Morgan to open offices in Fells Point

Tax credits, grants lure 150-job operation to Bond Street Wharf

October 30, 2002|By Gus G. Sentementes | Gus G. Sentementes,SUN STAFF

Morgan Stanley, one of the world's top investment banks, will open a major operations office in Fells Point, bringing at least 150 jobs, in a move that continues the expansion of the city's business district east of the Inner Harbor.

To recruit the company, the state offered a taxpayer-backed incentive package to Morgan Stanley, which has 58,000 employees and had revenue last year of $43.7 billion and earnings of $3.5 billion.

State officials declined yesterday to reveal the amount of the package.

The New York-based bank will open a back-office processing center for institutional securities in a 30,000-square-foot space with harbor views at the new Bond Street Wharf by June, company officials said yesterday.

Morgan Stanley has similar processing centers in Glasgow, Scotland, and Sydney, Australia, officials said.

"We're excited that we're coming to Bond Street Wharf and participating in the redevelopment of the Baltimore waterfront," David N. Neuwirth, a managing director with Morgan Stanley, said during a news conference yesterday at Bond Street Wharf.

The company considered other cities and regions for the office, Neuwirth said, but he declined to identify them. He said that most of the jobs at the office will be new ones as opposed to relocations or transfers.

The employees will support Morgan Stanley's institutional securities division - the company's biggest revenue-generating division - that trades equities for large institutional clients such as pension funds, Morgan officials said.

The workers will do such work as settling trades and reconciling accounts, jobs previously done separately in other offices, company officials said.

Morgan Stanley has investment branch offices in Baltimore, Lutherville, Columbia, Bel Air, Hunt Valley and Annapolis.

To bring the operations office to Baltimore, the state offered the company a combination of tax credits, work force training and conditional grants tied to job creation, said David S. Iannucci, secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

Iannucci said the deal with Morgan Stanley involves significantly more jobs in the future. The company will get a tax credit of $1,500 per new job.

Under an agreement with the state, Morgan Stanley is to add 150 jobs by 2005; another 150 jobs by 2007; and 300 more jobs by 2010, he said.

Iannucci declined to put a number on the state's incentive package, which was offered through the state's Sunny Day Fund, saying the deal is still subject to legislative committee approval.

But he said Morgan Stanley would have to spend $19 million over a number of years to be eligible for the full range of incentives.

Gov. Parris N. Glendening called the company's decision to locate in the city "a testament to the strength of the Baltimore and Maryland economy."

To accommodate plans for 600 workers, Morgan Stanley has an option to expand into a building that could be built on Harbor Point, a nearby 27-acre waterfront parcel.

Bond Street Wharf, a 220,000-square-foot office building, is part of a $101 million office, parking garage and residential project being developed by Struever Bros., Eccles & Rouse Inc. and H&S Properties Development Corp.

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