Paul Singer Moves Elliott Management From New York City to West Palm
For more than 40 years, Paul E. Singer (who is worth an estimated $3.6 billion) founder of Elliott Management (a hedge fund with $41 billion in assets), resided in offices overlooking Central Park. Now due to the pandemic and the uncertainty over the future of Manhattan office he is moving his firm’s headquarters from Midtown Manhattan to West Palm Beach, Fla. (Mr. Singer will remain in the Northeast, and Elliott will keep offices and some employees in New York)
In recent years other aging billionaire investors, including Carl C. Icahn, have ditched New York for Florida and its tax advantages. In fact President Trump officlally made Palm Beach, Fla., and his resort the Mar-a-Lago Club, his official residence.
New York was hit hard by the pandemic and is also in the middle of a financial crisis that has left more than a 500,000 New Yorkers without jobs. New York City’s personal income tax revenue is expected to drop by $2 billion this fiscal year.
City boosters fear that the pandemic has created permanent changes in the way people work that will hinder New York City’s economy. (NYC economy relies heavily on office work and commuters.)
“It’s certainly not a positive signal,” said E.J. McMahon, an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank that Mr. Singer has chaired since 2008. Mr. McMahon described the city’s tax base as “enormous but also fragile.”
Unlike New York State, Florida has no individual income tax, estate tax or capital gains tax, which the state has promoted in a concerted effort to recruit financial firms from New York.
“Historically there is a certain segment of the population who, after living in the northeast for the majority of their lives, decide to move south, whether to Florida or elsewhere,” said Mr. Friedland, a vice chairman of the New York office of CBRE, a commercial real estate brokerage. “So these moves might be correlated to life stage, as opposed to anything else.”
Many believed that when President Trump limited the SALT deductions to $10,000 it would have a major effect and cause the wealthy to flee. However the statics suggest there is little evidence to support this.
For almost all of Elliott’s history, Mr. Singer, by himself built it into one of biggest hedge funds and one of its most vocal.
Mr. Singer has also played an active role in New York City politics as chairman of the Manhattan Institute (a conservative urbanist research institute based in New York City). Mr. Singer called the institute “a beacon of reason” in a “reeling” city.
The Manhattan Institute dates to the 1970s, when New York nearly had to declare bankruptcy, as companies left the city.
“But rather than abandon the city as a lost cause, the Manhattan Institute advanced ideas that helped bring it back to life,” said Reihan Salam, the institute’s president.