ICE upgrading former Black Knight headquarters

Additional ICE workers are coming to the Riverside Avenue office.

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The former Black Knight headquarters at 601 Riverside Ave. in Brooklyn will be upgraded, according to the company’s new owner, Intercontinental Exchange Inc.
The former Black Knight headquarters at 601 Riverside Ave. in Brooklyn will be upgraded, according to the company’s new owner, Intercontinental Exchange Inc.
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Intercontinental Exchange Inc. reported a big increase in mortgage technology revenue in the fourth quarter after completing its acquisition of Jacksonville-based Black Knight Inc. in September.

The company best known as the operator of the New York Stock Exchange also said it is upgrading the former Black Knight headquarters at 601 Riverside Ave.

During ICE’s year-end conference call with analysts Feb. 8, Chief Financial Officer Warren Gardiner said its capital spending plans for 2024 include “$100 million related to the new office space and expansion and improvement across New York, London and Jacksonville,” according to a company transcript of the call.


ICE, which lists headquarters offices in New York and Atlanta, now owns the 327,000-square-foot Black Knight building along the St. Johns River.

Gardiner did not give any more details of the expansion projects but ICE spokesman Josh King said the company is modifying the building to accommodate employees moving to Jacksonville as it integrates the Black Knight operations.

“This requires some modest upgrades to the existing facilities there, which are beginning this year,” King said by email.

“We aren’t detailing the specific details of those improvements, but we envision our Jacksonville presence to be an important part of ICE’s future.”

ICE’s annual report said ICE now has 2,970 employees in Florida, more than in any other U.S. state. It had 8,074 U.S. employees and 13,222 in total as of Dec. 31.

ICE already had a mortgage technology division but with the addition of Black Knight for a full quarter, its mortgage technology revenue doubled from $249 million in the fourth quarter of 2022 to $502 million in the final quarter of 2023.

ICE’s total revenue was $2.2 billion in the quarter.

Gardiner said ICE expects mortgage technology revenue to grow by a low single-digit to mid-single-digit percentage in 2024.

“There is clear momentum across the industry as customers seek technology and data solutions that drive greater transparency and workflow efficiencies,” he said.

Although ICE is expanding its Jacksonville presence, it is cutting costs as it integrates the Black Knight operations.

“We expect to realize approximately $135 million in annualized savings by the end of 2024, ahead of our original expectations of roughly $100 million by year-end,” Gardiner said.

Benjamin Jackson, president of ICE’s mortgage technology division, said in the conference call that the company provides “a true life-of-loan offering” after completing the acquisition of Black Knight.

“As we enter 2024, we remain focused on the successful integration of Black Knight and executing on our strategy of relieving the pain points and inefficiencies that exist across the mortgage workflow,” he said.

Regency Centers Corp. sees strong leasing demand

Mall operators have faced challenges in recent years with some retail chains going out of business, but Regency Centers Corp. CEO Lisa Palmer said the environment is strong for its shopping centers.

“As we look ahead, we believe the current macroeconomic backdrop supports the continuation of positive trends for neighborhood and community shopping centers,” Palmer said in Jacksonville-based Regency’s year-end conference call with analysts Feb. 9.

Regency’s portfolio of 482 properties, mainly grocery-anchored neighborhood centers, was 95.1% leased at the end of 2023.

“We believe the strength in leasing demand over the past 24 months or so is showing no signs of abating,” Palmer said.

“Consistent job growth and moderating inflation are driving consumer resiliency in our trade areas. We also continue to experience tailwinds favoring brick-and-mortar retail in strong suburban markets, supporting a positive retail environment ahead,” she said. 

Regency reported funds from operations, basically earnings excluding certain noncash items, of $1.02 a share for the fourth quarter, 3 cents lower than the previous year.

Core operating earnings of 99 cents a share were a penny higher than the fourth quarter of 2022.

Carlisle Interconnect a major company in St. Augustine

Carlisle Interconnect Technologies does not attract the attention of other Northeast Florida-based companies but a $2 billion-plus acquisition of the company is putting it in the spotlight.

Wallingford, Connecticut-based Amphenol Corp. announced Jan. 30 it agreed to acquire CIT from Carlisle Companies Inc. for $2.025 billion in cash.

CIT said it will remain headquartered in St. Augustine after the sale is completed, where it employs 485 people and plans to add 200 jobs this year.

The company produces harsh environment interconnect solutions primarily to the commercial air, defense and industrial end markets, Amphenol said.

Carlisle reported CIT had $650.6 million in revenue and $57 million in earnings in the first nine months of 2023.

