Look out, Wall Street: Miami is positioning itself to be a serious financial rival. Citadel founder and billionaire Ken Griffin recently shared that he sees Miami supplanting New York City as the finance center of America within the next 50 years.
“BNP Paribas choosing Miami to open its newest office reinforces our community’s status as a top financial hub within the global economy,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said in a statement.
Levine Cava celebrated Miami’s emerging finance sector in October after it was ranked for the first time at No. 24 worldwide and No. 7 nationally in the 34th edition of the Global Financial Centres Index, compiled twice a year by London-based think tank Z/Yen and the China Development Institute.
Since Griffin bought a $75 million Miami home in December 2021, he has been affirmative about relocating his company to South Florida and did that in 2022. According to Bloomberg, he is in the process of building a $1 billion headquarters in Brickell.
Citadel is a client of BNP Paribas, a French bank with $2 billion in assets and the second-most of any European bank. The bank opened an office Wednesday in the Brickell financial district at 801 Brickell Avenue and joins other top banks in the district like JPMorgan Chase, Point72 Asset Management, Apollo Global Management and Blackstone. All are top financial firms that have also established a Miami presence since March 2020.
BNP Paribas has 20 employees at its Brickell office and plans to build its staff to 50 over the next 18 months. BNP Paribas has 3,500 employees in New York, Boston, Denver, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco and now Miami. It employs 190,000 people in 65 countries worldwide.
“We intend to hire four full-time employees over the course of 2024 to support our business locally,” said Miami office Managing Director Matthew O’Connor of the search for employees from local colleges and universities. “We are here to be part of the community. We want to be integrated in the community personally and professionally,”
BNP Paribas has invested $7 million in its Miami office and leased the 7,000 square foot space in September 2022. Employees have access to 57 work spaces, three conference rooms, a lounge and kitchen. Miami-based visual artist Najja Moon’s work is featured prominently in the hall of the new office.
Miami office Chief Operations Officer Annabella Espina expressed excitement about the opportunity to help lead the French bank’s Florida expansion. A native of Venezuela, Espina has worked with BNP Paribas for 17 years across Mexico City, New York City and Paris and has family in the Miami area.
Espina said she believes the Miami office will allow BNP Paribas to capitalize on the momentum of national and international businesses relocating to South Florida.
“In the month that we’ve been here already, I can feel the sense of community we have created,” she said. “We look forward to becoming part of the family here in Miami.”