CEO Gary Norcross says the company will exceed its hiring targets as the final steel beam is lifted into place.
At a topping off ceremony June 7 at Fidelity National Information Services Inc.’s next world headquarters in Brooklyn, CEO Gary Norcross said the company hired 5,000 workers globally during the pandemic with 200 for its Jacksonville operation.
Norcross said after the event that FIS’ global growth and the flexibility created by a hybrid office-remote work model will allow the company to “blow through” the company’s 2019 job creation estimates of 500 employees by 2029.
Mayor Lenny Curry, Enterprise Florida Inc. CEO Jamal Sowell and other city officials joined Norcross at the event to celebrate the installation of the final steel beam at the highest point of the 12-story tower at 347 Riverside Ave.
Norcross told the crowd the financial technology services company joined the Fortune 200 last week with about $14 billion in annual revenue and more than 60,000 employees in 100 countries.
For the 2021 Fortune 500 list, it reached No. 241, based on fiscal 2020 revenue of $12.55 billion.
He said FIS plans to bring more corporate leadership and executive positions to its Jacksonville headquarters.
“We’ll continue to push our strategies to expand geographically but also bring the kind of world-class services that our customers and clients and prospects are looking for,” Norcross said.
He said FIS is starting to reopen its offices around the world and some workers voluntarily are back in person.
“The reality is, a lot of our jobs don’t require being in the office every day,” he said.
“Given the current course and speed of the pandemic, we’ll see everything back open and fully operational by some time in late (third quarter 2021).”
Norcross said FIS continues to integrate Worldpay Inc., which it acquired for $48 billion in 2019, into the company.
He said FIS will consider more acquisitions but focus on organic growth.
“For me, growing organically gives you permission to do large, transformative acquisitions,” Norcross said.
“We’ll continue to evaluate acquisitions in the future but we have to be real clear this company needs to continue to grow and expand in the industry we’re in and continue to take share.”
Curry said FIS’ presence is in part responsible for Northeast Florida’s reputation as a global financial technology center and a factor in the business and data analytics company Dun & Bradstreet’s decision to relocate its headquarters to Jacksonville.
Dun & Bradstreet has not said where it will operate in Jacksonville, but Norcross said the company will not lease space inside the new FIS tower, which he said will be fully occupied.
FIS now is in the tower at 601 Riverside Ave. anchored by Black Knight Inc., which is owned by an investor group that acquired Dun & Bradstreet in 2019 and shares CEO Anthony Jabbour.
Norcross said he does not know what Black Knight will do with the space after FIS moves out.
In his remarks, Norcross said FIS has $11 million in contractual commitments in the development of its headquarters with companies that qualify for the Jacksonville Small and Emerging Business program, surpassing its $5 million pledge.
The Jacksonville City Council approved its share of a $29.9 million city and state-backed incentives package in September 2019 for FIS with a local small business benchmark.
The beam installed June 7 included names of FIS employees worldwide who donated to the Nature Conservancy Plant a Billion Trees global initiative, Norcross said.
FIS employees and the company will donate $100,000 combined to the nonprofit program.
The headquarters is an estimated $156 million, 386,000-square-foot project.
It will have a 25,000-square-foot client innovation center, a free workout facility for employees, an on-site dining hall with a river view terrace and a coffee shop on every floor, he said.
According to Norcross, it will be one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the Southeast U.S. with LEED Platinum certification and a WELL Healthy Safety rating.
The 1,637-space parking garage will be available to the public on nights, weekends and holidays.