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Lessons from Financial Services and Other Corporate HQ Relocations

In 2021, the key drivers of corporate office relocations have changed quite a bit, though the fundamentals have remained steady. A company’s location is still a key projection of its brand personality and identity to customers and investors. Moving a company from its original roots in a particular community can be emotional for both the community and the company, and the company’s role in growing an emerging industry cluster and then relocating could negatively affect continued cluster success. 

Strategic Issues Shape the Next Level of Decision Making

Beyond these fundamentals, strategic issues include a company’s need to reduce short- and long-term operating costs, the selling of assets to raise needed capital, and expanding capacity or enhancing hiring opportunities for a changing workforce.

Operating costs remain at the forefront of relocation decisions. Attention is often placed on the ability to reduce corporate overhead by lowering real estate costs, business taxes (such as corporate income and property tax), and unemployment insurance and workers compensation rates.  

Prior to the pandemic, human capital was already a major driver in location decisions with low unemployment rates and a focus on upskilling the workforce.  Moving forward, human capital will continue to be a key location decision factor as people are at the heart of a company’s vision and output. 

With operating costs and human capital as key decision-making components, companies are engaging in detailed due diligence and comprehensive market location analyses to ensure they are armed with the knowledge they need to make the best long-term location decisions. 

 Read the rest of the article by Leslie Wagner in Trade & Industry Development with highlights covering: