Baltimore-Washington is home to 21 Fortune 500 headquarters


September 10, 1990|By David Rosenthal

The Baltimore-Washington region ranks fourth nationally in the number of Fortune 500 service company headquarters, according to a survey released today by a regional economic development group.

Twenty-one service companies on the Fortune 500 list, including Marriott Corp. and USF&G Corp., are based here, the study by the Washington/Baltimore Regional Association found. Those companies have combined assets of more than $316 billion.

That places the Baltimore-Washington region behind only the New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago metropolitan areas.

"It's clear that the Baltimore-Washington region is more than just the home of the nation's capital, federal agencies and associations," said W/BRA Chairman Benjamin Civiletti, managing partner of the Baltimore-based law firm Venable, Baetjer & Howard. The firm also has an office in Washington.

The region, which is the nation's fourth-largest in population, also is home to nine companies listed among the Fortune 500 industrial companies, the W/BRA study notes. The largest of the regional giants, Mobil Corp., which had $56.7 billion in revenue last year, recently relocated to Northern Virginia from New York City.

Other major publicly held companies, and their 1989 revenues: the Federal National Mortgage Corp., $11.6 billion; Marriott, $7.5 billion; MCI Communications Corp., $6.5 billion; and USAir, $6.3 billion.

The region's base of publicly traded companies has been growing. In 1980, there were 92 public companies in the region, and they had combined revenues of $35 billion. Today, there are 163 public companies here, including two dozen with revenues exceeding $1 billion. Mobil's revenues, alone, dwarf the combined figure for 1980.

The W/BRA is a business group promoting development in Baltimore, Washington and surrounding suburbs. It is seeking to have the federal government designate the two cities and their suburbs as a consolidated metropolitan area, like Dallas-Fort Worth.

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