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Connecticut Pays UBS $20 Million To Stay

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Back in June, we discussed the possibility of UBS moving out of its Stamford, CT building, which houses the largest trading floor in the world), and into New York City. The bank, which has not been doing too hot of late, seemed to be of the opinion that leaving Stamford would be a panacea for all its woes which, according to UBS, boil down to no one wanting to work in Connecticut (rather than no one wanting to work at a place that doesn’t pay and yells at you when you ask if this month’s check will clear). After several months of talks with developer Larry Silverstein about a possible deal at 3 World Trade Center, which conveniently has 5 trading floors located in “Tower 3,” UBS announced that it'd looked over its finances and realized it wouldn't be able to come up with the money for a new place, and ditched the plan, while still moving a bunch of employees south and leaving the door open for a move to midtown, an idea that struck absolute terror or delight into the hearts and plums of everyone directly or indirectly related to UBS.

On the "If you people so much as make a move for the door I'll start cutting off appendages on the front lawn" side were Danny Ryan, a bartender and waiter at Morton's, who wondered "why they would build this stunning building and then leave," Dino Sakakini, owner of Layla's falafel, who predicted that "Stamford will be come a ghost town, plain and simple," Peter Charpentier, who “sells a whole lot of brown-bagged bottles of liquor to UBS employees every evening" and suggested Connecticut "beg them to stay," while noting "you couldn't pay me to work at the World Trade Center," and a trader who let it be known "There's no way I'm moving to the city."

On the "let's get UBS the fuck out of here, seriously I volunteer to help pack" were an employee who asked "What's the big deal? So we move out and a nice big Costco moves in- life goes on" and a trader who saw serious dollar signs, telling the Times, “I live in Manhattan, so I do the reverse commute…The train ride is like 45 minutes, then I ride my bike through Central Park to get home. If UBS moves back to Manhattan, I’ll save $300 a month in train fare and major aggravation. Awesome.”

For the Costco lover and permanently irritated cyclist, today brings disappointing news. In exchange for some cash, UBS will keep less than 60 percent of its current Stamford-based employees I-95 adjacent.

UBS promised to keep at least 2,000 jobs in Connecticut under a five-year agreement with the state, in which the company will get a $20 million “forgivable” loan. The bank, which has about 3,500 people in the state, views the pledge as a minimum level, not a target, UBS Americas Chief Executive Officer Phil Lofts said in an interview today. The deal lets the firm make “minor staff relocations” between Stamford, Connecticut, and New York, he and Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy said in a statement. UBS may receive $7 million in additional loans by adding jobs…“This project will retain at least 2,000 high-quality, high-paying jobs in the state, spur capital investment and reaffirm the state’s reputation as a leader in financial services,” Malloy said in the statement.

UBS Keeps at Least 2,000 Jobs in Connecticut in Five-Year Deal With State [Bloomberg]