Spitznagel's Universa Moves To Miami

Feb 19 2014 | 9:14am ET

Mark Spitznagel's Universa Investments is heading to Florida—but not just for the winter.

The equity tail hedging specialist is moving its headquarters from Santa Monica, Calif. to Coconut Grove, Fla. on March 1.

In a statement Spitznagel, founder and CIO of Universa, cited Florida's “business-friendly policies” for the decision to relocate, saying they “offer the perfect environment for us as we expand.”

“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.”

Spitznagel, a libertarian and vocal critic of big government, cited Miami’s proximity to Latin America and Europe and its access to an international pool of investors as additional reasons for the move. He also said he plans to expand his workforce at Universa from 14 employees to 25 in the next three years.

Miami is the second-largest banking and finance hub in the U.S., behind New York City. The Miami Downtown Development Authority has launched a campaign to attract financial industry firms to the city that involves one-on-one outreach to hedge funds, hosting events to put Downtown Miami in front of financial executives and forming strategic alliances with industry leaders.

“Florida is a truly business-friendly state,” Hedge Fund Association President Mitch Ackles told FINalternatives. “We don’t have state taxes, and running any business here costs significantly less that it does in places like New York or Connecticut. It’s also reasonable that any larger hedge fund based in those states, or anywhere else, can easily set up a satellite office down here.”

 


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