Second big investment firm may leave Chicago for Miami

Second big investment firm may leave Chicago for Miami

Industry sources report one of Chicago’s largest money management firms could soon move their Illinois headquarters to Florida. Guggenheim Partners would be the sixth large company and second investment firm to move out of Illinois in the past year.

One of Chicago’s largest financial services firms, Guggenheim Partners, is expected to move its headquarters to Miami and become the sixth large company to leave Illinois in the past 12 months.

Industry insiders said Guggenheim Partners CEO Mark Walter is expected to follow Citadel CEO Ken Griffin and relocate to Miami after recent reports found the company was quietly reducing operations in the Windy City. It formerly had about 1,000 employees in Chicago.

“Guggenheim’s Chicago offices were closed in 2020 during COVID. No units, with the exception of one subsidiary, have reopened nor plan to reopen,” a company statement said. “A number of Guggenheim employees have relocated already. The one subsidiary in Chicago which is reopened plans to remain open.”

The company’s spokesperson would not comment on whether the headquarters was moved to Miami, which business unit remains in Chicago or how many are still working in the West Loop office. Sources familiar with the matter told Crain’s Chicago Business the decision to relocate outside Chicago was prompted by the city’s high taxes and a rise in crime downtown.

Guggenheim remains jointly headquartered in New York and the Windy City for now. The firm directs $300 billion in assets, making it one of the city’s largest money managers.   

Illinois already lost employees from Citadel, Boeing, Caterpillar, Tyson Foods and Highland Ventures to other states last year. Guggenheim marks the sixth large company expected to leave the state in about a year.

From 2017 to 2023, Illinois’ ranking in the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index dropped 13 spots. CNBC ranks Illinois as the 11th-least friendly state for businesses.

If state leaders don’t work to address Illinois’ regulatory climate and tax burden, which is the highest in the nation, companies will continue moving to states that welcome them.

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