Lon­don Stock Ex­change plans to add 30 jobs

Pur­chase of Yield Book and move to Foun­tain Plaza called a suc­cess

The Buffalo News - - BUSINESS - By Matt Glynn NEWS BUSI­NESS RE­PORTER

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

LSEG

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.

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