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Wall Street Is Moving To North Carolina

Deutsche Bank, Fidelity, and Credit Suisse are among firms ramping up operations in unexpected metro areas.

New York City, Chicago, Boston and the Bay area have traditionally attracted financial institutions: but now, three unexpected metro areas are popping up as financial centers: Salt Lake City, Seattle and Raleigh-Cary, N.C.

Goldman Sachs is continuing to invest in Salt Lake City, which hosts the company's second largest office in North America with more than 1,150 employees. Goldman Sachs expects a swath of new opportunities in the Utah city, particularly in investment research, investment management, compliance, operations, technology, human capital management and corporate services.

To support its drive to grow its operations in Salt Lake City, the Wall Street titan will move to a larger office in the area mid-to-late this year. Royal Bank of Scotland is also expanding its operations in Utah this year, adding 260 employees with an emphasis on recruiting technology professionals, the job site eFinancialcareers said in a new report.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 48,000 Salt Lake City residents currently work in financial services, an increase of seven percent in the last decade.

"Utah has a robust business environment and infrastructure," David Lang, managing director and head of the Salt Lake City office for Goldman Sachs, said in the eFinancialcareers report. "This region is an important part of our business and we are proud to be expanding and building out more opportunities here. The strong talent pool is a validation of our growth here."

Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and Fidelity are all posting jobs in Raleigh and Cary, N.C, a state which the U.S. Census Bureau says was the fourth fastest growing metro area in the last decade.

One big advantage for the region is the proximity to some of the best universities in the country, including Duke University and the University of North Carolina, as well as North Carolina State, whose Department of Computer Science has an alumni base of more than 6,200, eFinancialcareers said in its report.

Deutsche Bank currently employs 160 financial markets professionals at its technology center in Cary, NC. The bank expects to create more than 300 full-time positions in the next few years, and is currently primarily looking for software developers with Java and Erlang know-how, quality assurance and project managers, according to the report.

One factor in Deutche Bank's choice of Cary was its livability and vibrancy, eFinancialcareers said. "The high quality of life that Cary and the Triangle region delivers creates a 'sticky factor' whereby people who relocate to this area for a career or education generally stay here, and that has proven beneficial to our success here in Cary," said Christine Chu, COO of Deutsche Bank Global Technology in Cary.

Seattle also ranks high on the list of new metro areas that are luring financial professionals, and includes a hefty presence by Russell Investments, which has 900 employees based in the city.

According to the Department of Labor, more than 87,000 financial services employees are currently based in Seattle.

"If you look at operations and technology, there is a well educated labor force [in Seattle, Salt Lake City and North Carolina], and local government authorities are interested in stimulating the economy by attracting high value jobs to these cities," says Constance Melrose, managing director of eFinancialCareers North America.

"If you look at the asset management business, there's also a lot going on in Denver, Colorado," she adds.

"In cities where wealth has flourished for different reasons and in different industries - such as the state of Washington which is home to Boeing, Microsoft and Amazon - people are going to want to manage that money," Melrose explains.

Chicago long ago built a strong presence in trading and commodities, Boston has attracted a large number of asset management firms and the Bay area is known for its venture capital.

But now financial institutions are increasingly looking to build out their presence in cheaper locations, like Jacksonville, Florida which first started attracting financial professionals on the retail back office side a few years ago.

"They are building out locations that don't cost as much [as the North East] and are attractive places for people to relocate to," says Melrose.

Meanwhile, firms are increasingly looking for operations professionals. eFinancialCareers saw operations postings jump 127% year over year. It is currently the third top area where financial institutions are looking to hire, after trading and quantitative analysis.

"Business has been growing and this generates a need for operations. Also regulations are having an impact on operations hiring," Melrose adds. "Part of doing good compliance is the operations behind it, having enough people to make sure transactions are checked correctly." Melanie Rodier has worked as a print and broadcast journalist for over 10 years, covering business and finance, general news, and film trade news. Prior to joining Wall Street & Technology in April 2007, Melanie lived in Paris, where she worked for the International Herald ... View Full Bio

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