Asset management giant BlackRock Inc. has formally committed to remain headquartered in New York City, to add 300 jobs by year's end, and to grow by another 200 positions by the end of 2015, according to a joint announcement Monday by the firm and Gov. David Paterson.
The added jobs would bring BlackRock's employment rolls in the city to at least 1,530 by the end of the year, and to at least 1,730 five years after that.
“Given today's difficult economic climate, BlackRock believes it is important to continue to strengthen our ties with the state,” Laurence Fink, BlackRock's chief executive, said in a statement.
A BlackRock spokeswoman said the firm was not getting any incentives from the state in exchange for the commitment to create new jobs. The firm did, however, ask the state to review its corporate tax rate, which it believed was too high. It paid $503 million in state taxes last year.
The state agreed to lower BlackRock's rate to 33.5%, the spokeswoman said, though she would not say what it was before the change.
“My administration has sought to assist our business community's growth and expansion, as the long-term health of our financial sector directly affects the economic security of all New Yorkers,” Mr. Paterson said in a statement.
Bank of America owns a 34% stake in BlackRock, which is the largest asset manager in the world, though the bank has announced plans to sell some of its shares. BlackRock oversees $3.3 trillion in assets for pension funds, other institutional investors and even the U.S. government, which hired it during the financial crisis to manage troubled mortgage-backed securities as part of the $700 billion bank bailout.
The announcement by BlackRock is the latest sign that Wall Street is finally beginning to staff up after a two-year purge.
“Our local economy is still recovering from the national downturn, but it is investments like the one BlackRock has committed to that are helping drive faster job growth in New York City than elsewhere in the country,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a statement.
Through September, New York City had captured 10.3% of the 613,000 jobs gained nationally in 2010, despite accounting for only 3% of the national employment base, according to an analysis by real estate services firm Eastern Consolidated.
Daniel Massey is a reporter at Crain's New York Business, a sister publication of Pensions & Investments.