Fintech iCapital Network opens office in Greenwich, with eye on CT’s ‘incredible talent pool’


GREENWICH – At this week’s Greenwich Economic Forum, Governor Ned Lamont touted his state as a great place to live and work to some of financial services’ most prominent figures.

Another of the conference speakers, Lawrence Calcano, was one of the executives who heard Lamont’s speech at the Delamar Waterfront Hotel. But the CEO and chairman of financial technology firm iCapital Network had long been convinced of this. In June, iCapital announced it would establish offices a few blocks from the Delamar at 2 Greenwich Plaza and create hundreds of jobs across the state.

Those offices opened Monday, marking one of the largest business arrivals in Connecticut in recent years. As the state recovers from the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, the addition of iCapital shows that the state has remained a destination for large financial services firms and that Lamont’s corporate awareness resonates with many executives. .

“It is one of the financial capitals,” Calcano said in an interview with the Greenwich Economic Forum. “There is an incredible talent pool here that we believe will help us improve. “

Reasons to expand to Connecticut

Since its creation in 2013 in New York, iCapital has become a force in fintech.

Asset managers and wealth managers use its technology platform to support the establishment and servicing of alternative investments such as hedge funds, private equity and private credit. Investor assets on the platform total approximately $ 86 billion.

Among the new initiatives, iCapital this week announced an agreement to acquire Axio Financial, a service provider in the US structured note market. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Last month, iCapital announced a partnership with Westport-based Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund manager. The match aims to provide access to Bridgewater’s strategies to registered investment advisers and family offices for “high net worth clients” in the United States.

About 450 employees provide iCapital services. The head office is approximately 30 miles from the Greenwich offices – at 60 E. 42nd Street in Manhattan, across from Grand Central Terminal. The company also has offices in Boston; Hong Kong; Lisbon; London; Princeton, New Jersey; Toronto; and Zürich.

“When the pandemic hit it made me take a step back and think it was risky to put more people in New York and that we should try to branch out and add another important location,” said Calcano, who has been the CEO of iCapital since 2014.

In one of the largest business arrivals in Connecticut in recent years, financial technology firm iCapital Network opened offices in Greenwich on September 20.

Office location: 2 Greenwich Plaza.

Office footprint: Lease totaling 65,000 square feet.

State aid: up to $ 2.94 million in grants, if the company creates 200 full-time jobs.

Other iCapital locations: 60 E. 42nd St., Manhattan (head office); Boston; Hong Kong; Lisbon; London; Princeton, New Jersey; Toronto; and Zürich.

CEO and Chairman: Lawrence Calcano (Greenwich resident).

Source: iCapital Network; State Department of Economic and Community Development.

Greenwich, where Calcano has lived since 1993, quickly became a prime candidate for a new hub, he said. The company also considered Stamford.

“In the perspective of attracting more employees, Greenwich would give us access to employees that we would (otherwise) have difficulty accessing,” Calcano said. “We think this location really expands our base of potential employees. “

“We must compete”

Once the company focused on Connecticut, conversations between iCapital officials and members of Lamont’s administration resulted in the company obtaining “win as it” incentives. as you grow ”to support the expansion. The company can earn up to $ 2.94 million in state grants if it creates 200 full-time jobs.

“The incentives did not catalyze interest; they were one of the many factors, ”Calcano said. “It’s great that the state is considering offering incentives. It is fiscally prudent for the state to offer these incentives as companies achieve stated goals. “

Lamont is not the first governor to provide funds to a large financial services company. Under his predecessor, Dannel P. Malloy, AQR Capital, based in Bridgewater and Greenwich, respectively received grants of up to $ 52 million and $ 35 million related to goals of maintaining and creating jobs.

The prospect of the state losing more high-paying positions affected the Malloy administration’s decision to approve funds for Bridgewater and AQR. Banking giants UBS and RBS have combined cut thousands of jobs in the state over the past decade, which is part of why Connecticut’s employment in financial activities is 19% lower than its total at the start of the 2008-2010 recession.

Critics of Malloy, however, complained that Bridgewater and AQR were too wealthy to need taxpayer-funded support to stay in Connecticut.

Lamont, a Democrat who took office in January 2019, has rolled out business grants on a much smaller scale than Malloy – but he hasn’t given up. In the week after iCapital announced its expansion in Connecticut, its administration disclosed funding to support the new Stamford offices of Tomo Networks, a real estate fintech company founded last year, and ITT manufacturer and technology service provider.

“We have to be competitive, but we have changed the nature of the incentives. It used to be that Connecticut would throw money at you and hope you would come, ”Lamont said in an interview with the Greenwich Economic Forum. “We lead by the merits and strengths of why you want to be in Connecticut. Then we’re going to sort of match what anyone else can offer. But you have to earn it. So it’s not money up front.

City officials are also enthusiastic about the arrival of iCapital.

“We are really lucky to have them here,” Greenwich selection woman Lauren Rabin, a first-term Republican, said in an interview. “We have attracted interest from companies coming from New York because the people who work there live in Greenwich as residents and say, ‘This could be a good place to locate my business. “

Opening in Greenwich

At 2 Greenwich Plaza, iCapital is located in a complex located a short walk from the downtown Metro-North Railroad station and off Interstate 95, with stunning views of Long Island Sound.

The black cube building at 2 Greenwich Plaza has long housed financial services centers. Other tenants include AQR Capital, Lone Pine Capital and Silver Point Capital.

“It’s great to see the company establishing this presence in Connecticut,” said Alison Breward, vice president and senior director of the marketing program, who lives in Greenwich. “I’ve always enjoyed working at iCapital, and now I can do it right here in Greenwich Plaza.”

In the three months since announcing its expansion to Greenwich, the hiring outlook for iCapital has become even more optimistic. While he originally planned to create around 200 jobs in the state, company officials now expect the number of Greenwich-based employees to grow to around 300 over the next two years. The company said it was hiring for positions in technology, customer services, finance and law.

In turn, his footprint increases at 2 Greenwich Plaza. It recently signed up for approximately 25,000 square feet of additional space, bringing its eventual occupancy to approximately 65,000 square feet.

“We originally took the fourth floor, which is approximately 40,000 square feet,” Calcano said. “We have now also occupied about three-quarters of the third floor, which we believe will accommodate at least 100 more people, maybe more. “

The company has personalized its new hub with features such as concrete floors and exposed ceilings, deliberately replicating the design of its other offices, so that they have a unified aesthetic.

Much of the space on the fourth floor is still under construction. Meanwhile, Breward and other employees who started working in the new offices last week said they have already moved to 2 Greenwich Plaza.

“The organization and preparation of the new office has been very exciting,” said receptionist Julie Maimon, a resident of Stamford. “And with more people joining us, I think it will only get better.”

[email protected]; twitter: @paulschott

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