February 24, 2014
Miami Is Wall Street South — Here's Why
By Amanda Macias and Linette Lopez
Miami is attracting the LeBron James of Wall Street, the Dwyane Wade of Greenwich equity, and theChris Boshof Boston — financial titans who are relocating to pay less in taxes and maintain a luxury lifestyle with a glittering social scene.
It's already the 2nd most popular financial hub in the country after NYC, and The Miami Downtown Development Authority is doing everything it can to make itself attractive to bankers through an initiative called the DWNTWN campaign.
Lloyd Blankfein and Leon Black are rumored to have bought Miami condos recently, and the latest hotshot to move his business there is Mark Spitznagel, founder of hedge fund Universa Investments.
“Florida’s business-friendly policies ... offer the perfect environment for us as we expand,” said Spitznagel. “I would expect to see more firms like Universa voting with their feet and relocating to a more hospitable business and tax environment, especially as many local governments are trying to tighten their grip on businesses.”
The nightlife and beaches don't hurt either.
Miami is a financial gateway to the Americas.
While New York remains the undisputed center of the hedge-fund universe, there are approximately 70 hedge and private equity funds now headquartered in Florida.
Everest Capital, which manages an estimated $2.3 billion, is headquartered in Miami along with private-equity companies like Trivest and HIG Capital.
And with the growing Latino market, setting up shop in Miami means capitalizing on a growing Latin American client base.
Lower taxes mean more cash in your pocket for what matters.
In Florida, there are no individual income taxes, no estate taxes and no capital gains taxes.
So if you think about it, a hedge fund manager reporting $1 million in income can expect to pay only the federal government, whereas his counterparts living in New York City and Connecticut will fork over an extra $104,300 and $67,000 respectively.
Like taking advantage of Miami's many luxury shops.
Leading the nation in luxury car sales, Miami is an epicenter for extravagent and exotic cars.
Almost 14% of all cars sold in Florida are from luxury brands compared to 11% in New York.
Even more interesting, the 2013 median household income in Florida is less than New York, at $42,751 and $60,663 respectively.
Homes are spacious and private, and set at prices that won't break a Wall Streeter's bank.
Even more of a reason to make the jump to Florida, it's cheaper to own a home in Miami-Dade County than it is to rent one. According to Miami Association of Realtors, the median sale price was $235,000 compared to New York's $442,600.
By the way, New York's cost of living is nearly 30% above the national average compared to Miami's 10%.
Plus, the weather basically looks like this all the time.
The average temperature year round in Miami is 76 degrees Fahrenheit and the well-to-do from all over the Northeast know this.
October through March is considered the high season for Miami's charity balls, exclusive dinners, and yacht parties forventure capitalists, hedge fund managers, andother investment-driven companies.
Speaking of yacht parties, Miami has the largest port in the world.
In 2013, approximately 4 million passengers passed through the terminals of Port of Miami.
Miami's waterways are a yachter’s paradise with proximity to the Bahamas, Cuba, Cancun, the Dominican Republic, and most everywhere in the Caribbean.
And the beaches are so great you can forget the Hamptons already.
Separated from mainland Miami by Biscayne Bay, Miami Beachis an exclusive barrier island with 9 miles of pristine beaches.
Recently named as one of the top-five beach cities in the world, Miami Beach is an international playground that is steps away from a rowdy Ocean Drive nightlife.
If you aren't traveling by private yacht, there are three airports.
Miami International Airport is ranked 3rd in the U.S. for international passenger traffic with 33.5 million travelers.
Pilots with private jets are offered a private hangar, refueling services, customs and immigration clearance, and ground services. The facility is open 24 hours a day and features a shower area, pilot lounge, Wi-Fi, and car rental services.
Miami-based investment conferences fill those airports with Wall Streeters all winter anyway.
You'll probably run into this guy.
Miami is already packed to the gills with Wall Streeters going in and out of it all winter long because hedge funds love to have conferences there while it's cold in NYC. The Morgan Stanley-Lyford Key conference was moved from the Bahamas to South Beach, for one.
And we hear these conferences are stacked not just with interesting speakers, but also cool events for attendees.
No need to look for new restaurants to love either, since a lot of NYC favorites are in Miami too.
Take steakhouse STK, for one. There's a Catch Miami, a Nobu and a Tao too.
After dinner you'll soon be able to hit the casino too. Genting is building one on Miami's water front. It will be slots only though.
The same goes for Miami's incredible nightlife scene.
There are more than 500 bars and clubs in Miami, familiar favorites include a Dream Hotel South Beach and Soho House Miami.
Then of course there are the Miami natives. LIV in the Fontainebleau Hotel is the most expensive nightclub in Miami Beach. Kim Kardashian had her birthday there with Kanye (if that means anything to you).
Then there's the non-stop party that is Art Basel.
An offshoot of the annual art fair inBasel, Switzerland, Art Basel Miami Beach is a star-studded potpourri of artists, gallery owners, collectors and A-listers.
The influx of super-rich in attendance turns the five-day festival into a seemingly endless schedule of nightclubbing and poolside cocktail parties.
For Wall Streeters, Jim Chanos' Art Basel party is an absolute must.
During the daytime, you can soak up Miami's culture.
The city has 194 museums, theaters, stadiums and 626 galleries and concert venues, including the new Perez Art Museum Miami.
And with more than 960 buildings, Miami Beach’s Art Deco district is home to the world’s largest collection of Art Deco Architecture.
The 25 art-deco-filled blocks are a classic representation of Miami's luxury, glamour, and exuberance.
You won't miss your NYC celeb sightings.
Miami is packed with A-list celebs like Anna Kournikova, Oprah, Shakira, Lenny Kravitz,Gloria Estefan and former Attorney General Janet Reno.
And of course, you can't forget the Heat.
Miami is home to one of the most exciting teams in the NBA, The Miami Heat.
The Dolphins are there too, if you like football.
Here's where you could live in Miami