August 20, 2014
Kelly Smallridge

“I had never seen that kind of wealth come in, working wealth coming in.” -- Kelly Smallridge, CEO, Business Development Board of Palm Beach County

Photo: Jeffrey Salter

Kelly Smallridge on CNBC

A letter penned by Kelly Smallridge (right) to 30 hedge funds pitching Palm Beach for relocation drew national attention.

Business Development

Hedge funds relocate to Southeast Florida

Mike Vogel | 5/15/2013

Connecticut billionaire Edward Lampert in July became the highest profile hedge fund manager to move himself and his operation to Florida. He’s not alone. As Florida Trend reported last year, four hedge funds looking to escape high taxes had relocated from the Northeast to a single building in West Palm Beach.

Kelly Smallridge, CEO of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, a few months ago penned a letter to 30 randomly selected Manhattan-based hedge funds touting the county’s appeal. Someone shared the letter with the New York Post, which ran an article that prompted an interview the next day on CNBC. “After that, my life changed forever,” Smallridge said in February. She had so many inquiries from hedge funds that she hired someone to deal with them. “I had never seen that kind of wealth come in, working wealth coming in, which is still superwealthy,” she said in February. “I met with one today. I meet with one Wednesday. I meet with one Friday.”

Smallridge is more accustomed to recruits who want light industrial or distribution space and an incentive package and pay $65,000 on average. The hedge funds want 10,000 square feet in a Class A building with a water view and pay an average of $1 million. “Incentives are not at the top of their list, but private education is,” she says. The markets they’re most interested in are West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, equestrian country Wellington, Jupiter and Delray Beach/Manalapan.

“Gov. Scott, of course, is helping,” following up with his personal pitch, she says. “It’s just spread like crazy. It’s a new wave of wealth in this county,” she says, and, “it cost me postage. That’s it.”

Tags: Southeast

Digital Access

DIRECT DIGITAL ACCESS
Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single ditgital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.

ACCESS THIS ISSUE »

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Balloon sculpture at Museum of Fine Arts will blow you away
Balloon sculpture at Museum of Fine Arts will blow you away

If you've ever been impressed by a balloon animal, prepare to be blown away by a new art exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg made up entirely of balloons.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Should the Feds stop sending so much surplus military weapons and armored trucks to local police?

  • Yes, enough already
  • No, every force should be prepared for the worst

See Results

Ballot Box
Subscribe