Fidelity Investments--one of the biggest employers in Boston, with 12,800 on its payroll there, a sizeable portion of its 37,000 employees worldwide--plans to move 1,500 jobs out of Bean Town and Marlborough, Mass., to locations around the country.
The biggest expansion will occur in Smithfield, R.I., where 800 people from Fidelity's Boston personal investments division, which sells mutual funds and brokerage services to individuals and financial planners, will be relocated in stages through 2008. Joining 1,600 people already at Fidelity's Smithfield campus, the new workers will be accommodated in a third, $65 million office building scheduled to be completed by 2008.
While high rents and the expiration of about 500,000 square feet of office space in Boston were a consideration, another issue was more attractive tax incentives in Rhode Island than what Massachusetts or Boston had to offer, Fidelity spokeswoman Anne Crowley told Fox News. Indeed, Hank Devine, an executive with the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp., told The Boston Globe that the state is in discussions with Fidelity to encourage it to relocate even more jobs, particularly higher-end, higher-paying positions.
Another deciding factor was the desire to be situated in various locations for contingency and customer service purposes, Crowley told Reuters. "We're found that diversifying geographically offers a number of advantages," she said. "It allows us to keep the business running 24/7 year round, provides redundancy for contingency planning and multiple back-up systems," a concern that the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington "brought home all too clearly," she said.
Another location that Fidelity is currently considering for relocation is Merrimack. N.H. It has also recently expanded facilities in Texas, Ohio and Kentucky.