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A New York City finance CEO explains why his company and all of its staff relocated to Miami

Phil Rosen   

A New York City finance CEO explains why his company and all of its staff relocated to Miami
  • Rahul Sen Sharma, co-CEO and president of financial firm Indxx, shared why his company picked Miami over New York City.
  • He said lower taxes, better weather, and more space all make Miami attractive compared to Manhattan.

There's a debate brewing about the future of New York City as the financial center of the world — and over which city could replace it.

While Manhattan is home to Wall Street and its mainstays, a question has come up in recent years as to whether the longstanding finance capital is destined to shift south.

Billionaire Ken Griffin said in November that Miami could soon overtake New York City as the dominant hub for markets and finance professionals. He moved the headquarters of his hedge fund, Citadel, to the Sunshine State last year from Chicago.

To Rahul Sen Sharma, the New York-based president and co-chief executive of Indxx, a financial markets index provider and data firm, it's no longer a question as to where he wants to live for work. Every single employee at his company is now based in Miami, and he plans to join them in early 2024.

"Historically, we've only had an office in New York, but during COVID we opened a small office in Miami and quickly realized it had very attractive benefits," Sen Sharma told Business Insider. "One, the tax structure is more favorable for personal as well as from a corporate standpoint. And two, it's more affordable from a business perspective, and three, the cost of hiring employees is also less in terms of salaries."

As it is, he said he spends a "significant" amount of time in Miami, even though he hasn't formally moved.

The executive noted that the company had some staffers come to the US from India, and Indxx initially stationed them in Miami because they happened to have more office space. The plan at the time was to eventually move them from Florida to New York, but the team enjoyed Miami so much that no one ended up relocating.

Census data shows recently Americans have been moving to Florida in droves, and an analysis from SmartAsset found that New Yorkers making $650,000 or more could save nearly $200,000 per year in tax and cost-of-living expenses by relocating to Miami.

To that point, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced in November he would move out of Seattle to Miami, where he could be poised to save millions in taxes.

A shifting finance hub

Sen Sharma maintained that New York City indeed has the upper hand in its status as the financial capital of the world. Yet he has still seen a number of businesses and clients mirror what Indxx has done in moving south.

"I'm seeing the opening and growing of offices in South Florida and on the east and west coast [of Florida]," he said. "I think based on everything I've seen, not only is that growth expected to continue, but it should be relatively permanent as well."

New York has been deriving less and less tax revenue from Wall Street, and financial firms aren't adding to the ranks of workers in the Big Apple the way they used to. Instead, tech has accounted for a much larger share of New York City employment, growing steadily in the last decade, and picking up at a faster pace in the last three years.

"While [Wall Street] remains very important, its share of the city's economy has diminished, accounting for under 20% of wage and salary earnings in 2022," the New York City Comptroller's office said in a report on the city's employment trends published in October. "Meanwhile, the tech industry has grown rapidly, both in terms of employment and income."

For Sen Sharma, he says there is "probably nothing" that could convince him to stay in New York in 2024.

"We don't have office space in New York anymore, no long-term leases of any kind," he said. "For a business like ours, nimble and agile, we go where it's easiest for us to do business. From a corporate tax perspective or an employee hiring and retention perspective, Florida seems to have more benefits these days than New York."

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