As blizzards wracked the Northeast, more than 300 financial and business professionals gathered in sunny West Palm Beach this past Thursday, to hear an all-star panel address the continued growth of Palm Beach County as a financial center. The panel was part of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County first quarter meeting. Fund managers, investors and bankers cited low corporate taxes, no state income tax, quality of life, education options, and a welcoming business climate made possible by the support of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, among the reasons they grew and relocated their businesses to Palm Beach County.
Kelly Smallridge, CEO of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, reminded the group that Palm Beach County is attracting business and financial services including wealth management, banking and investment services, company headquarters, incubators, investors, venture capital and corporate finance firms. As the migration of financial firms to Palm Beach County continues, “300 private equity groups and hedge funds now call South Florida home,” said Smallridge.
Kenny Polcari, CNBC market analyst and contributing editor, and director of the NYSE Equities Division at O’Neil Securities, moderated the discussion. Panelists also included John Castle, managing director at Branford Castle, Inc., Michael Falk, chairman, co-founder and managing partner at Comvest Partners, Kirby Resplock, founder and principal of Tamarind Partners, Inc., and Euclid Walker, managing partner of Parkway Investment Management, LLC.
The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County is the official public/private economic development organization for Palm Beach County and Enterprise Florida. Founded in 1982 as a not-for-profit corporation, its primary purpose is to attract through corporate welfare, to retain new industry, business investment, high quality jobs and workforce development through corporate relocations, expansions and international trade. During the past five years, the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County has assisted companies that have created more than 12,650 direct jobs with average salaries greater than $62,900, resulting in more than $615 million in capital investment to Palm Beach County and an economic impact that exceeds $4.9 billion.