600 jobs by 2018. The jobs, mostly in software development and engineering, were expected to pay more than $100,000 annually, on average.
Owned by London-based IHS Markit Ltd. since
August 2018, with U.S. headquarters in Raleigh
N.C. employees: 300 (30-40 people joining company in June)
Key N.C. leader: O’Hara Macken, senior vice president and Raleigh site leader
Key Stock-market value in early May: $22 billion
Ipreo opened its downtown Raleigh office in 2013 with fewer than 100 people. The technology center provides services including data analytics, quality assurance and software development. Previous owners of Ipreo included Blackstone, Goldman Sachs Group and KKR & Co. before IHS Markit bought the company for $1.86 billion.
Ipreo is receiving state and local incentives of $2 million over 12 years, according to a 2018 agreement to add 250 jobs.
New York-based public company
N.C. employees: 2,300
Key N.C. leader: Jim O’Donnell, global chief information officer
Stock-market value in early May: $45 billion
MetLife opened its Charlotte office in 2014, followed a year later with a Cary expansion.
MetLife’s Global Technology Campus in Cary employs more than 1,800, with another 500 to be added this year as a third building opens. The new site will include MetLife’s Digital Accelerator, a hub for entrepreneurs; a customer call center; operations; and additional technologists. The Charlotte office includes a customer call center, a group-benefits sales office and a property-casualty claims organization.
MetLife was awarded $87 million in a 2013 state incentives package for creating 2,600 jobs in Charlotte and Cary.
New York-based privately held, nonprofit company with
taxable subsidiaries. Profits are disbursed to policyholders.
N.C. employees: 4,000
Key N.C. leaders: Doug Chittenden, executive vice president and president of institutional retirement; Carol Deckbar, executive vice president of institutional investment and endowment services; and Jose Minaya, chief investment officer and president of Nuveen’s global investments
TIAA is a leading provider of financial services in the academic, research, medical and government fields, managing more than $1 trillion for more than 5 million active and retired people. TIAA opened a large office near UNC Charlotte in 2001 and provides a variety of services including operations, marketing and technology. North Carolina is among the company’s largest employment centers along with Dallas, Denver and New York.
Valley Forge, Pa.-based asset manager that is
owned by shareholders of its funds