Amphenol said the company is expected to produce $900 million in revenue this year and that CIT has a total of 6,000 employees. 

CIT has 10 additional manufacturing facilities and its operations include facilities in China, Mexico and Switzerland, according to its website.

CIT was formed in 1940 in North Tarrytown, New York, as a company called Tensolite. The company moved to St. Augustine in 1987, where its headquarters address is 100 Tensolite Drive.

The company was acquired by Carlisle in 1959 but didn’t change its name until 2008, according to the website.

Carlisle announced in September 2023 it was putting CIT up for sale as part of its plan to focus on being a pure-play building products company.

Amphenol describes itself as one of the world’s largest designers, manufacturers and marketers of electrical, electronic and fiber optic connectors and interconnect systems, antennas, sensors and sensor-based products and coaxial and high-speed specialty cable.

Amphenol has operations in 40 countries and reported 2023 revenue of $12.55 billion.

“The addition of CIT represents another step forward for our long-term and successful acquisition program, which we believe will continue to create value for the Company long into the future,” Amphenol CEO R. Adam Norwitt said in a news release.

The company expects to complete the acquisition in the second quarter.

Amphenol’s investor relations department did not respond to an email question about what the name of the CIT business will be after the acquisition.

Fortegra withdraws stock sale in weaker IPO market

After pulling its initial public offering off the market in April 2021, the timing seemed right this time for The Fortegra Group Inc.

However, the Jacksonville-based specialty insurance company withdrew its IPO again Feb. 7, a day before it was expected to be priced, saying market conditions weren’t right.

Major stock indexes including the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 have reached record highs in early 2024, but the IPO market is lagging behind.

Renaissance Capital said the S&P 500 index was up 4.9% year-to-date as of Feb. 8 but the firm’s Renaissance IPO Index, which tracks newly public companies, was down 3.1% for the year.

Reuters news service reported several recent IPOs have produced disappointing results, including international sporting goods company Amer Sports Inc.

The maker of several brands including Wilson had sought to sell shares at $16 to $18 each but instead priced its IPO of 105 million shares at $13 when it hit the market Feb. 1.

Fortegra filed plans to sell 18 million shares at $15 to $18 each.

Holding company Tiptree Inc., which owns about 73% of Fortegra’s shares, said several times after withdrawing the 2021 IPO that it intended to try again to take Fortegra public.

Tiptree has not yet said anything publicly about plans for a future Fortegra IPO.

Tiptree’s stock fell $2.18 to $16.55 and dropped as low as $14.96 Feb. 7 after Fortegra pulled its IPO off the market.

Foley takes over as CEO of Cannae Holdings

Cannae Holdings Inc., the investment company spun off from Fidelity National Financial Inc., said Feb. 12 that Fidelity Chairman Bill Foley was appointed CEO.

Richard Massey, who had been Cannae CEO since November 2019, was appointed vice chairman.

Cannae gave no reason for the change.

Under Foley’s leadership, Jacksonville-based title insurer Fidelity was known for investing in a wide range of unrelated businesses. It spun off those businesses as Cannae in 2017.

Foley has been chairman of Cannae since the spinoff and the headquarters of the company is in Las Vegas, where Foley moved in 2016 after being awarded a National Hockey League expansion team.

Besides remaining chairman of Cannae and Fidelity, Foley is also chairman of Jacksonville-based Dun & Bradstreet Holdings Inc. He does not have executive positions at Fidelity or Dun & Bradstreet.

Cannae’s investment portfolio includes an 18.1% stake in Dun & Bradstreet. It also owns a 5.5% stake in London-based Paysafe Ltd., which has its North American headquarters in Jacksonville.

Chase Bank plans large branch expansion

A week after announcing plans to open 10 new branches in the Jacksonville market, JPMorgan Chase & Co. said it will open 500 across the country and hire 3,500 more people over the next three years.

The company, which operates its consumer banking offices under the Chase Bank brand, has 20 offices in the Jacksonville metropolitan area.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, on a visit to the company’s Downtown Chase branch Jan. 31, said Jacksonville was a test market for the bank when it began opening branches in Northeast Florida in 2013.

Chase Bank had 4,897 branches across the country after adding 110 offices in 2023 and is one of the few major U.S. banks expanding its branch network.

Competitor Bank of America reduced its branches by 68 to 3,845 last year.

The bank said Feb. 9 it is closing its Downtown branch in the Bank of America Tower at 50 N. Laura St. in June.

Bank of America has 23 remaining branches in the Jacksonville market. 



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