California hedge fund Miami dreamin’
A California hedge fund using the secretive alias Confidential Project: Ludwig is looking at moving its base to Coconut Grove, bringing 25 jobs averaging $100,000 salary.
But the company is also considering Houston and Austin, TX, and seeks state and local incentives that it says could tip the balance in Coconut Grove’s favor.
If the company moves here, it says, it will lease and renovate 5,500 square feet of Grove offices. And it says in its incentives application to state economic agency Enterprise Florida that while it promises 25 jobs within three years, “we expect to double that number in the years beyond.”
If Project Ludwig hits the job target, state incentives it seeks would provide $50,000 plus $12,500 from Miami-Dade. The county commission on Tuesday unanimously approved the local share. The incentives, if paid would, equal $2,500 per job.
The company offered a carrot beyond the pledged 25 jobs, stating “we have a big marketing push starting in Asia and Europe that could” expand operations. It said as well that other hedge funds might follow its lead and move here.
The company says it plans to move because “the tax structure in California has grown increasingly unfriendly, and recent municipal bankruptcies serve as reminder that the state of California always has the potential of following suit…. We would benefit from a move to a friendlier tax environment” in either Florida or Texas.
The firm lists Miami’s key advantages as “closer proximity to our general investor base for flights and meetings” and Eastern Time Zone hours.
Advantages it cites for Texas are lower operating costs and higher standard of living, and “we have been given very friendly treatment by Texas to date regarding a potential move…”