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Jax Daily Record Friday, Nov. 20, 201512:00 PM EST

Deutsche Bank's growth sends strong message about city

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When a global company that operates in more than 70 countries decides to commit to growing in Jacksonville, already its largest U.S. operation outside of New York, other businesses pay attention.

Deutsche Bank said this week it will expand its Jacksonville center by leasing another building, allowing it to expand its 1,700 jobs by another 350 to start and more over time.

“It is a terrific company that helps put Jacksonville on the map internationally and nationally,” said JAX Chamber Chair John Delaney, who is president of the University of North Florida and a former Jacksonville mayor.

In July, Australia-based Macquarie Group said Deutsche Bank’s choice of Jacksonville for a major office center reinforced the city as a prospective site.

That helped Macquarie choose Jacksonville for a global services center that began with consideration of 17 cities in five countries.

One of the Australia-based executives said Deutsche Bank’s ability to hire employees gave comfort to Macquarie about Jacksonville’s talent pool for the 123 positions it was hiring.

Germany-based Deutsche Bank opened in Jacksonville in 2008. It has reached capacity, with 1,200 jobs, at the five-building, 200,000-square-foot Meridian Business Park it leases at 5022 Gate Parkway.

It also leases 110,000 square feet of office space for about 500 jobs in offices along Belfort Road.

Deutsche Bank announced Thursday it will lease a 150,000-square-foot building at 5201 Gate Parkway, which also will offer a cafeteria, gym, health and wellness center and meeting space that can be used by employees working there and at the nearby Meridian campus.

The financial services giant will consolidate the Belfort Road jobs and the 350 new positions at the 5201 building, which also can accommodate 1,200 positions.

That indicates Deutsche Bank will have space for several hundred more jobs.

The company has not commented on any plans beyond the next 350 jobs, but said the new lease allows it space to grow.

Deutsche Bank’s Jacksonville employees operate in corporate banking and securities, asset and wealth management, global operations, global technology, legal, compliance, finance and more.

Peter Anderson, president of the NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association’s Northeast Florida chapter, said Deutsche Bank’s decision to lease the building and add jobs confirms that Jacksonville “provides the high-quality employee base and the real estate solutions” required by the company.

“I believe Jacksonville will see this trend continue, as all players in the financial services industry will take notice of Deutsche Bank’s decision to grow in Jacksonville,” said Anderson, vice president of Pattillo Industrial Real Estate.

City Council and the state have approved four incentives packages for Deutsche Bank since 2008, the most recent in October. Deutsche Bank has exceeded the jobs it pledged in the first three.

The company said in the October deal that it would pay an average $64,356 for the 350 new jobs.

“Deutsche Bank is an important company within our dynamic financial sector, and clearly sees Jacksonville as a place to grow,” said Candace Moody, vice president of communications for CareerSource Northeast Florida.

Moody said the campus locations and amenities make the jobs attractive to workers, both local and those relocating from other areas.

Moody said Northeast Florida generates a large number of regional finance and business graduates from area universities as well as from the University of Florida and Florida State University.

“Young professionals are a very desirable demographic for any city – they’re our future leaders, homeowners and investors,” Moody said.

Deutsche Bank’s decision also represents a commitment to the city, a strong statement given the global “Strategy 2020” plan rolled out in April. The company intends to reduce its worldwide country or local presence by 10-15 percent.

“This allows them to root more deeply in our community,” said Jerry Mallot, president of the JAXUSA Partnership, the economic development division of the JAX Chamber.

Leslie Slover, regional head for Deutsche Bank in Jacksonville and in Cary, N.C., said the lease creates a more permanent commitment to the company’s location in North Florida.

Mallot said that commitment is connected to city and JAX Chamber visits with Deutsche Bank executives in London during the first two years the Jacksonville Jaguars played there. He said the group was not able to meet with the bank executives on the most recent trip.

Mallot said the 350-job expansion took root in those meetings.

With the lease, Mallot said Deutsche Bank’s real estate needs have been resolved, at least for the time being.

“The new building does give them some flexibility beyond the announcement, but it certainly does give them comfort that they were able to do the expansion they announced,” Mallot said.

He said the new lease allows Deutsche Bank to bring its teams together in two locations for a more efficient operation.

Deutsche Bank also signifies more about Jacksonville when other announcements are taken into account.

Trader Joe’s and Nordstrom have opened, and IKEA, Bass Pro Shops and Topgolf have announced they will come to Jacksonville.

“We are attracting a lot of attention as a market that is on the move and attracting the best and the brightest companies out there,” Mallot said.

Moody said that attention also attracts workers.

“They’ll come for the jobs and stay for the lifestyle,” she said.

Not only that, but retailers also are taking notice of the announcements by companies like Deutsche Bank and Macquarie Group.

“They’re going to pay close attention to these kinds of job expansions,” Moody said.

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