Billionaire Paul Singer is about to become the latest snowbird of prey to fly out of New York City.
The relentless activist investor — who recently squared off against Twitter and AT&T, and once famously locked horns with the government of Argentina — is moving the headquarters of his $41 billion hedge fund Elliott Management to Florida, sources told The Post.
That’s on the heels of Carl Icahn’s decision last year to shutter his New York offices this spring. As first reported by The Post, the octogenarian corporate raider notified staff that the investment firm was moving to the Sunshine State, with or without them, as he sought warmer weather and lower taxes.
The 76-year-old Singer aims to take a kinder, gentler approach, according to a source close to the firm. Elliott, which is now the biggest hedge fund yet to head south, will open offices in West Palm Beach, Fla. and Greenwich, Conn. to accommodate employees who fled Gotham during the pandemic for life in the suburbs.
Despite moving the fund’s headquarters to the Sunshine State, Singer himself will remain “in the Northeast” and Elliott will retain most of its West 57th Street office with hundreds of staffers on-site, according to the source.
The news was first reported by Bloomberg. An Elliott spokesperson declined to comment.
Florida has been wooing New York’s financiers for years with its low taxes, including no individual income taxes, estate taxes or capital gains taxes. The pandemic would hasten the flight as the wealthy flees Manhattan, including Singer’s co-CEO Jonathan Pollock, who has reportedly been hiding out from the pandemic in Florida for most of the year. He will be relocating to the new Palm Beach digs permanently.
Billionaire David Tepper, owner of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, is widely credited as the pioneer of this exodus when, as the wealthiest man in New Jersey in 2016, he took his massive Appaloosa Management to Florida. Although since then he has shuttered the fund, purchased the Panthers and over the summer even returned to New Jersey.
Elliott’s massive size means financial industry assets in Florida will increase by half, according to the research firm Prequin. New York is still by far the largest home for hedge-fund holdings, with $1.3 trillion, according to the firm.
As The Post reported Thursday, the securities and trading industry accounted for 18 percent — or $15.1 billion — of New York’s total tax collections last year and 6 percent of NYC’s tax collections.
But the industry is slated to lose around 7,300 jobs this year due to the pandemic. Last year the industry employed 181,200 people — the highest levels since the 2008 recession.
The city meanwhile, is on track to take a major hit to its annual tax coffers as the pandemic continues to squeeze small businesses and landlord rent rolls.
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