London Stock Exchange plans to add 30 jobs
Purchase of Yield Book and move to Fountain Plaza called a success
The London Stock Exchange Group scouted lots of locations in the region before deciding downtown was the best fit for its growing business.
The company that runs the London Stock Exchange, among other operations around the world, spent $3.1 million to refurbish the sixth floor of 40 Fountain Plaza, and has 75 employees working there so far. Its plans call for adding another 30 jobs over the next two to three years. And its sleek new offices include features designed to appeal to employees.
LSEG’s Buffalo connection stems from a 2017 deal the business struck with Citigroup, acquiring some of the operations at Citi’s financial hub in Getzville. LSEG bought Yield Book, a source of analytics for investors around the world.
LSEG relocated the team to downtown Buffalo from CrossPoint Business Park in early February. It was a big change for employees accustomed to working in the suburbs. But David Bartlett, the site lead for the Buffalo office and a Yield Book veteran, said the move boosts LSEG’s visibility and recruiting.
“The office that we want to be, that we are, is more than just back-office operations,” Bartlett said. “I think it was really important for us to get out of that mold, if you will.”
The Fountain Plaza office has a capacity of 135 employees, which is beyond LSEG’s announced job growth goal. “This is a growing company and we recognize that,” Bartlett said. “It’s a recognition by the leadership of LSEG that we want to fill this office. And it’s a recognition by them that we want to do that here.”
LSEG’s growth plans reflect the U.K.-based company’s broader growth, said Jonathan Jachym, U.S. country head and head of North American government regulations and regulatory strategy. About three years ago, the business had about 200 employees in the United States; it now has more than 700 employees.
“I think what’s really unique and special about this Buffalo location is the high talent pool in the area,” Jachym said. “There are some very important senior jobs in this office that are a key component of how the global business operates.”
What is Yield Book all about? “We create tools that help companies manage their investment portfolios and manage the risk, manage the transparency and manage their investment decisions,” Bartlett said. “The software’s really engineered for those institutional investors, which is just corporate customers with large bond holdings, to invest in those bonds, and do it wisely.”
LSEG is eligible for $600,000 in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits from Empire State Development. Those tax credits depend on the business meeting its hiring targets.
The office’s staff includes some important client-facing roles and analytical roles, and the company decided being downtown was essential to recruiting.
“If we’re going to recruit the top talent to be a part of the London Stock Exchange [Group], we want to be where the talent wants to go,” Bartlett said. “Coming out of the universities here, these kids want to be downtown these days.”
New college graduates who used to reflexively think about leaving Buffalo for a bigger market for a job
are finding worthwhile job opportunities here with employers like Citi, M&T Bank and now LSEG, Bartlett said.
“It’s one of those things where, they can choose to stay here if they want and get the same level of job that they would get if they moved to New York, the same challenge,” he said.
Under the new ownership, the local Yield Book team has maintained the connection it had with the University at Buffalo that it had under Citi. Bartlett said that has proven an important pipeline for talent.
But it was still an adjustment to shift to a downtown setting. “People were a little nervous, and I think coming down here, it’s been a complete, from day one, success,” Bartlett said.
For instance, the Getzville location has an on-site cafeteria. The LSEG team, being highly analytical types, created a spreadsheet that identified over 60 lunchtime sites within walking distance of Fountain Plaza. There’s a Metro Rail station right out front, perfect for a warm-weather trip to Canalside. Employees can get together for a Sabres or Bisons game after work downtwon without moving their cars.
Brian Organ, who has worked for Yield Book for 12 years, said he enjoys the downtown location and everything that’s nearby.
“The parking becomes a little bit of a question – you’re starting to pay for parking, so that’s part of it you have to consider.” His commute from Grand Island is also a few minutes longer than it used to be.
“It’s a pretty great balance of being able to live in the suburbs and work in the city,” said Organ, a senior vice president and relationship manager. “I think that’s kind of the best of both worlds that you don’t get working out in the suburbs, and you don’t get that working in the bigger cities.”
The new offices include plenty of natural light streaming in through windows offering clear views of downtown Buffalo. There are no assigned offices, just workstations where employees can plug in their computers. Every other desk in the layout can be raised or lowered.
There are conference rooms in different spots, where employees can meet or get some privacy. The floor also has a spacious kitchen and break room, including industrial-sized refrigerators that Bartlett said employees appreciate.
“The expansion of London Stock Exchange Group’s Yield Book team in Buffalo builds on the momentum of growth we have seen downtown,” said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul.