Virtu Financial moving some workers to Florida

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Virtu Financial Inc is setting up an office in Florida, joining a growing number of financial firms moving some of their operations out of New York as the coronavirus pandemic has upended long-standing working arrangements.

The market making firm will move around 30 people to Palm Beach Gardens from New York, where Virtu’s headquarters will remain, spokesman Andrew Smith confirmed, after the plan was reported by Bloomberg News.

The main reason employees want to move is quality of life but also to avoid taking mass transit into Manhattan, Chief Executive Officer Doug Cifu, who owns the Florida Panthers hockey team along with Virtu co-founder Vinnie Viola, told Bloomberg.

About 30 major financial firms are “kicking the tires” in South Florida, with companies including Elliott Management, Citadel and Moelis & Co saying they will open satellite offices there or allow workers to be based in Florida. Goldman Sachs Group Inc is also looking at moving some asset management staff there.

Virtu also opened an office in Short Hills, New Jersey, this year and has expanded in Austin, Texas, Bloomberg reported.

In June, Cifu said he was rethinking Virtu’s Manhattan office space after around 35% of the company’s employees said they would be happy to work from home. Virtu has offices in cities including Hong Kong, Singapore, London and Paris.

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